18 Vocabulary Terms You Need to Know to Surf the Interweb

The Internet of Stuff is upon us, and a large variety of devices are connecting and accessing information at a faster pace than ever. Keeping up with the rowdy dregs of humanity online takes a quick wit and thick skin. Doing it safely means you’ll have blend in. Try working these Interweb terms into your vocabulary to impress geeks, nerds, and techies everywhere you surf.

15. Troll

If you haven’t read it yet, I have a post on the art of trolling that explains what a troll is in more detail. Essentially a troll purposefully posts provocative or incorrect content to aggravate people. Used as a noun or a verb, a troll can troll or go trolling cause trolls is what trolls does.

10. Griefer

When trolls come out from under their bridges to actively or passive-aggressively ruin someone’s gaming or competitive experience. With gaming becoming a sport and drones allowing gamers to affect the real world, griefing can be used to describe any type of trolling that occurs outside of Internet chatter.

4. Noob

Another term that spawned from the gaming world, a noob is basically “the N word” of video games. When you’re called a noob, it’s a derogatory way of saying you were, indeed, born yesterday. Friend too drunk? Say, “I remember my first beer…noob” Coworker incompetent? Simply mumble, “Noob,” under your breath as they walk away.

11. Pwn

Remember the scene in Grandma’s Boy where Nick Swardson hustles a round of Dance Dance Revolution? The game isn’t broken, and High Score means he pwned his coworker. There’s no better way to rub a loss in someone’s face than to remind them they just got pwned (rhymes with owned, not yawned).

18. Rage Quit

When a troll starts trolling or a griefer starts griefing, they won’t stop until their victim rage quits. Rage quit videos are among the funniest searches on YouTube, with people (usually men) screaming at TV’s and monitors, throwing controlers, and going losing their shit as they disconnect their game (and sometimes cancel their accounts, relationships, etc….).

7. Aggro

Aggro is short for aggravation. In MMO raids and instances, aggro refers to the attention of the NPC (computer-controlled) characters. Whoever the bad guys are attacking has aggro until you hit or heal hard enough to draw aggro onto yourself. If you’re ever hiding from someone (the cops, for instance), don’t blow your cover until you’re sure you’ve dropped aggro.

5. V&

Pronounced “vanned,” this is a term used to describe someone being taken away by the black government van and thrown into a hole. When someone disappears for a long time, disconnects a call suddenly, or doesn’t respond, ask if they’ve been v&.

14. D0x

D0x is how hackers and other anonymous people refer to being unmasked like a Lucha Libre wrestler. It’s like being stopped and frisked by the police, except done online and typically by a fellow citizen. Whenever someone’s been revealed as the culprit of any action, inform them they just got d0xed.

3. Script Kiddie

Noobs are to gamers what script kiddies are to hackers. Any child can be taught to press a button and run an automated script – this isn’t hacking. In fact, a dog, monkey, or mouse can be taught to press a button, but it’s derogatory enough as it is. Anytime someone brags about an accomplishment anyone can do (i.e. making “Who’s Who” or graduating from University of Phoenix), let them know they’re a script kiddie.

1. Bot

A bot is a robot, except they don’t look like they do in all those Arnold Schwarzenegger and Will Smith sci-fi movies. Real robots are algorithms and other automated processes that scour the internet. An example of a bot you may use is Hootlet, a UI that allows you to schedule social media posts to various sites without ever visiting them. Anytime you automate a repetitive task, it’s a bot.

9. Sock

I never stick to just one account – it’s important to have at least three accounts on every site. This allows you to recover information and pick up at any given moment, given any obstacles you face. A sock is basically an alternate or secondary account on a website. So your first Twitter account is your Twitter account, but your second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. are all socks.

16. Haha

Long before LOL, LMAO, ROFL, and emoticons, haha is how we expressed laughter. It’s called onomatopoeia, although only representative of the laughter for one segment of the population.

8. Clan

A clan is a gang of gamers.

13. Crew

A crew is a flock of hackers.

With these terms in your vocabulary (and their usage bent to your will), you don’t even have to know anything about computers to impress someone who does enough for them to like you enough not to care when they find out you’re a lying scumbag. A lot of guys think like that – I never understood why.

Brian Penny Versability Whistleblower Anonymous Red light Guy Fawkes MaskBrian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower, consultant, troll doctor, and writer. He’s featured on The Huffington Post, MainstreetLifehackMoney Side of Life, Gaiam, HardcoreDroid, and more.



Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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