Pretty much every n00b involved in video games got pwned at some point or another. It is just part of your learning experience. But then, what do these things actually mean? Assuming that you know what they stand for, have you ever asked themselves where they come from? Here are some of the most common slang words in the video gaming industry and their origins.


When you have a killer strategy that will surprise your enemy and win the game without too much hassle, you basically have a cheese strategy. Also, do you know those TV ads that tend to make you feel sad and convince you to donate to certain charities? Quite cheesy, huh? The origins of this slang date back to 1994. Primal Rage was a game putting together ancient animals like apes and dinosaurs fighting for the world power.

If you performed more super moves too many times over a short period of time, you had to rest for a few seconds before attempting them again. The top of the screen displayed a block of cheese and a message – no more cheese. The rest is pure history.


Fragging someone in a shooting game means killing them. When someone asks you about the number of kills, they might as well ask you how many frags you got. So, how did this term show up? Unlike most expectations, its origins have nothing to do with the video gaming industry, but with the Vietnam war. Back then, many military groups ended up with inside fights. Getting rid of an oppressive leader was quite simple. You only had to pull the pin and toss the fragmentation grenade over to them, then blame it on the enemy. Those fragmentation grenades represent the origins of the slang.

When it comes to the gaming industry, Doom was one of the first games to allow multiplayer games and bring in the slang.


This slang became so popular that someone even come up with a web series called Pure Pwnage. The word showed up as a typo, as P is next to O on a classic keyboard. Today, it is widely used to describe an impressive victory. Whether you get pwned or you plan to pwn someone, pretty much every gamer would know what you mean.

The slang originates somewhere in the 1990s, when hackers used the message after hacking websites. According to some theories, it goes back to the slavery times, when pwning a slave implied owning everything about them. Overtime, the term lost some of its popularity. It was more popular during the 2000s, as modern gamers these days no longer pwn other, but rekt them.


Every gamer in the world was a n00b at some point. Some people refer to them as noobs or nubs – the exact same thing. The slang is a derivative of newb, which is short for newbie. It refers to someone who is new and has no idea what they are doing. Its origins go back to the British army, whose members used to call new men noobs.

When it comes to video games, it is hard to tell when it all started. One thing is for sure though – Counter Strike made it gain international popularity. Unlike many expectations, it is not related to Mortal Kombat’s character Noob Saibot – it is only one of the developers’ name spelled backwards.


A scrub is someone who sucks at a particular game, but they think they are the best player in the world. Such people make one mistake after another and do not even bother to listen to more experienced players’ advice. Just like you have probably guessed already, they blame their mistakes on other things – a returning army, lag or a broken controller.

Generally speaking, scrubs will always complain about aspects they have to control over, rather than just focus on their own skills. The slang was probably invented after 1991. Street Fighter II players used to work on the buttons in a movement that looked like scrubbing. It is a common word among fighting gamers, so it makes sense.


Smurfing in some video games is like farming in others. Basically, more experienced players create more accounts to win over them and gain more power. This practice is referred to as smurfing. You might know where it comes from – the popular cartoons for kids The Smurfs. How it made it to the video gaming industry is a bit of a mystery.​​

According to many gamers, its use gained popularity during the Warcraft II times. The connection with The Smurfs? Two Warcraft II players created secondary accounts known as Smurfette and PapaSmurf.


Bottom line, everyone is familiar with this popular slang, but no one knows where these words come from.​