07 August 2014

Meowing Magic-Users

I was recently reminded of my first exposure to a gamer colloquialism not used by anyone in my own gaming group.* I heard it in the 1980s when I was attending NOWSCon, a small gaming convention held by the Northern Ohio Wargaming Society. I was playing in the first round of an RPGA-sanctioned event, and the DM said something about a "mew." He mentioned it several times, which invariably left the players exchanging befuddled glances, until one of us asked, "What is a 'mew'?" He appeared to be quite shocked at the question and answered, "A mew! A magic-user of course!" At this the whole group said "Ohhh!" in unison, and I said, "Oh, you mean an 'm-u'" (which we always pronounced as two distinct letters: "M.U.") Normally, we just said "magic-user" — it never really seemed like the sort of word that needed to be abbreviated or initialized. If anything, we tended to favor longer, more flavorful descriptions. Each to his or her own, I guess.

[mew] or [myu]
A pronunciation of the abbreviation "m-u" for "magic-user" in earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

* My recollection was spurred by reading something in Google+ in which a magic-user was referred to as a "MOO." This is new to me and I don't know whether it is an acronym or yet another alternative pronunciation of "m-u."

[Edited from an article originally posted here in Fudgerylog.]

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