GSCole gscole at ARK.SHIP.EDU
Thu Jun 21 01:18:29 UTC 2001

Would appreciate some information about the use of the word 'heh' in
chat rooms.  I've looked in various online sources, including several
guides to chat room terminology and a couple online dictionaries, but
cannot find a definition or translation of 'heh'.  It seems to be a
greeting, per the commentary presented below.  I might sound like the
typical clueless bozo old guy (per a concern expressed below), but I
would still like to have a better understanding of the terminology.

George Cole  gscole at ark.ship.edu
Shippensburg University

The word 'heh' is presented in an account of a discussion with a hacker,
and can be found at:


In establishing the situation of the discussion, Gibson notes:
"...where he tends his Zombies, I had all of the secret channel names
and pass-keys at my disposal. So I just jumped into the room and said
'heh'."  A snip of the conversation follows:

"<Gibson> heh
<^b0ss^> who are you
<Gibson> Hi B0ss.  I'm steve gibson (grc.com) ... ShieldsUP,
<Gibson> OptOut, Leaktest ... and all that stuff.
<^b0ss^> how did you get in here?
<^b0ss^> your not a IRCop
<Gibson> As you might know, my site was attacked (but I don't
<Gibson> think by your bots) a few weeks ago.
<Gibson> Some guy, calling himself "Wicked"
<^b0ss^> my bots?"

And a quote from a message that Gibson sent today (Wed, 20 Jun 2001
13:51:18 -0700), to grc.news.feedback, in response to a question about
his actions:

"It was less of a 'story behind the story' than a story with a bit of
subtext.  I had been, for some time, planning to step into an IRC chat
room occupied by 'some of the hacking boys' and to say 'heh'.

But I had LITERALLY never used an IRC chat client, and I didn't want to
seem to be all thumbs and 'the typical' clueless bozo old guy to the
'kids'.  <<grin>>  So I was looking for some way to get some practice
with IRC so that I'd be able to sail right on in there rather breezily
and not 'trip' over the door frame on the way in!

I ended up doing exactly that with Ray and Mona (from our groups here)
one evening ... which gave me the confidence to say 'heh' to '^b0ss^'.

Steve Gibson,               at work on: < a million loose ends >"

More information about the Ads-l mailing list