As the Internet was coming into its own, during the early 1980s, hackers that didn't want their websites, newsgroups, etc, to be picked up in a simple keyword search began using numbers to replace certain letters (mostly vowels) such as A = 4 or E = 3.

At this point, l33t speak was only known to a select few and only used when necessary. However, in 1994, id Software began to add Internet connectivity to Doom and Doom II, leading to a revolution in PC gaming and also to the rise of l33t speak.

As with any type of competition, 'smack' talk became prevalent in online gaming. Phrases such as 'I am elite' became common place, and somewhere down the line l33t speak crept in, reforming the phrase into '1 4m 3l1t3' in order to demonstrate that the speaker was a hacker and someone to be feared. It was further exaggerated by purposeful bad spelling and eventually wound up as something like this, '1 4m 3l33t!' and simplified to, '1 4m 133t'. Hence the name 'l33t speak'.

l33t speak was still relatively unknown to the Internet masses at this point. It had almost disappeared from gaming entirely. However, a very popular web comic called Megatokyo brought l33t speak into mainstream with its infamous speak l33t? comic. These days l33t speak is very well known to the hardcore Internet community (especially gamers).

As you've already seen, basic l33t is just replacing vowels with numbers:

A = 4
E = 3
I = 1
O = 0
However l33t is a very flexible 'language' and you can go from this very basic l33t, to ultra 1337 by being creative; a few examples:

O = ()
U = |_|
T = 7
D = |)
W = \/\/
S = $
There is no agreed-upon way to write l33t, so it's up to you whether or not to go with light l33t, medium 1337, hard |_337 or even ultra |_33¯|¯. In this entry, 'l33t' is used except when referring to medium, hard or ultra '1337'.

The -0r clause can be used in place of -ed or -er, for example '1 0wnz0r!' (most commonly seen in ultra 1337 as '1 0\/\/|\|z0r!') rather than '1 0wn3d'. However it can also be used like this, '1 4m l33t h4x0r!' (in ultra 1337, '1 4|\/| |_337 |-|4x0r!') rather than, '1 4m 4 133t h4ck3r!'.

As a general rule, in l33t, rather than use 's' to make something plural, a 'z' is used instead. Also 'f' is normally changed to 'ph'. The short 'u' is often changed to '00', as well.

Punctuation is usually left out with greater consistency as the level of l33t increases. Full stops are left out entirely because, when you are chatting online, where you would normally put a full stop you just hit 'enter' to send the message and keep typing. Exclamation marks are used quite a bit (and usually quite a number at once), mostly because l33t is most commonly used in expressions of pleasure. Commas are generally left out in hard and ultra 1337, and are uncommon in medium 1337.

Recently after the dawn of MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft as a popular form of online gaming, l33t speak has become an epidemic to the point of burnout. Most l33t speak is generally considered a sign of immaturity or is done derisively and tounge in cheek.
immature:
some "l33t" loser "OMGZ0rz WTF n00b u d0n7 5|*34k l33t!!1 u r n0t 4 h4><0rz!!!"
everyone else "jeez, what a loser."

toungue in cheek:
friend 1 "oops i forgot to take off my caps lock"
friend 2 "OMGZ CAPS U 5|_|x n00b!!1one =)"
friend 1 "haha. gosh i must be a noob =p"
viết bởi JahBreeze 18 Tháng mười một, 2005
Photos & Videos
Hacker slang for "Elite" shortened to "LEET" from "31337" wich is actually "ELITE".
That is some l33t r00tin you h4x0r!
viết bởi Scott 28 Tháng tám, 2002
133t or |337 is an online language mostly used by computer geeks. it changes letters of words into numbers or characters that look the like the letter. for example.

"i am speaking leet" would be translated into "1 4m 5p34k1n6 |337", or in 'uber leet' "1 @|\/| $|*3@|<1|\|6 |33+"

uber leet is much more complicated and is used by leet ha><orz.
Bill: Leet speak is for geeks.

Geek: wh47 4r3 y0u 74|k1n6 4b0u7 n00b, |337 5p34k 15 7h3 c00|357 7h1n6 3v3r. 17 0wn5 4nd y0u 5uck. 1 4m 4 |337 h4x0r.
viết bởi M1k3 Hun7 03 Tháng tám, 2005
A language started by haxors

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

4 |3 C |) 3 |= 6 |-| 1 _| |< |_ |\/| || 0 |> Q |2 5 7 |_| \/ |/| >< `/ Z


EX) 1|= `/0|_| C4|| |234|) 7|-|15, `/0|_| |234|_|_`/ ||33|) 70 637 |_41|)

The above is l33t
viết bởi Infiniteres 26 Tháng tư, 2007
adj.- In gaming, a term to describe one with a great deal of skill, or to describe incredibly advanced technology. One who is l33t is the opposite of being a noob. L33tness is relative but usually comes with experience and skill (or upgraded hardware for better gaming speed and performance).
Dude, my computer is l33t! It has the newest graphics card and 5 gigabytes of RAM.

Haha! My l33tness will always pwn your noob ass.
viết bởi MrInsecure 15 Tháng năm, 2006
Meaning "Elite", which on the internet is spelled "31337". This was then shortened to "1337" or "l33t" and pronounced "Leet". A l33t is one who "pwns" (owns) "n00bs" (players who are bad at a particular game) all day long locked away in their dark room, perhaps hacking a mainframe or two. Closely associated with h4x0rz (hackers) that are good at what they do.
I am teh uber l33t h4x0r that will pwn all teh n00bs! w00t!
viết bởi David 11 Tháng mười, 2005
Form of language typically used by nerds, hackers, and people who game online. People who use this language usually think they are better than you, and are arrogant. However in reality, most of these people do not succeed in actually person to person interactions, which causes them to stay inside and online.
1 4m t3H 133T h4><04z! pH334 m3 n00bs!
viết bởi Buddy Guthrie 09 Tháng sáu, 2005

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