Originally a British public-school and military slang variant of ‘new boy’, it was popularized during the U.S./Vietnam war to make reference to the 'new blood' coming 'in country'. It is hypothesized that "n00b" made the leap to popular internet usage via Usenet group talk.bizarre.
On 4chan, chats and forums, 'newbie' is used as a gently way of letting someone know they should probably read more and post less. It's usually given as a title to someone who obviously does not know much about the place which they visit. In Video games one is called a newbie (or 'newb' for short) for acting like a lost schoolboy in general, and is never used as a term of endearment. The word is often taken offensively, and much butthurt has been rationed by it's invokation.
Once a 'newbie' is declared in a public environment, other users will often gang up on the victim and proceed to troll them into adjustment.
- OMG STFU NOOB.
- I can't believe he deleted his System32 folder. What a n00b.
- Only n00bs say "n00b".
- What do you mean 'I died for no reason'? You stood right on the dynamite, newb!
- I know you're a newb but I really need someone to help with this quest.
- Read the forum rules, newbie!