Why is any tag with the word 'newbie' not allowed here? Each time I try to submit a question with this tag, I get an error message in bold red letters:

Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because:
sorry, the 'newbie' tag is not allowed.

I am a C++ newbie and I have many questions. I always R whatever FM I have (as in RTFM) before asking, mind you! (and often I don't have to ask after R'ing TFM!).

Yet, often I encounter some problem that at the same time seems basic and that is not addressed in the documentation and C++ handbooks I'm reading. So I am tempted to ask questions here and the tag 'newbie' would perfectly apply to the questions I have already asked and to those I will ask soon.

So: Why are the 'newbie' nor 'c++newbie' tags not allowed?

  • 5
    The bottom line is: Don't worry about asking beginner questions here. We welcome all kinds. And, easy questions are good for easy reputation (for the answerer). So, it's win win if you ask me.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 13:36

5 Answers 5


It is a meta tag. Read this: https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags/


The newbie tag was blocked after lots of misuse (people tagging other people's questions with it). Just ask without the tag.

  • 8
    This brings up an interesting question: does it make sense to have a set of tags that only the author of a post can use? Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 11:51
  • @Jörg good point!
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 11:55
  • 5
    @Jörg: I think it would go against the idea of a collaborative Q/A website. I'd rather forbid the use of pejorative terms as tags, which it seems, is already the case. But you're indeed right, that's an interesting question.
    – ereOn
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 11:55
  • @ereOn, @Pekka: And now, I brought it up: Meta.StackOverflow.Com/questions/60859 Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 12:08

newbie has no real semantic meaning as a tag. It doesn't add value to the question and doesn't help people locating it and/or answering it.

Ask yourself why you want to tag newbie. Is it because the question is very easy? No matter, as long as it's not a dupe, even an easy question is perfectly valid on SO - just make sure to tag it properly. Is it because similar questions were asked but you really need an answer to your question just as it is? Sorry, then SO is not for such questions.

  • 1
    Agreed. It could be used as a "my question is poor" disclaimer, which would lend precedent to this sort of rubbish being allowed. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 10:35

"newbie" is rather pejorative.

I tend to use the word "beginner" instead. But that is still subjective and not really relevant: if you really are a beginner, people will notice and those who don't probably can't help you anyway.

And since you're asking why the c++newbie is forbidden as well. If c++newbie is allowed, so must be perlexpert, pythonmaster and javascriptbeginner.

It make no sense to add a tag for every possible combination. You put up to 5 tags per question, so it is perfectly acceptable to use the two tags c++ and beginner. Morevoer, this will widen the audience since it is more probable that people have the c++ tag as favorite rather than one of its variations.


In addition to this excellent answer, you'd be surprised how often "simple" questions aren't simple, and "hard" questions aren't "hard". The fact that you feel like your relative newness to a topic impacts your question isn't really at issue. Its amazing how many "seasoned professionals" have similar questions...

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