Merriam-Webster, the dictionary publisher, awarded “w00t” with the title of word of the year. The word, which is typically spelled with two zeros in the middle, is the equivalent of “yay.” It’s an expression of joy. The origin of the word is debated – some say it’s derived from a sound made in the game Quake III. Others say it came from Dungeons and Dragons, and is shorthand for “Wow, loot!” Still others attribute it to hackers, calling it code for root access to a computer.

Regardless, it’s one of a host of new alphanumeric words that have popped out of our text-messaging and game-loving culture.—Gregory Mone