I know this is a dumb question, but what exactly does the term Leet or 1337 mean and where did it originate?

  • 3
    This reminds me of this question. While we will accept questions of such basic terms, don't expect it to be very well received.
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 21:22
  • On the plus side, this page is the first result when googling "What does 1337 mean?"
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


Leet (or "1337"), also known as eleet or leetspeak, is an alternative alphabet for the English language that is used primarily on the Internet. It uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace Latinate letters. For example, leet spellings of the word leet include 1337 and l33t; eleet may be spelled 31337 or 3l33t. The term leet is derived from the word elite. The leet alphabet is a specialized form of symbolic writing.

Leet originated within bulletin board systems (BBS) in the 1980s, where having "elite" status on a BBS allowed a user access to file folders, games, and special chat rooms.

Taken from the Wikipedia page for LEET


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