What Does Kappa Mean In Twitch?

Twitch, like most other inclusive systems quickly develops a language and a culture all of its own. Most social networks have their own terms and any place or platform that regularly gathers people together develops them. It’s part of human culture and part of the challenge of getting to grips with new platforms. One of the more confusing terms in Twitch is Kappa. You will see it a lot in chat, so what does it mean and when should you use it?


The main challenge of being new to a platform with an established user base is playing catchup. Where other users have evolved along with Twitch and learned the various terms as they arrived, coming late to the party means you have to learn quickly or avoid using those terms until you know them well enough. That way you can avoid any embarrassment of using the wrong term at the wrong time.

Kappa in Twitch

Even though I have used Twitch for some years, I was late to the party with Kappa. I saw it in chat a lot but never knew what it means. Like most other users, I wasn’t going to ask in general chat and make myself a potential target so I kept quiet and tried to find out from trusted friends.

So what is Kappa?

You will see Kappa in chat as a monochrome emote of a person smirking. It is used as sarcasm on Twitch. If someone says something dumb or a streamer says or does something that would make you roll your eyes in real life, that’s when you would use Kappa.

Apparently, Kappa comes from Josh DeSeno who worked for Justin.TV, the progenitor of Twitch. He apparently added a grayscale image of himself to the app when developing it and it proved instantly popular. He called it Kappa after the Japanese creature like a troll that pulls people into lakes.

Kappa is one of the most popular emotes on Twitch so you will likely have already have seen it even if you didn’t know what it was.

Other Twitch emotes worth knowing

Twitch has been around long enough to have developed a number of emotes along the lines of Kappa. If you spend any time at all on the platform you will see some or all of these in use.


PogChamp is used to express shock or disbelief. It’s another popular emote that stems from Street Fighter player Gootecks. PogChamp has something to do with a video and a fighting stick he used when playing Stree Fighter. Use PogChamp to express surprise or excitement or mild disbelief.


TriHard is derived from another gamer, TriHex who was apparently playing Yoshi’s Island to impress a Twitch employee and was regarded as trying too hard. This became TriHard and the rest is history. Use TriHard carefully as some people don’t like it. Otherwise it is used to express excitement or the buildup to something exciting.


FailFish is an emote of another gamer, SpamFish. It’s the player putting their face in their hand so it naturally used to congratulate an epic fail of some kind.


KreyGasm is yet another emote of a gamer, this time Greyg. Immortalized in an image of intense pleasure, it is often used on Twitch to show something genuinely impressive or downright amazing. You don’t tend to see this one quite so often but it is used.


LUL is the Twitch equivalent of LOL and is based on YouTuber TotalBiscuit. He added a pic of himself laughing but it was taken down due to a DMCA request. Users of the BTTV extension can still use it which is why you will still often see it in chat. Use it to express laughter in the same way you would use LOL.


CmonBruh is another self-explanatory emote. It is also another controversial one like TriHard so use it with care. The origins of this emote are murkier and nobody really seems to know. It is used to express ‘really?’ or disbelief. Something that confuses or makes you think ‘hang on a minute’.


4head comes from gamer Cadburry who was a famous League of Legends streamer. It shows his grin and is often used as a reaction to a funny story or joke. I’m guessing it’s about smacking your own forehead or something as the joke is funny. Nobody seems to know how this one came about.

Doe you have any other popular Twitch emotes you think newbies should know? Tell us about them below if you do!