If you’re a Twitch user or stumbled upon a gaming livestream, you’ve probably seen the KEKW emote.

Emotion as a whole brought about a renaissance of Twitch emotes, which over the years spawned Resident Sleepers, Pogchamps, Moncaes, KEKW, Kappa, and many others.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the origin and meaning of KEKW.

The mix of a well-known video and common gamer slang gave rise to one of the most used Twitch emotes.

KEKW Origins

What does KEKW Mean?

Where does KEKW come from?

Like “lol” – laugh out loud -, “kk” is a chat phrase indicating laughter, originating from Korea. Like the Russians’ xaxaxaxaxa, “KEKW” is originally a Korean way to show that they are laughing in chat. The phrase swept through Starcraft and World of Warcraft (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as “worthy in orcish.”)

Twitch expressions with the – KEKW suffix often express an exaggerated facial expression by the dreamer or the person in question, and KEKW expressions are a recently popular way of expressing laughter or glee in chat.

What is KEKW?

The KEKW emote is a FrankerfaceZ extension Twitch emote that is a cut-out of the face of Juan Joya Borja, a Spanish comedian and actor, also known in Internet circles as the Spanish Laughing Guy. A popular YouTube video from a 2007 interview where Borja bursts into laughter (often referred to as “risitas laugh”) while trying to tell an anecdote, reveals his almost toothless mouth and focuses on his exquisite moustache. Which was turned into several memes by the Twitch community.

In late summer 2019, a KEKW custom emote featuring a still image of Borja’s face became popular on Twitch after being picked up by “meme streamers” such as xQc and Admiral Bulldog, notable Dota personalities. Since then, the popularity of emotes has skyrocketed, and it has replaced LULs and other popular alternatives as a way of depicting (hysterical) laughter in Twitch chat.

KEKW is one of the most popular Twitch sentiments in the world, with search interest rising in the autumn of 2019. Last December, statistics from StreamElements listed it as the 14th most used quote on the platform. Many variations have emerged over time, but the most commonly used is KEKWait, presented by Foxbox to FrankerFaceZ in November 2019.

KEKW Origins

Featuring the Spanish Laughing Guy, an actor and comedian named Juan Joya Borja. The YouTube video that made him famous is almost guaranteed to make you laugh, even if you don’t understand a word of what he says in it. And that’s because only the way a person talks and laughs is contagious.

The quality of this video is also great: because it’s in a foreign language that few people can understand, it can be used as a template with any subtitles you want.

And a lot of meme creators and internet comedians did exactly that, to give more power to their message. Subsequently, it went viral and quickly added to the list of internet memes. So why not refer to it in a Twitch sense?

Meaning of KEKW

KEKW MEANING is quite basic: it suggests laughter. And that’s why the image of the Spanish laughing boy was used to represent it on Twitch. Now you may ask: “But what is KEK?” And the answer is simple: KEK is the North American or European equivalent of LOL for Koreans. Or, if you are from the CIS region, you can also add XAXAXAXA to the list.

KEK though is also how World of Warcraft moves LOL between opposing factions. If a gang player writes LOL in chat, an alliance player will read KEK. In contrast, LOL transcribes Bur.

We also have the letter W next to KEK. And this syllable is basically a suffix often used for twitch expressions to convey an exaggerated facial expression. Hence the price KEKW. Like our natural languages, the language of memes and emotes often blends two existing elements together to create a new one.

Popularization of KEKW EMOTE

The KEKW emote became popular on Twitch around August 2019, when popular streamers like Admiral Bulldog and xQc began using it in their streaming sessions. Thanks to their efforts, KEKW awareness grew rapidly and KEKW replaced LUL, ROFL, and other ways of expressing hysterical laughter.

Currently, KEKW is one of the 15 most used emotions on Twitch. Considering how ridiculously famous the scene with the Spanish comedian has become, it’s only natural that people use this expression to more clearly convey that they are laughing. Or, to be more precise, that something is worth laughing at.

Possible KEKW Remix

There is no doubt that people will take KEKW a step further. Like lol turned into lul then lulz or omegalull, KEKW is almost guaranteed to evolve as people feel the need to take it to the next level of absurdity.

Of course, this is only true in writing. Twitch prices are likely to remain the same for a long time to come. But when you’re posting or reading something on Twitter, it’s totally feasible to use or see a KEKW variation that uses the letter W as the start of a new word, like KEKWhat or KEKWow

Twitch Emotions Explained: KEKW, Kappa, Tryhard, Jbetted, more


Trying to understand Twitch emotions and Twitch chat culture? Here, we’ll explain the meaning of some of Twitch’s most common and bizarre expressions, so you can fit right in and stop being the ‘normie’ or ‘YouTube frog’.

If you’re new to Twitch, chat can be a really daunting experience. You may have no clue about the inside jokes, memes, and references of the years.

Think of it as your starter guide to some of Twitch’s best emotes that really make the platform great for chatters. Some of these expressions have deep roots in Internet culture, such as KEKW, which is now one of the most popular.

It’s also worth noting that many of these expressions aren’t even natively on Twitch. Many users have access to extensions like FrankerFaceZ and Better Twitch TV (BTTV), which add countless new custom expressions. So, you might be seeing the word KEKW in the chat and you have no idea what’s going on.


KEKW is a FrankerFaceZ emote used on Twitch to represent laughter when there is a funny moment on stream.

One of the trendiest emotes on Twitch in 2020, KEKW comes from the classic clip of El Risitas laughing on Spanish TV.

KEKW emote on Twitch

KEKW is now one of the most popular expressions on Twitch representing laughter.

What does KEKW mean on Twitch?

You have probably seen countless meme versions of this video. KECW is just his laughing face, which represents a hilarious moment on the stream.

If a streamer says or does something that has viewers hysterical, the chat will almost certainly light up KECW spam. However, there are also some competing expressions, such as LULW.

Where does KEKW come from?

KEKW is a combination of KEK, the Korean equivalent of LOL, and the letter W, which Twitch Chat users often use to express an exaggerated facial expression. Together, KEK+W became KEKW—a word meaning “exaggerated, heartfelt laughter.”

However, KEKW only took off after it became a Twitch emote (a word that is attached and can turn into a specific picture when entered in Twitch chat).

The FrankerfaceZ Twitch extension linked KEKW with a photo of “Spanish Laughing Guy” Juan Joya Borja, a comedian and actor best known for a memorable interview he gave in 2007.

(You can watch the interview below.) Twitch users liked “Spanish Laughing Guy” so much that they started using it more often.

How is KEKW used?

These days, you can see both the KEKW emote and the words pop up in Twitch chat when a streamer does something amusing or embarrassing, or when another Twitch chat user says something funny.

In order to use KEKW as a quote, you must subscribe to a streamer whose channel uses KECW expressions. Then, you can enter :KEKW: in Twitch Chat to generate a quote.

If you don’t want to use the KEKW expression, you can just enter KEKW into the chat to represent heartfelt laughter.

How did KEKW become so popular on Twitch?

By consensus, the sentiment gained widespread popularity around August 2019 on several Twitch channels, such as Admiral Bulldog and KEKW.

Before KEKW use grew rapidly, LUL stood tall as one of the most famous emotes on the platform.

Eventually, streamers began to adopt the ‘KEKW’ emote with many variations as a part of their subscriber emotions, replacing the age-old ways of expressing hysterical laughter, such as ‘ROFL’.

Other versions of this expression began to appear in recent years, including KEKWhat and KEKWOW.

What does KEKW stand for in Twitch Chat?

KEKW is a FrankerFaceZ emote that was designed to represent laughter whenever something funny happens during the stream. It became one of the most popular expressions of 2020 and is based on the previously mentioned El Risitas clip.

If you’re familiar with LULW, it’s essentially a different version of LOL, but with a W attached to the end. KEK has a very similar story, with the Korean equivalent of the three-letter word LOL.

In World of Warcraft, if you write LOL to the player of the opposing faction, it is written as KEK. So if you are from Alliance and type LOL for a gang player, they will see KEK in chat and vice versa.

The W is used at the end to create exaggerated versions of emotions on Twitch (LUL and LULW, for example).

How did KEKW get popular on Twitch Chat?

The general consensus is that the emote became popular on certain Twitch channels, such as XQC and Admiral Bulldog, which increased its use. LUL was one of the most popular expressions but KEKW is slowly taking its place and its use is increasing rapidly.

Streamers have started adopting emotes with unique variants as part of their subscriber emotes and there are other versions of emotes showing up including KEKWOW and KEKWhat.

Where did the KEKW meme and emote originate?

KEKW is based on the famous meme of Juan Joya Borja (El Risitas)’s infectious laughter during a TV interview.

The clip of him laughing at a joke went viral on YouTube mainly because of his laughing voice. If you have seen Spanish Laughing Man or Laughing Man, yes, KEKW is based on that.

The term KEKW, however, comes from World of Warcraft. When a gang player types LOL a coalition player may see it as KEKW. Then, it evolved into KEKW because on Twitch, you add a W to the end of words like LULW.

How to use and pronounce KEKW?

If a streamer fails a mission miserably in a game, you can react with KEKW. Or you can even spam it in chat if they make a joke that was funny.

Since the word is derived from KEKEKE (Korean) which was shortened to KEK and the W was added to it, the pronunciation you can use is simply KEK. But many viewers also use KIKU or KEKYou.

KEKW’s popularity explained on Twitch

The reason KEKW is now popular on Twitch and other streaming platforms is because of streamers like xQc and AdmiralBulldog.

It became super famous online as they started using it and now it is being widely used since 2019. So, if you want to express your reaction to something that’s super funny, a KEKW meme or emote will come in handy.

So, here’s what KEKW is all about in a nutshell:

A popular quote on Twitch, KEKW originated as a mix of a Spanish video that went viral and a World of Warcraft reference.

This sentiment gained traction in 2019 by well-known Twitch channels like Admiral Bulldog and xQc.

Subsequently, KEKW experienced an increase in its utilization rate throughout the year 2020.

Emote gradually began to replace ‘LULW’ and ‘LUL’ in terms of use.

Currently, streamers also implement custom versions of this quote.

Why is KEKW relevant?

Well, big Twitch streamers like xQc are responsible for this massive boom of KKW. The KEKW predecessor, the LUL emote, was used just before the KEKW was introduced.

While most people wondered what KEKW meant, streamers started referring to and using it in comparison to LUL. They also began adding variations of the KEKW emote as their customer sentiment.

KEKW has also become a lot more relevant in the past few months. After the controversy behind the PogChamp emote and the reduced use of the kappa emote, KEKW chats began to see more use.

But if you are still wondering what does KEKW mean, we can say that you can use it when you are laughing out loud at something.

You can also use some variants of KEKW, such as KEKWOW or KEKWhat, if you see something exciting or confusing, respectively.

Some alternatives to the KEKW quote are OMEGALUL and LULW. And while these are both good expressions, nothing can beat Risitas’s face when he laughs.