The Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective has been credited with the original coining of the term, in their text-files of that era.
One theory is that it was developed to defeat text filters created by BBS or Internet Relay Chat system operators for message boards to discourage the discussion of forbidden topics, like cracking and hacking.
Attested derivations are pwnage, skillage, and speakage.However, leet provides exceptions; the word leetage is acceptable, referring to actively being leet.Some consider emoticons and ASCII art, like smiley faces, to be leet, while others maintain that leet consists of only symbolic word encryption.More obscure forms of leet, involving the use of symbol combinations and almost no letters or numbers, continue to be used for its original purpose of encrypted communication. Variants of leet have been used for censorship purposes for many years; for instance "@$$" (ass) and "$#!In particular, speakers of leet are fond of verbing nouns, turning verbs into nouns (and back again) as forms of emphasis, e.g. In essence, all of these mean "Austin rocks," not necessarily the other options.
Added words and misspellings add to the speaker's enjoyment.These nouns are often used with a form of "to be" rather than "to have," e.g., "that was pwnage" rather than "he has pwnage".Either is a more emphatic way of expressing the simpler "he pwns," but the former implies that the person is embodying the trait rather than merely possessing it." (shit) are frequently seen to make a word appear censored to the untrained eye but obvious to a person familiar with leet.Leet symbols, especially the number 1337, are Internet memes that have spilled over into popular culture.Nouns such as lulzness and leetness are derivations using this suffix. "This is the s&box," "I'm sorry, you've been b&", "&hill/&farm"). An alternate form of "B&" is "B7", as the ampersand is typed with the "7" key in the standard US keyboard layout.