After my previous list "The Top 10 Origins of Popular Gaming Slang" was published, I received a lot of feedback asking for a follow up. Well, your feedback has been heard, and so I present to you 10 more popular idioms and sayings that gamers use with The Top 10 Origins of Popular Gaming Slang - Part 2! If your favourite terms and phrases were not covered in the previous list, hopefully you'll find them here. Again I've put a decent amount of research and work into this so I hope you enjoy it.

If you haven't yet, check out the original list in the top 10 list archive before reading this one.

As with the previous list, I've tried to avoid the use of game specific jargon and keep the terms as general as possible, and restricted it to one slang term per game in order to have 10 unique games on the list.

In gaming circles, it's popular to say a player has gone into beast mode if they are playing incredibly well and creaming their competition. It's meant to imply that they have transformed into a powerful beast that can not be stopped; that the player has entered into some kind of primal mindset that has a relentless thirst for their opponent's blood...or at the very least a victory.

Back in the mid 90's, there were "Transformers" spin-off comics and a TV show called "Beast Wars" that featured the Transformers transforming not into vehicles, but into animals, and when they transformed into their animal form it was known as beast mode. This is often cited as a possible origin of the term. Predating "Beast Wars" though, video games once again reign supreme as Altered Beast was released in the arcades in 1988. This well known and beloved classic side scrolling beat 'em up featured the playable character being able to gradually power up and transform into a beast with super abilities as they progressed through the game's levels. Each level had a different beast to morph into, including a werewolf, weredragon, werebear and weretiger, that then allowed you to tackle the level's boss. This is most likely where the term beast mode originated, especially in the context of video games.

In recent times, the Bloody Roar series of fighting games have also contributed to keeping the term relevant, as each character in these games has an alternate beast form they can transform into during a fight.

Going Super Saiyan is another common phrase that basically means the same thing as going into beast mode which obviously originates from "Dragon Ball Z".

#9: "Gibs"

Gibs is a shorthand form of the word "giblets", and is used to describe bits of body parts that are produced when someone dies in a video game, usually as a result of an explosion of some kind. In recent times, it can also be referred to what happens if you use an item or weapon that allows you to teleport, and you manage to teleport on top of an opponent, causing an instant kill called an insta-gib or telefrag.

The earliest game that seemed to have a feature like this was the 1988 arcade side scrolling shooter Narc, where if you hit an enemy with a rocket launcher they would explode into pieces. Some years later, Doom would also feature gibs if you destroyed an enemy with an explosive weapon that left their corpse as a pile of goo on the ground. However, 1994's Rise of the Triad came along and raised the bar significantly, as it was the first game to make the gibs fly through the air in all directions, even printing the phrase "Ludicrous gibs!" on the screen as it did so. This in all likelihood was a gamer's first exposure to the word gibs.

In an interview with IGN in 2013, Wolfenstein and Doom co-creator John Romero credits Adrian Carmack (no relation to John Carmack), a former artist at id Software, as the man who first used and coined the word gibs.

Since the invention of ragdoll physics we've seen less emphasis on gibs, but they are slowly making a comeback as developers figure out new ways to make bodies break apart into little pieces.

Theorycrafting means to analyse all of the raw numbers in the game to make theories and assumptions, without playing the game itself to see if they work in practice. It's usually applied to competitive games that have all of the raw numbers either readily available or easily obtained. The term is also sometimes used to describe someone who is making assumptions and theories without even looking at the numbers.

Most sources point to the Starcraft community as the origin of theorycrafting, said to be an amalgamation of the words "Starcraft" and "Game Theory". And while the word theorycraft may be specific to video games, the idea itself of analysing game data has been common in games such as Chess for hundreds of years.

Theorycrafting is considered fairly important if you are serious about playing a game at a competitive level, as learning exact DPS (damage per second) values or frame data or whatever the case may be is useful knowledge. However nothing replaces actual playing experience, so anyone that plays these games competitively knows they need to actually test, experiment and verify their ideas that they came up with while theorycrafting in the actual game.

Buff and Nerf are listed in this entry together because they go hand in hand like bees and honey. You can't have one without the other!

Buff means to strengthen something in some way. The term derives from its meaning outside of games that generally means (for a male) to be attractive and well built. It can also be used as another word for "polish", which again has the general meaning of looking better or more attractive. It was first applied to games in early MMORPGs like Ultima Online. Back then it was generally used to describe powering up your character by casting spells or consuming items (it is in reality still used in this context in many games). The usage of the term has naturally evolved into describing the act of strengthening something in a game that is intentionally done by the developers in a patch for the sake of balance. It's most commonly seen in competitive games like MOBAs, RTS and fighting games.

Nerf is the opposite of buff. Nerf means to weaken something in some way. Originally, in games like Ultima Online this was called a deBuff (and sometimes still is) but now is more commonly called a nerf. And yes, you are right in what you may be thinking - the term is derived from the popular brand of toy guns because the ammo they fire is soft and designed to not cause injury. Like buff, the term is used to describe deliberate balance decisions that developers make in patches to competitive games.

#6: "Camp"

Outside of video games, camping is usually portrayed as a fun past time...sleeping under the stars, cooking marshmallows over an open fire and singing songs. In video games however, camping has a negative connotation to it. It refers to the practice, usually in online first person shooters, of a player sitting in a strategic spot on the map and not moving much, in order to score easier kills or instantly grab weapons and other pickups as soon as they respawn. Sometimes they might wait at a known player spawn location so they can instantly kill a player that's only just respawned (referred to as spawn camping). This playstyle is generally strongly discouraged by the majority of gamers, but you're always going to find campers in any such game.

Camping has been around pretty much as long as multiplayer shooters have been around - the tactic most probably originated in Doom. However due to how that game's mechanics worked it wasn't generally all that effective, so nobody really cared much. The game that really cemented the tactic and created the negative vibe about it was almost definitely Quake. In Quake, weapon and power-up respawns were pretty frequent, so players could very effectively stay put in a certain section of the map and wait for opponents to come to them.

The term is still used in modern first person shooters such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series and it still means the same thing - although in the context of those games it's often referencing a player that is using a sniper rifle to get kills from a long distance away.

Most gamers should know what RNG means - it's an acronym for "Random Number Generator", and is generally used to describe events in video games that are...well...random. Computers can't actually simply generate a random number out of the blue though so most RNG is calculated with an algorithm that's usually based off some kind of internal timer (making the numbers "pseudo-random"). RNG can take many forms, from random item drops to determining when critical hits happen to enemy spawns.

The existence of RNG in games caused gamers to coin the term RNGesus, who is a fictional deity that is said to control what numbers the game decides to spit out. If you anger it, then RNG will not be kind to you, but if you please it, the RNG will be favourable to you...at least according to gamer folklore. Nobody really knows exactly how to achieve either of those options though.

The term RNGesus seems to trace back to a couple of games called NetHack and Angband, released in the late 80's, according to TVTropes. Both of these games are roguelike RPGs that possess random elements such as dungeon generation (a concept that was later used by many games, including Diablo) and unforgiving deaths. Being open source, both games have been continually updated and ported to many platforms by their communities over the years. The players of these games invented the term RNGesus (started by Angband's players and spread by NetHack's), and have tried many ways to please the "random number god", but often end up cursing him instead.

#4: "QQ"

I was surprised to discover that there is a lot of argument on the internet in regards to what QQ even means, let alone where it started. There are two main common beliefs for the usage of QQ:

1. It started being used on bulletin boards and Usenet groups before the modern web even existed, and has since been used as an emoticon to represent crying eyes by gamers and general internet users alike, hence phrases like "QQ moar" and "Less QQ moar pew pew". It's aimed at players who are whining or complaining about a game, effectively calling them crybabies.
2. It started becoming prominent in early Blizzard games, most notably Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition as an insult or a taunt about an opponent's skill. This was because the shortcut key combination to quit the game was alt+Q+Q, so by telling someone to QQ, you were telling them that they were bad and should quit the game.

As you can see, both of these uses of QQ mean two very different things that are not interchangeable. If you use it, the other party could easily be confused if they misconstrue the meaning you were intending. One originates from a video game and the other doesn't. Generally speaking, the first definition seems to be more common in modern game culture, but that doesn't invalidate the second definition. Having said that though, if you throw out a QQ in 2016, it will likely be interpreted by most players as the crying eyes, regardless of whether this was the original meaning.

Git Gud is a phrase commonly uttered by gamers these days, and is a corruption of "Get Good". It's usually used in the context of someone seeking help (not even necessarily complaining) about a game being too hard in a single player sense (eg Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy) or a multiplayer sense (Starcraft II, League of Legends). If someone on online forums, chat programs or within the games themselves says that a game is too difficult or they can't win, a standard, somewhat smartarse response by more experienced players that aren't really interested in helping and just want to troll is to "Git Gud".

Who has run across this scenario before?

"Hey guys I need some help beating [insert boss here]"
"LOL git gud scrub"

I'd say the majority of you.

Demon's Souls was released in 2009, and given this game's infamous difficulty you may be forgiven for believing that this must have been where git gud was first used. However, from what I've been able to determine, the phrase wasn't actually started by the Demon's Souls community. The earliest use of this term seems to point to 2009's Metal Gear Online, which makes it one of the youngest terms on either of these two lists. The community playing this game apparently invented the corruption...whether it was accidental (via typos) or deliberate we can't be entirely sure. So it seems we have a minority of players of Metal Gear Online to thank for this rather toxic response to someone seeking assistance that ultimately doesn't help any game's community.

#2: "Rekt"

As I mentioned in my previous list, the word rekt has risen to prominence recently and has seemingly usurped the word pwned for the most part. Rekt is a derivative of "wrecked", and basically means the same thing as pwned - that is, a dominating victory. "You got rekt", "You rekt me" and "Get rekt" are common usage examples.

The origin of the word, even its corrupted form, dates back before video games used it and was generally used to tell someone via SMS that you were very inebriated, according to Urban Dictionary.

Gaming seemed to pick it up around 2012 when the Mists of Pandaria expansion hit World of Warcraft. Someone on the game's forums started using it, and then it propagated around the world wide web from there after being posted on Twitter, where it was then picked up by 4chan and reddit, and from there the internet did the rest. Popular esports casters such as "Artosis" and "Nathanias" have also helped to promote the usage of the word by using it when commentating.

When rekt is simply not adequate enough to describe the enormousness of the domination, there are several popular variations out there on the web, including Tyrannosaurus Rekt and Shrekt.

Of all of the slang terms I was asked to cover in part 2 of this list, salty was easily the one with the most requests, so I couldn't put it anywhere else except for the number 1 spot! When a player is upset, bitter or angry at what happens in a game (for any reason really, though is most commonly applied after losing at competitive fighting games) they are said to be salty.

Interestingly, the usage of the word salty in this type of context goes back a LONG way before video games were even invented. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that it was a U.S. slang term in 1938 that meant "angry" or "irritated". It's only relatively recently that we've seen a resurgence of the usage of the term (although hip hop songs used it reasonably often in the 90's), and it's all thanks to video games!

As for what game's community actually started using it prominently first, or what community made it popular, that was very hard to track down. Keeping in mind the word having this meaning is NOT new, it seems like it was Street Fighter IV where the word was reinvigorated. There was a rumour that it started when pro player "Gootecks" threw his fight stick at a tournament, but this has been proven to have never happened (so stop spreading that rumour). It's far more likely that salty probably just started seeing widespread use as the game was very popular on streams when services like Twitch.tv were in their infancy, and a player or players that grew up in those specific areas of the U.S. that historically used the word started saying it on stream.

Salty is now used in just about every competitive fighting game community worldwide, including Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom, Tekken and especially Super Smash Bros. and is often seen in many other game genres too.

So that's it, The Top 10 Origins of Popular Gaming Slang - Part 2! Hopefully now, between these two lists, I've covered almost all of the popular general slang terms you've wanted me to cover. However, if I still haven't quite covered your favourite, please let me know! I always add this disclaimer to my lists that I know I've probably still missed some stuff you think should have been deserving to make either of these two lists. I'm open, so send me feedback or have a conversation on the forums. I will say though that most terms now that I haven't covered are either game specific, or don't actually have an origin that can be traced back to a video game.

I hope you found these two lists educational, and even if you knew all of this already, you were at least entertained.

Thanks for reading!


List by White_Pointer
(04/21/2016)

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Gamer since the early 80s, content creator, musician, writer. Professional in the video game and home entertainment industry for almost two decades. My YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/c/WhitePointerGaming
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