133T Speak

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What Does 133T Speak Mean?

133t speak is a language born on the Internet that uses ASCII characters to replace letters of the English language. It is a unique, made-up language that cannot be spoken aloud or successfully handwritten. There is no limit as to how the letters are formed, as long as they are somewhat distinguishable from those that understand the language.

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133t speak originated in the 1980s with computer hackers who did want people "listening in" on their discussions about hacking and cracking.

This language also may be referred to as LEET or LEET speak.

Techopedia Explains 133T Speak

133t speak originated with hackers and gamers in message boards and chat rooms. Because they did not want other people to get involved in the topics that they were discussing, they devised a way to defeat text filters at a time when people searched for topics on message boards.

They did this by substituting symbols and numbers for letters of the alphabet. This worked because Internet users used exact words to search for items through a text filter. Therefore, if topics and words used in a discussion were spelled in code, no one would be able to find those discussions unless they knew the 133t language. At the time, knowledge of 133t was limited to only a few elite computer literates. As a result, 133t was also called LEET, which is a shortened form of the word "elite" and is also what the characters 133t spell out in this code.

Although there are no specific rules for 133t speak, there are conventions. For example, vowels are usually replaced with numbers. The rule is that as long as the number resembles the intended letter, it is acceptable.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.