I came across this word recently:


I found out that it means

a newbie or inexperienced.

What I also found out is that some websites have been referring to this word as a Internet slang. So is this word really a bit offensive? I am just curious.

  • 1
    I hope that you saw it defined as “newbie”, not “new bee” (though it may have been originally a corruption of ”new boy“). Nov 22, 2013 at 13:01
  • oh yes "newbie" definitely! my bad! Thanx for the edits!
    – Aritra B
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:03
  • or maybe noob is a shortage for no-objective?
    – Stano
    Dec 1, 2021 at 21:11

2 Answers 2


Slang is not inherently offensive. The term usually denotes non-standard linguistic innovations restricted to a particular speech community and used to mark one’s membership in that community.

Typically slang is the speech of young people—words and phrases which mark the user as ‘cool’ or ‘hip’, familiar with the currently most fashionable artistic and social trends. But every in-group has its own slang. In the grain-processing industry, for example, warehouse receipts and shipping certificates are both referred to colloquially as ‘tickets’.

Slang should be distinguished from jargon, which is the formal usages or terms of art peculiar to a particular professional group.

Noob or n00b (formed after boob, in the sense ‘stupid and unsophisticated person’) was coined in the direct-dial bulletin-board communities which preceded internet forums. As SF. says, it is deliberately derogatory, employed to distinguish novice participants from the established senior users, masters of the medium. But it was balanced by a corresponding non-derogatory slang term, l337 (= leet, ‘elite’), for the established users.

  • 3
    @abhatt Note that sometimes, people will refer to themselves as a "noob". For example, "Can you guys help me. I'm a noob at Javascript?" In this example, it isn't really being used as an insult, but instead just admitting they are new at something. It is generally much less harsh when used like that. It can be used in the same way against oneself though... for example, if a player in a game makes an obvious mistake, they may admit "I was a noob there." It is a subtle difference.
    – Gray
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:35
  • 1
    Often times, in team games, immature players will say something like "I hate having all these noobs on my team" to express their frustration when they are losing. Another example, with the singular "noob", would be: A player makes a mistake, then someone would type in chat or say over the microphone "Wow, what a noob" or "Uninstall [the game] noob." Often times, these "thoughts" are expressed with many expletives and use poor/lazy English. You generally don't want to emulate these people, they tend to be toxic and make games less fun for everyone. Let me know if that cleared things up.
    – Gray
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:49
  • 6
    @abhatt - "Stupid noob doesn't even know how to do that." That would be offensive. It always, always, ALWAYS depends on context. Even a noob knows that :^)
    – J.R.
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:50
  • 1
    Almost any word can run the range from gross insult to neutral description to affectionate to praise, depending on how it is used. If you're screaming it at someone while you berate him for a mistake, it's an insult. The very same word said while patting someone on the back and telling all present that he's your best friend would have a very different meaning. And some words -- like "noob" -- are neutral enough that they easily run this gamut. "You f---in noob, you deleted all my files!" is surely an insult. "Would you help Bob out? He's a noob here" is pretty neutral.
    – Jay
    Nov 22, 2013 at 19:10
  • 1
    I saw newbie for years before noob, and I still see newb sometimes. This seems like a more likely origin to me than boob.
    – user230
    Nov 23, 2013 at 1:27

It's slang and derogatory. The non-slang, milder version is "newbie".

"Noob" doesn't have to be applied to a player who's new to a game - but to one who makes newcomer's mistakes. Choosing tactics that is known to fail, failure to secure essential resources, generally failing stupid mistakes any experienced player knows not to make is known as "noob mistakes" and anyone who makes them, earns the moniker of "noob". Of course assigning this name to a seasoned player will be seen as quite insulting, especially if they didn't make any of these mistakes.


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