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  1. #1
    Nathan Mckane is offline Member
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    O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Howdy pals!

    What is the meaning of the part in bold? I couldn't find its meaning in any dictionaries.

    O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Howdy pals!

    What is the meaning of the part in bold? I couldn't find its meaning in any dictionaries.

    O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Thanks in advance.
    I think you need an American to answer this, I could only guess.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Howdy pals!

    What is the meaning of the part in bold? I couldn't find its meaning in any dictionaries.

    O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Thanks in advance.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Thanks for teaching me a new expression.

    (2) I had never heard of it (I'm an old man), so -- of course --

    I asked "Professor Google."

    (3) As you know, Mr. O'Reilly has a television program that

    discusses current events. Some people do not like him. And Mr.

    Letterman also has a television show late at night. He tells jokes and

    has guests. Some don't like him, either. Both gentlemen (if I may be

    honest) are often rude and have a big mouth!!!

    (4) I remember reading that recently Mr. O'Reilly appeared as a guest

    on Mr. Letterman's show. I didn't pay any attention to the story until

    I saw your post and consulted "Professor Google."

    (5) I learned that "to own someone" = to defeat someone; to make

    someone look like a fool (idiot); to embarrass someone.

    (6) Some Web sources say that this expression started as a way to

    describe hackers getting control of a computer system. (Of course,

    I do not know whether that is true: Be very careful what you read on

    the Web -- including posts by non-teachers like me.)

    (7) Here is an example I read:

    Peter got owned by Aunt Clara when he tried to steal her purse.

    That is, she did something to embarrass him when he tried to steal

    her purse. Maybe she kicked him in the ____.

    (8) Therefore, I guess that we can say that Mr. Letterman "defeated"

    Mr. O'Reilly. That is, in some way (I did not see the show; this old

    man was fast asleep) Mr. Letterman made a fool of Mr. O'Reilly. Both

    men have a reputation for embarrassing people. So I guess that when

    Mr. O'Reilly agreed to be a guest on Mr. Letterman's show, "everybody"

    wanted to know: who was going to "win." Maybe one of my fellow

    Americans saw the show and can tell you and me more about the

    "contest."

  4. #4
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Current American slang. To be owned is to be humiliated, embarrassed, dominated. And it couldn't happen to a better guy than Bill O'Reilly.

    Footnote: Online it is frequently written pwned, q.v. on google, if you care.

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    Maybe one of my fellow

    Americans saw the show and can tell you and me more about the

    "contest."
    I'm not an American, but I think I have found it:

    YouTube - Bill O'Reilly Gets Owned By David Letterman - Part 1 of 2
    YouTube - Bill O'Reilly Gets Owned By David Letterman - Part 2 of 2

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Thanks for that link, BC. Interesting. I refrain from commenting on the content - this is a language forum , after all.

  7. #7
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    My thanks also for the link BC.

    To return to language, I'd have to say that O'Reilly did not get owned. Much as I dislike the man, I have to admit he gave as good as he got. That by way of clarifying the meaning of owned.

    There is some good current slang in there for people who are interested in that. For example, near the beginning when Letterman says "it's all just a goof" he means that no reasonable person could take Fox News at face value. He means that the only possible explanation for Fox News is that it's all self-satire. (I'm not agreeing with him, just explaining his words.)

  8. #8
    Nathan Mckane is offline Member
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Thanks to all of you for your answers and interesting information. To be honest with you I had already seen the show and somehow knew the area of the meaning of the word ''own'' but my mind was vacillating between defeat, embarras, make a fool of, etc. Intersting to see that not all the native speakers know this word. It migt be a cultural gap growing between different generations.

    I think language is like a living being. It is always growing up! and as anon native speaker of English I sometimes find it hard to keep up with it.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    My thanks also for the link BC.

    To return to language, I'd have to say that O'Reilly did not get owned. Much as I dislike the man, I have to admit he gave as good as he got. That by way of clarifying the meaning of owned.
    I agree; he didn't get owned/pwned there. I think it's wishful thinking in the title.

  10. #10
    Nathan Mckane is offline Member
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    Re: O'reilly got owned by David letterman.

    Tdol, you must be a hardcore republican! just kidding

    However I think there is no dispute that he was embarrassed.

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