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weenie

Contributor(s): Elizabeth Holland Kern

1) On bullet board systems ( BBS ) and in Internet chatting groups, a weenie is an avid but immature participant who disrupts orderly conversation. According to cyberlorist Eric Raymond, a weenie is "typically, a teenage boy with poor social skills traveling under a grandiose handle derived from fantasy or heavy-metal rock lyrics" whose contributions are liable to consist of "marginally literate and profanity-laden flaming ..."

2) In the context of program development and among the "hackerdom" that Raymond chronicles, the term weenie can be ascribed respectfully to someone who is highly knowledgeable, intensely committed to, or even just employed on a particular endeavor or in a particular operating system culture. For example, a "UNIX weenie" may mean someone who is an expert at using or modifying UNIX . But, depending on the context, it could also mean a "UNIX bigot."

3) In the popular game, Quake (and its multiplayer Internet version, QuakeWorld), a weenie is an embarrassingly new player who is usually quickly "destroyed" in some horrible way. All new Quake players apparently qualify as weenies.

This was last updated in April 2005

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