Owned is a slang word that originated among 1990s hackers, where it referred to "rooting" or gaining administrative control over someone else's computer.
The term's original usage was close to that of the traditional meaning of the word own – for instance, "I owned the network at MIT" indicated that the speaker had cracked the servers and had the same root-level privileges that the legitimate owner of the servers had. Some more examples are "I owned you" and "You got owned". Owned, a later variant, became more common in the late 1990s, as did the more abstract usage referring to any compromised security mechanism. By 1997, owned was regularly used in website defacements, and it subsequently spread to gaming circles, where it was used to refer to defeat in a game. For example, if a player makes a particularly impressive kill shot or wins a match by an appreciable margin in a multiplayer video game, it is not uncommon for him or her to say owned to the loser(s), as a manifestation of victory, a taunt, or provocation. Ownage has become a modern equivalent to a "Turkey shoot," such as an experienced faction versus a beginner or disadvantaged faction. In slang form, owned is the adjective (He is owned) owning is the verb (He is totally owning some ass) and ownage is the noun (Did you see that ownage?).
Owned has now spread beyond computer and gaming contexts and become part of standard slang, and typically follows severe defeat or humiliation, usually in an amusing way or through the dominance of an opposing party. Other variations of the word owned include own3d, 0wn3d, pwned, and pooned, terms which incorporate elements of leetspeak.
In 2009, Newgrounds described a security vulnerability in ActiveX as leaving Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server users open to a "Browse-And-Get-Owned" attack.
Famous quotes containing the word owned:
“The only free road, the Underground Railroad, is owned and managed by the Vigilant Committee. They have tunneled under the whole breadth of the land.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Speak as you think, be what you are, pay your debts of all kinds. I prefer to be owned as sound and solvent, and my word as good as my bond, and to be what cannot be skipped, or dissipated, or undermined, to all the eclat in the universe. This reality is the foundation of friendship, religion, poetry, and art.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“I was a closet pacifier advocate. So were most of my friends. Unknown to our mothers, we owned thirty or forty of those little suckers that were placed strategically around the house so a cry could be silenced in less than thirty seconds. Even though bottles were boiled, rooms disinfected, and germs fought one on one, no one seemed to care where the pacifier had been.”
—Erma Bombeck (20th century)