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While Brajana at Mend Pet likes to help broaden our vocabulary with her WoW Word of the Week posts, we like to take a look each month at a little bit of gamer vernacular history.  (We do enjoy her posts and if you haven’t checked them out yet, I suggest you do so!)


We've all seen this one.  Heck, we've probably all used it at one time or another.  But where did it come from?  The answer may surprise you.  The term ‘newbie' has been around long before MMO's and cyberspace.  It was actually used as a term in British public schools and the miltary to mean “new boy” or a new soldier in the unit.

This fits pretty well with the objective meaning of the word newbie.  With the advent of cyberspace interactions, it was a term used to identify someone new.  Often those who are new are given some slack for making mistakes.  However, that takes us into some of the variations of the word newbie.


Noob, N00b, Nub, Newb, Nublet, Nubcake, etc.

These variations have come about as the term began to mutate into derogatory connotations.  Someone makes lots of mistakes? They are a noob.  Someone keeps making said mistakes despite solutions being given? Noob.  They can't hold aggro as a tank? Nub.  They can't keep the group healed? Newb.  They pull aggro or break crowd control? Nubcake.

There is no set level limit for when someone stops being a Newbie and turns into a Noob.  However, there is a certain point where other players see a person's level and their mistakes are no longer seen as innocent.  Instead, they begin to use the term to mean they are ignorant about how to play despite having been in the game for “long enough.”

Interesting Sidenote:

As I was typing up this draft, Sideshow asked if I saw the article about Noob being proposed to be added to the dictionary.  He thought that had been my inspiration.  It hadn't been, but how… interesting.

Sources: Wikipedia, Wowwiki, Merriam-Webster Online, and Joystiq.

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  • @photo of stupid kid: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    @God: Previous laughter probably indicates you shouldn’t allow me to have children…please take note…or don’t, I’ll be entertained either way…

  • Omg, Syrana, kind of strange…..

    Just today my friend told me that theres a possibility of the noob word being the millionth word or something– your right its strange.

    And yeah, I use “Noob” to mean a soft version of “idiot” but there excused for lack of experience.

    If there compleatly useless, lack potential and arnt lacking experience *aka plain stupid* then there “Idiot” or something else i can conjure from my pit of curses- and i dont mean curse of weakness!

  • @Davlin – LOL Yeah, I thought that picture was great and just had to use it!

    @Kromus – I honestly can’t believe they want to add that word. I don’t think they fully understand it. >.<


We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!