What does 1337 mean?
Yesterday I got this WordPress badge. I didn’t know what 1337 meant, so I did a little research. My first stop was the Urban Dictionary. Here’s its top definition:
Hacker “Sp33k” for leet, or elite. Originating from 31337 “eleet”, the UDP port used by Dead Cow Cult, a hacker group, to access Windows 95 using Back Orifice, a notorious hacking program
I’m not sure I totally understood all that, so I kept on looking.
My second stop was Wikipedia, where I read a lot of technical stuff and, to be honest, most of it was also out of my realm. Here’s my version of a basic definition:
1337 is an internet language. It uses ASCII characters instead of letters from the English alphabet. It’s also known as “eleet” or “leetspeak.” Can you see the word “leet” in 1337?
The leet language came about during the 1980s, when gamers and computer users who had elite status could visit special games, chat rooms and folders on bulletin board systems. A bulletin board system (BBS) is a computer server that runs software and was an early version of the internet. Users could download software, read news and exchange messages with other users. Leetspeak is believed to be originally used by hackers who used deliberate misspellings to avoid filters.
Since then, the term has become much more widely used and is a symbol of achievement. WordPress uses this cool way to congratulate bloggers. Nice!
Are you familiar with 1337? Did I get the definition right? Have you received a badge like this? It has taken me two years to accumulate 1337 likes and I’m glad for every one of them!
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