What Does KEKW Mean?

If you love streaming esport gamers or regular gamers on twitch, or on other networks or sites for that matter, you’ve probably seen the four letters “KEKW” popper several times.

What Does KEKW Mean

And over and over again, occasionally accompanied by the KEKW emoji of a laughing Spanish man.

“KEKW” is now a widely known term, and has been well known since it’s origin on online gaming forums as far back is 2007, which is quite a lengthy period of time in the field of esports and gaming.

But, if you’ve ever wondered what those letters actually stand for, or how the meme came about, or when to use it yourself.

You’ve certainly come to the right place, because we’ll be covering all of that and more in this article, leaving you well and truly fully informed. I will answer all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

Please feel free to scroll ahead if a particular section jumps out at you. Here goes!

So, What Does KEKW Actually Mean?

The meaning behind KEKW is actually very simple. It just suggests laughter, or that something is funny or humorous. And especially when something is hysterically funny.

This is why the term is so frequently accompanied by a picture denoting a Spanish guy, who we will come onto later, who appears to be in hysterics with laughter. 

What Does KEKW stand for?

Everyone knows what LOL stands for, right? Laugh Out Loud. It’s probably the most well-used acronym online ever. It’s used among both Americans and Europeans alike.

Well, it turns out that KEK is basically just the Korean equivalent to the western LOL. Although little seems to be known about what the W in the acronym might stand for.

Where Is KEKW Used?

The place where KEKW turns up the most is on Twitch, that super popular network where gamers like to live stream their games as their fans and viewers watch on.

But, the use of KEKW is not limited just to one game. You will see it being used across all kinds of games, including the likes of the more popular games such as Fortnite, Roblox and World of Warcraft.

Juan Joya Borja And The Origin Of The KEKW Twitch Emote

The laughing Spanish man who is featured in the FrankerFaceZ KEKW emote was known as Juan Joya Borja. He was a well-loved Spanish comedian and actor, and he usually went by his stage name, which was El Ristas.

He became the face of the KEKW emoji around the same time as the emergence of the KEKW term, following an interview he gave in 2007, which quickly became popularized as a meme.

It was the FrankerFaceZ Twitch extension that initially linked the KEKW term with the meme of this Spanish laughing guy, and the meme really took off.

With Twitch users frequently posting the term KEKW alongside the laughing guy meme.

I am sad to report that Juan Joya Borja is no longer with us. He passed away in April 2021 at the age of 65. 

As a consequence of the passing, the emote was at one point temporarily disabled, but it has since been enabled again.

The History And The Popularization Of The KEKW Emote

Although the origins of the KEKW term have been around since 2007, the KEKW emote didn’t really blow up until as recently as 2020.

As of April 2022, well over 100,000 channels on Twitch have enabled the Spanish laughing guy emote.

And now, with more than 400 million uses in Twitch chat, the emote has taken 10th place in the line of most popular FrankerFaceZ emotes. 

How To Use The KEKW Twitch Emote

If you like to stream your gaming on Twitch, you too can use the beloved KEKW Twitch emote. Twitch streamers with enough viewers can upload their own custom emotes for subscribers to use.

And many users like to download third party extensions, including the likes of FrankerFaceZ and Better Twitch TV (BTTV) which add countless new custom expressions from meme creators. 

To use the FrankerFaceZ Spanish laughing guy, all you have to do is install the FrankerFaceZ extension onto your Twitch platform, and you will find the emote in the emote menu.

When To Use The KEKW Twitch Emote

I would argue that it’s just as valuable to be courteous in online gaming and chat as it is in real life.

You’re there to make friends and not enemies. Therefore, to that end, I would only recommend using the KEWK laughing guy emote when it’s most appropriate to do so.

And traditionally, this emote was most commonly used as a response to someone who has just lost a round or a game match. 

But since then, things have really changed, and it’s not used in a derogatory fashion at all. Instead, it is much more lighthearted and positive.

Since they are now using it as a form of encouragement against their opponents when they have won a match or a round on a game on a Twitch stream.

Wrap Up

So, I guess, if people ever saw the term KEKW without the link to the emote of the Spanish laughing guy, Juan Joya Borja (El Ristas) it may not be clear what the term means.

But now you know everything you need to know about it, from its origins in 2007 right through to its popularity in the present day, in addition to how and when to use the term and the accompanying emote. 

It’s nice to see that both the term KEKW and the accompanying Spanish laughing guy emote continue to live on despite the passing of the Spanish laughing guy, Juan Joya Borja (A.K.A. El Ristas).

And what a great legacy he has left behind – he will always be associated with fun and laughter, which is exactly what Twitch and game streaming is all about.

Here’s to the possibility of lots more opportunities to use the term KEKW and the accompanying Spanish laughing guy emote for many more years to come!

Ashley Newby
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