(also said as nooby or newby) is a slang term for a newcomer to online gaming
or an Internet
activity. It can also be used for any other activity in whose context a somewhat clueless newcomer could exist. It can have derogatory connotations, but is also often used for descriptive purposes only, without a value judgement.
The word newbie is a variant of 'new boy'
and comes from British public school
and military slang
Before it entered popular discourse by way of the Internet, the term "newbie" had a limited usage among U.S. troops in the Vietnam War as a slang term for a new man in a unit.
Its earliest known usage on the Internet may have been on the USENET newsgroup talk.bizarre, and was certainly in use by 1981
Coming from an oral tradition
, the initial usage written either "newbie" or "newbee" (eg Los Angeles Times of August 1985: "It had to do with newbees. I could be wrong on the spelling, but newbees are the rookies among the Blue Angels..."
In internet usage the spelling "newbie" has been the norm, with some use of the shortened form "newb" (or "noob").