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In the Super Smash Bros. series, "gimping" is the practice of stopping an opponent from recovering back to the stage, usually by grabbing the ledge before them or just going out and hitting them. However, I'm curious... where did the term actually come from? Was it named after a player who practiced it, similar to planking? Or is it something else entirely?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The term 'gimp' is a sometimes-derogatory term for one who is crippled; a gimp. When a player uses the techniques you've described, they're effectively crippling their opponent, by removing their ability to recover. In the same vein, it could also be related to the fact that in this scenario, the player trying to make the recovery has a 'handicap' (or is crippled) when compared to the other player, who is effectively in control of the situation.

In this particular context, the removal of the recovering player's ability to grab the edge is the 'gimp'.

In both of these variances, the player is control is able to use certain techniques as a means of 'crippling', or 'gimping' their opponent.


This is all absolutely speculation, but it didn't feel right as a comment.

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OED: gimp, n.4. Pronunciation: /gɪmp/ Etymology: Origin uncertain; perhaps a corruption of gammy. slang (orig. U.S.). A lame person, a cripple; a lame leg; a limp. Also as v., to limp, hobble (1961 in Webster). –  fredley May 29 '11 at 19:21
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Urban dictionary sadly doesn't provide much information. –  fredley May 29 '11 at 19:23
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And likewise, a "gimped" character is a character considered unusable for competitive play, due to inherent weaknesses. –  Raven Dreamer May 29 '11 at 19:28
    
Sounds reasonable enough to me. If there's no contradicting answer within a couple days I'll accept it. –  Nicholas1024 May 30 '11 at 1:37
    
I think Pulp Fiction popularized the term. –  Synetech Dec 17 '11 at 21:14
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