5 Secret Languages that Stuck it to the Man – Deleted Content.

If you found this site due to the link at the end of my recent Cracked article with Charlotte Coville, here are some entries that didn’t make the cut. Enjoy.

Leet Speak.

If you’ve spent any time whatsoever on the internet you’ve seen some form of leet speak, chances are though you’ve only seen a shadow of its former self. Lol, wtf, pwned and the countless derivatives are all off shoots of a language that was once used to stick it to the man in his stupid face, a language that’s now been confined to the comments of Justin Beiber videos on YouTube. Oh how the mighty have fallen.


Rumour has it he sheds a tear for every dislike his videos get.

Image from here: http://www.showbiz411.com/2012/06/25/justin-bieber-believe-cd-numbers-lower-than-expected-amazon-selling-it-for-4-99

The actual origins of Leet speak are tough to pinpoint, but since it’s home is the internet many believe it was used the same way the rest of internet is. To traffic oodles of porn right under people’s noses.

How did they do it?

Back in the very early days of the internet, we’re talking pre Facebook and Myspace days here, online messaging was confined to online bulletin boards or BBS. Now if you’re old enough to remember how shitty internet connections used to be you’ll know that everything took an age to do. As such it was in people’s best interest to shorten words, so “hello” became hi, “please” became pls and “the previous message was pleasing to me” became :)


Now how best to show that I have my wang out under this desk.

Image from here: http://cutcaster.com/photo/100869548-Young-professional-using-a-computer-with-colleagues-at-the-back/

But it was mans love for titties that saw leet evolve into a bona fida language. When BBS admins tried to prevent people from sending porn or illegal software, users started intentionally misspelling the word porn, because boobs trump all other needs. Now admins weren’t stupid either, so it didn’t take long until they started blocking or filtering out the misspellings too, leading to an arms race of sorts where users were constantly trying to one up each other to create the most bastardized version of the English language possible, the result, was leet.


A thousand grammar Nazis died to make this happen.

In fact Leet is far removed from English that it’s arguably, become it’s own language worthy of study. You can use this English to Leet translator if you don’t believe how ridiculous it can get, because, that shit is cray cray.

At 10% leetness “Cracked has a Twitter, check that shit!” becomes “Crack3d has a Twitt3r, ch3ck that shit!” Which isn’t so bad, you can still read that. Let’s crank it up to 50% leetness eh? “(r4(|{3Ð h4$ 4 7w1773r, (h3(|{ 7h47 $h17!” Wow, 50% that doesn’t even look like words, what does 100% look like, oh Jesus no. “(®4(|{3Ð |-|4$ 4 7\/\/1773®, (|-|3(|{ 7|-|47 $|-|17!

Did someone have a seizure while typing or did they just try to press as many buttons as fast and hard as they can without stopping. People were actually able to read that? Damn, it’s no wonder it was used to circumvent early search engines, we literally spend our lives on the internet and that’s more undecipherable than the ingredients on a bottle of  Chinese aspirin. Rock on early 80′s computer nerds, without you so many teenagers would have missed out on heavily pixelated boobs, thank you.

-

Rhyming slang and Thieves Cant.

If you’ve ever seen a movie with British people in it, you’re probably aware that they speak a little, weird. If you don’t think so, we’ll let this clip from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels serve as our example.


This is apparently how they say hello.

Image from here: http://cinemasights.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/lock-stock-and-two-smoking-barrels-1999/

The weird accent you hear, the one that’s so indecipherable it needs fucking subtitles is known as Cockney slang, which quite fittingly, was supposedly used by criminals of old to talk openly about crimes while in the presence of police.

How did they do it?

Rhyming slang works by replacing words in a given sentence with similar sounding words, for example you can replace the word years with donkey ears, however you’d shorten this down to say something like “I haven’t seen you in donkeys, not since you porked my wife you arsehole“. Confused, don’t feel too bad, half the people in London AKA, where it fucking comes from don’t understand it anymore either. The end result is an English language hybrid that’s almost impossible for outsiders to understand, hence why it’s believed it could have been used to hide illicit activities from the police.


Pregnant women can pee in one of their hats if they want to, seriously.

Image from here: http://www.fxha.com/Gallery07.htm

The thing is though, the seedy origins of Rhyming slang are contested, with many arguing that it wasn’t invented specifically to evade the police, however there was a similar language that was, we know because it’s making a comeback.

Thieves’ Cant was used by criminals, pickpockets and beggars as a way for them to communicate without the police catching wind of their shenanigans. Like rhyming slang it worked by replacing certain words with other words, for example “to snaffle” meant “to rob the shit out of someone” Like Cockney the end result was a hybrid language so hard to understand it became its own language in of itself, with Gypsy thieves having a cant word for everything, thus allowing them to openly speak about anything they damn well pleased.


So it’s decided, Jason is going to play as Maya in Borderlands 2, right?

Image from here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Lock-Stock-and-Two-Smoking-Barrels-Blu-ray/7308/

Cant and rhyming slang were actually so prominent that some of the words they used bled into our modern lexicon, well, English people’s lexicon anyway. We’ll let Austin Powersshow you, since it’s starting to hurt our heads how often films use the English people need subtitles to be understood bit.

-
Thank for reading!

2 thoughts on “5 Secret Languages that Stuck it to the Man – Deleted Content.

  1. Seriously impressed, where do you get your ideas for all your content? One second you’re writing about a shooting Hitler in the balls in Sniper Elite and in the next you’re Talking about how math solved some of life’s challenges.

  2. All your stuff is fun to read, however, young sir, yer history is a little skewed. While email with attachments certainly preceded FB, etc., back in the the hey-day of the BBS there were no cute inline, color graphical emoticons such as that with which you end the third paragraph above. And the whole “pls,” “thx,” shortening thing really came to the fore with texting on cellular telephones and chat room use in the successor age of the Web. Leet Speak iterated from *youth* usage of such systems but long before that, BBS users were employing their own euphemisms & jargon like any other social group. A BBS utilized the original telecom infrastructure (kinda server-less, more point-to-point), while them as developed leet sloughed onto the stage as World Wide Web technology came into popular use, later.

    Thanks for all the therapeutic* articles!
    (*funny)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s