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The definite origin of w00t is unknown. One theory claims that usage of this term dates back to the mid-1990s, when it was probably derived from the alternative spellings of whoomp and whoot. These spellings are variously used in the phrases, "Whoomp, there it is," or "Whoot, there it is" from two songs in 1993 from rap groups Tag Team and 95 South, respectively. In those songs, the phrase is used exclusively for identifying voluptuous female buttocks. This is analogous to another derivation from urban African-American music scenes to mainstream, White American culture, namely rock and roll. Another possibility is that it came from the vocalization made by the player in games of the Quake series when a jump is performed; however, as Quake was only first released in 1996, this etymology probably only furthered the popularity of the existing term. Another derives from root, the traditional username for the administrator on a UNIX machine: it might be an abbreviation of "Woohoo! I just h4x0r3d [hacked] your box [computer] and got r00t!", or some such. Others have theorized the term is an acronym for "We Owned the Other Team," or that "w00t" finds its origin in the sounds of a jubilant Daffy Duck.
w00t itself was first seen in 1994. The expression rose in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s to reach general usage and understanding.

w00t is pronounced as if it were "woot", and can also be written thus, or even w00+. It has also been argued that "w00t!" is the only 'proper' spelling, though given the nature of the word, there can be no real correct spelling. The symbolic approximation of Latin letter forms makes w00t a prime example of leet.

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