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to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:35 pm
by Phil White
"Watch the moment Emmanuel Macron totally owned Donald Trump"

I've been coming across this use of "own" a lot recently on political blogs and so on. As far as I am concerned, it has sprung up from nowhere in the past few months, at least in the UK.

As far as I can judge, it was around in the form "to get owned" before it made the leap to an active transitive verb "to own somebody".

A little research tells me that it has been around in the States for at least 5 years or so, certainly in the form "get owned".

As I say, I am not really aware of it being around in the UK for all that long, but I don't really do social media, so I am slow on the uptake.

It clearly means to "dominate" or even "take someone apart".

What do the other greybeards here think?

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:29 pm
by trolley
It must have taken an awfully slow boat from the new world... or perhaps, gone the long way around. It's been used around here for the past ten or fifteen years. Here's an interesting Wiki piece...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owned.
I would never have guessed the origin as it's explained here.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:41 pm
by Phil White
Thanks for the link, trolley. Interesting.

The techie use of "take ownership of (a site/server)" rings bells and is unsurprising, but the current usage of "dominate" or "humiliate" another person is entirely new and unfamiliar to me. Perhaps I am just reading blogs that I wouldn't have done a few years ago.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:54 pm
by tony h
I have heard it for a few years in the sense of "taken control of someone/something" in a way that the person is not happy with.

The original computer hacker expression is to take control of a system such that the legitimate owners were unable to expel them. It is occasionally total control over the system or, more usually, just gaining free access to the system and being able to avoid entirely being detected or run rings rounds the security.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:16 pm
by trolley
I don’t know why it continues to surprise me, given that it continues to happen. I’ll hear a new word or phrase and, from the context, understand what it means. I make a reasonable assumption about its origin and never bother to verify it until someone else brings it up. I was sure that one had its roots in slavery. It’s hard to imagine a more humiliating domination than being owned like chattel.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:20 pm
by Phil White
Try working for Uber.

Oh, that is slavery. Sorry.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:33 am
by CedrickKe
A synonym to "owned" could also be "pwned" It's pretty much when you get the better of someone and feel like rubbing it in their face.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:57 pm
by BonnieL
CedrickKe wrote:A synonym to "owned" could also be "pwned" It's pretty much when you get the better of someone and feel like rubbing it in their face.
I've never understood that one. Is it short for "pawned" or does the "p" mean something else?

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:39 pm
by tony h
@CedrickKe I have the same question as Bonniel; other than I hadn't heard it before.
BonnieL wrote:
CedrickKe wrote:A synonym to "owned" could also be "pwned" It's pretty much when you get the better of someone and feel like rubbing it in their face.
I've never understood that one. Is it short for "pawned" or does the "p" mean something else?

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:19 pm
by Erik_Kowal
Urbandictionary's 'top definition' for the term pwned states:
A corruption of the word "Owned." This originated in an online game called Warcraft, where a map designer misspelled "owned." When the computer beat a player, it was supposed to say, so-and-so "has been owned."

Instead, it said, so-and-so "has been pwned."

It basically means "to own" or to be dominated by an opponent or situation, especially by some god-like or computer-like force.
I don't know how accurate this account is, because no citations are supplied to back it up.

Contributors to Urbandictionary have suggested a variety of derivations, but the typo-based theory figures fairly prominently among them. (I think it's pretty plausible, but that's just my opinion.)

One of them describes the particular appeal of pwned thus:
Unlike silly misspellings like teh, the reason why "pwned" became popular, is because it looks and sounds good.

If you look at the phonetics of the original, owned, it has a very round, relaxed sound to it. The sharper "pwned", however, is fast and furious, like the cracking of a whip, the firing of a silenced gun, or a motherfucking laser weapon.

PEW! PEW! ... pwned.

Because of it's explosive sound, "pwned" will mainly be used where someone is defeated or humiliated in a very sudden and convincing manner. The slower, more elaborate "owned" will more oftenly describe domination over time.

"pwned" is a very good word. It's phonetic similarity to fast, impressive finishes seems well suited to videogames. Because the word sounds like what it does, it will probably stay with us for a long time.
('More oftenly'.... Well, why not?) :wink:

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:16 pm
by trolley
"The sharper "pwned", however, is fast and furious...Because of it's explosive sound". Seriously, am I the only one who doesn't know how to pronounce this?

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:11 pm
by tony h
trolley wrote:"The sharper "pwned", however, is fast and furious...Because of it's explosive sound". Seriously, am I the only one who doesn't know how to pronounce this?
No, but I assume Erik quote of "PEW! PEW! ... pwned" is the explanation of the pronunciation and. as it is Erik, it must be the right way! Rather like the noise we used to make to emulate a gunshot ricochet when playing cowboys and Indians in the 1960s.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:41 pm
by Bobinwales
As you may know "w" in Welsh is a vowel, so "pwned" would be pronounced poo-NED in the Language of Heaven.

Re: to own somebody

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:09 pm
by Phil White
Bobinwales wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:41 pm
As you may know "w" in Welsh is a vowel, so "pwned" would be pronounced poo-NED in the Language of Heaven.
Which is actually how I read it when I first saw it.

Thanks one and all who contributed. I was a little busy over the past couple of weeks, so I never really got back to this post.