Numbers as letters

leet t shirt

Leet in action.

You are most likely familiar with numbers being used to implicate letters, phrases or even symbols. In SMS (txting) shortcuts, for instance, 2 can also be used for “to”, 4 can mean “for” and the 8 spells “eat” in gr8, meaning great. This is called SMSish or textese or simply SMS language.

When numbers instead of letters are used to spell a whole word it is called leet – which, in leet, is written as 1337. Another example is n00b, a term for newbie. Andsoforth.

Leet originated in the 1980s in relay chat services and on bulletin boards. If you look at it for the first time it might seem difficult to understand but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will catch it. Train your brain with this example of leet…

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