ownage: neologism?

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cuchuflete

Senior Member
EEUU-inglés
Background: Baseball game report on the internet, including a fans' glog, a game blog.
Of no particular importance is that this report and glog are appearing for the Yankees–Blue Jays game.
Context: Pretty much the same as the background. A Tampa Bay player, Mr. Longoria, has apparently driven in two runs against the Boston Red Sox. A Yankee or Blue Jays fan has seen the details, and writes the following comment:

Longoria has 27 RBI vs the Red Sox this year. Talk about ownage.
Let's translate that to baseball English: Mr. Longoria of the Tampa Bay team has 27 runs batted in when playing the Sox. Now comes the neologistic fun. When one athlete has great and sometimes prolonged success against another athlete or team, the former is said to "own" the opponent.

Questions: Has anyone ever seen this described as ownage before? Is this really new and wonderful and limited to CanE and AmE, or is it known elsewhere? Would you have understood it without all the background explanations?
 
  • xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I think of it as nerdy talk. I've heard "ownage" in the context of video games since... oh, heck, probably the late 90s.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (expletive) NO! But then again, sportstalk isn't really English.
    Amen to that - and SportsMath is just as bad, but there's no math forum :(

    I've been hearing ownage for a year or two now, but only in baseball but it took me only a short while to figure it out. As neologisms go, I actually quite like it - it has a subtle and useful distinction from "ownership" - but then I also like baseball :D

    It is younger than and therefore may be derivative of pwn; see related : pwnage (see pwn) at wiki and owned at wiki) and the movie Pure Pwnage
    Edit: I see xqby types faster then I do !
     

    Meyer Wolfsheim

    Senior Member
    English
    I'm not really sure what you'd call it, perhaps a very idiomatic expression, but I have used both the verb, etc. in that context since I was young and I best know it in the context of playing any game, whether it be sports or video ones.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Amen to that - and SportsMath is just as bad, but there's no math forum :(

    I've been hearing ownage for a year or two now, but only in baseball but it took me only a short while to figure it out. As neologisms go, I actually quite like it - it has a subtle and useful distinction from "ownership" - but then I also like baseball :D

    It is younger than and therefore may be derivative of pwn; see related : pwnage (see pwn) at wiki and owned at wiki) and the movie Pure Pwnage
    Edit: I see xqby types faster then I do !
    The Oxford English Dictionary has ownage as a noun, which it labels "rare," dating from 1576. It has two cites from 1576, one from 1633 and one from 2000. Here is the cite for the last:

    "2000 Orlando Sentinel (Nexis) 22 Apr. 1, I haven't read up on all the legislation appurtenant to the obligations and rights..of property ownage here in our little slice of paradise."

    It's also in Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon here, which makes that source a potentially interesting one to me!
     
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    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    This is definitely an internet culture thing, related to video or computer games in particular. I would know immediately what was meant by ownage, and I use the word in conversation aloud as well, but that's because I am fluent in gamerspeak. ;)

    An interesting sidenote is that I sometimes "catch" myself using gaming expressions in what we'd call "real life" situations, which can be embarrassing. The word ownage is one word I've caught myself using outside the appropriate context. Another is "Woot!" for "Yay!" or "Awesome!" (It's an initialism from We Owned the Other Team.)

    Edit: "pwn" is from "own" mistyped, so I'm not sure how "pwnage" can pre-date "ownage."
     

    Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    Xjm has put that very well. I am not much of a gamer, but so many of my friends are that I have come to frequently use the term. It is definitely very informal English and is to be avoided in any formal context, many may not even understand the term. "Own" as a verb is in common use amongst younger people to mean "beat very badly", perhaps where "thrash" or "destroy" would have been used before. Ownage is used as, I suppose it must be a noun, to mean "the act of owning, or beating very badly". "That's just ownage" is a phrase I commonly hear.

    With regards to pwn, at risk of being off-topic, the story goes that a very good "World of Warcraft" (a popular video game that has never appealed to me) player mis-typed own and, because of the prowess of this player, it is generally taken to be almost a superlative. "Pwnage" is beating even more badly than "ownage". I don't know much about baseball, but let's take football/soccer. A scoreline of 4-0 would be ownage, but 10-0 would be pwnage. Oh, and pwn is pronounced "pown" as in "own" with a "p" at the start.
     
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    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The word "pwnage" definitely pre-dates WoW, but I like your ownage/pwnage comparison. Sounds right to me!

    Note that some people pronounce pwn "pawn," which drives me nuts. Some also say "poon" (which I find especially problematic since it has other slang meanings). I definitely prefer "pown."
     

    TekMaster

    New Member
    London - English & Hindi, Punjabi, (Urdu)
    The word 'ownage' is derived from 'hacker' slang and used commonly in gaming circles, perhaps due to the overlap between the two.

    The concept of 'ownership', as suggested above, is not that far from the truth as the word was originally used to indicate a cracker's ownership of a network they had broken into, ownership being complete control as if they were the actual owners of the network. Since having your network taken over as such would constitute total defeat in the eyes of hackers, the word has come to mean any sort of complete defeat and as such it is used in contexts such as the above.

    I hope this helps!
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I... erm... have a close friend who plays an MMORPG (massively multi-player on-line role playing game) that is not WoW. When I first heard about "ownage" (not "ownership") and the intrasitive "owns" ("The two-handed dragon sword owns") I associated it with the "rules" of my adolesence.
    "The Stones rule!" means that the speaker thinks that they are the very best band.

    "The two-handed draggie owns" means that the speaker thinks that this is the very best weapon.
    The transitive "own" seems different to me, more like "beat definitively".
    "Don't even start. I'll own you, n00b."
    Ahem.

    That is my considered contribution on the subject (quoth Nunty, thrilled to actually know something about popular culture.)
     

    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Also very common is "owned" used as an interjection. The speaker does not have to be the one doing the owning. Here's one possible context, where Speaker A is recounting a game to Speaker B (who was not present):

    Speaker A: "They beat the other team 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Owned!"

    Speaker A: "We beat them 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Owned!"

    It also occurs the other way around:

    Speaker A: "They beat is 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Ouch, owned."

    We also use "ownage" as a synonym for great, powerful, or impressive:
    "That weapon is ownage!"

    Note that the word is not limited to game-specific contexts.

    • If I said something foolish, and someone criticized me thoroughly or publicly for it, I might say "I was owned."
    • "Katie Couric totally owned Palin."
    • In response to a video clip of an old lady smacking a rude teenager: "Haha, owned!"
    • "Python is so ownage. I can't believe I ever tried to program this in PHP." (Python and PHP are two different programming languages.)
    Edit: I just wish to note, these aren't hypothetical examples. Ahem.
     
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    Meyer Wolfsheim

    Senior Member
    English
    Also very common is "owned" used as an interjection. The speaker does not have to be the one doing the owning. Here's one possible context, where Speaker A is recounting a game to Speaker B (who was not present):

    Speaker A: "They beat the other team 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Owned!"

    Speaker A: "We beat them 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Owned!"

    It also occurs the other way around:

    Speaker A: "They beat is 12-0."
    Speaker B: "Ouch, owned."

    We also use "ownage" as a synonym for great, powerful, or impressive:
    "That weapon is ownage!":cross: Not in U.S. Northeast we don't; ownage is the act of owning; a weapon cannot be that.

    Note that the word is not limited to game-specific contexts.

    • If I said something foolish, and someone criticized me thoroughly or publicly for it, I might say "I was owned."
    • "Katie Couric totally owned Palin."
    • In response to a video clip of an old lady smacking a rude teenager: "Haha, owned!"
    • "Python is so ownage:cross:. I can't believe I ever tried to program this in PHP." (Python and PHP are two different programming languages.)
    Edit: I just wish to note, these aren't hypothetical examples. Ahem.
    To use 'to own' in its adjective form, it is preferable to use it as a verb, rather than say that weapon is ownage/owning, we say 'that weapon owns!' Or, perhaps a little far, the adjective form of 'to own' can be stretched to overpowered (op). (It's like saying something is red via a verb; it reds/reddens)

    That weapon is op!
     

    Saulfer

    New Member
    Spanish
    As other people said, that terms were basically created on the online gaming world, from late 90`until nowadays.
    If you are involved in some kind of online gaming, you have probably read that a lot, along with owned, own, pwn, owneage...

    In fact, that´s so much extended that you can read those things everyday even in non-english speaking communities like russian, italian, portuguese or (mine) spanish.

    It´s funny how the word "own" has reached spanish forums and chats, and even more, it´s used as a spanish verb so many people write:
    "owneado" (owned)
    "ownear" (to own)
    "Yo owneo" (I own)
    ...
     

    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    To use 'to own' in its adjective form, it is preferable to use it as a verb, rather than say that weapon is ownage/owning, we say 'that weapon owns!' Or, perhaps a little far, the adjective form of 'to own' can be stretched to overpowered (op). (It's like saying something is red via a verb; it reds/reddens)

    That weapon is op!
    It's a bit of a stretch to make a claim as to what is acceptable and what isn't with what is already a very nonstandard slang expression. Like I said, I'm not constructing hypothetical examples; these are things I have actually heard said--often--and they sound acceptable to me as well. It's definitely a metaphorical/playful extension of the word's use, but it is well attested. ;)

    Edit: "Ownage" as descriptor and "OP" have slightly different meanings to me.

    Also, probably doesn't have to do with being in the Northeast; more with what realm of internet/gaming subculture you hail from. Different WoW servers even have different usage patterns, I've noticed.

    Edit 2: To see just how well attested it is, google the quoted phrase "is so ownage." Examples on the first page: "My twill set is so ownage"; "My idea is so ownage"; etc.
     
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    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    "Own" has definitely bled out of the gaming world into non-gaming contexts, but usually among people who at least have some knowledge of video games.

    Consider. Persons A B and C are in a kitchen:

    Person A: "Man, you suck at making omelettes."
    Person B: "Shut up, your mom sucks at making omelettes."
    Person A: "Actually, for your information, my mom is a five-star restaurant professional chef, famous for her delicious omelettes. Read this review of her restaurant and her omelettes in this week's Tribune."
    Person C: "OWNED!"

    In this case there is still a social sort of game being played: who can out-wit whom. The one who outwits has owned the outwitted.

    I find this usage fairly common in my social circles.
     
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