How Warren powned* a congressman

There’s a California-ism that my 13-year-old son uses — powned* — that has something to do with beating someone so badly in a competition that you didn’t just own him, you poned him. I don’t know where the starting p came from, but being poned by your son in basketball is definitely worse than merely being owned. And if you want to see the definition of someone poning a member of Congress, watch what one of my heroes, Elizabeth Warren, does to Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry in this video. (h/t to Gawker.)

* as noted in a comment by the esteemed Shameless Pedant, I had no idea where “pown” came from or even how it was spelled when I wrote this post. As explained below, pown or pwn is an acceptable spelling, but “pone” is not. My apologies to the powning world.


Filed under absurdity, politics

3 responses to “How Warren powned* a congressman

  1. Shameless Pedant

    Hi John,

    Pwnd (or p0wned) isn’t a California-ism, so please give credit where it is due. Here’s the etymology of the term according to Wikipedia (fairly accurate based on my observations gleaned from several decades spent on the Web):

    The starting “p” probably came from it’s proximity to the “o” on the keyboard, hit accidentally by the dominating party in their haste to declare their dominance. E. g. “I OWN you, sucker” becomes “I POWN you, sucker!”.

  2. johnmecklin

    @shameless: You learn something every day; I’d never heard the term til I came back to California three or four years ago, when my kid started using it. I Googled “pone,” coming up with nothing except definitions for cornpone; why “pown” didn’t occur to me is a mystery — even to me. But thanks for the info; knowing where pwn comes from makes me feel, what, more complete than I was a few minutes ago.

  3. And all this time I was assuming it was a deliberate misspelling of pound (beat), as in pounded him/her down or into the ground…

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