Definitions for rot13

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Freebase

  1. ROT13

    ROT13 is a simple letter substitution cipher that replaces a letter with the letter 13 letters after it in the alphabet. ROT13 is an example of the Caesar cipher, developed in ancient Rome. In the basic Latin alphabet, ROT13 is its own inverse; that is, to undo ROT13, the same algorithm is applied, so the same action can be used for encoding and decoding. The algorithm provides no cryptographic security, and is often cited as a canonical example of weak encryption. ROT13 is used in online forums as a means of hiding spoilers, punchlines, puzzle solutions, and offensive materials from the casual glance. ROT13 has been described as the "Usenet equivalent of a magazine printing the answer to a quiz upside down". ROT13 has inspired a variety of letter and word games on-line, and is frequently mentioned in newsgroup conversations.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. rot13

    [Usenet: from ‘rotate alphabet 13 places’] The simple Caesar-cypher encryption that replaces each English letter with the one 13 places forward or back along the alphabet, so that “The butler did it!” becomes “Gur ohgyre qvq vg!” Most Usenet news reading and posting programs include a rot13 feature. It is used to enclose the text in a sealed wrapper that the reader must choose to open — e.g., for posting things that might offend some readers, or spoilers. A major advantage of rot13 over rot(N) for other N is that it is self-inverse, so the same code can be used for encoding and decoding. See also spoiler space, which has partly displaced rot13 since non-Unix-based newsreaders became common.

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