New Testament = N = newgroup wars

newbie /n[y]oo'bee/ n.

[very common; orig. from British public-school and military slang variant of `new boy'] A Usenet neophyte. This term surfaced in the newsgroup talk.bizarre but is now in wide use (the combination "clueless newbie" is especially common). Criteria for being considered a newbie vary wildly; a person can be called a newbie in one newsgroup while remaining a respected regular in another. The label `newbie' is sometimes applied as a serious insult to a person who has been around Usenet for a long time but who carefully hides all evidence of having a clue. See B1FF; see also gnubie.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

The Jargon File is correct, but somewhat outdated. The term newbie has gradually achieved wider recognition and use, and could now be used relative to any activity or field. This is especially true of anything to do with computers or the internet. A newbie, depending on context, could be new to the internet, new to a site or online community, new to a game, or new to a fan or interest group.

The term is sometimes used pejoratively (newbies are like kids running around getting in the adults' way), but need not necessarily be. The image could also be of someone just starting out, who needs to be helped along kindly.

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