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LOL and ROFL are so passé. These days, Twitch viewers express their amusement and laughter with a simple emote: KEKW. This little fella has become a staple in the streaming world, but where did it come from? What does it mean? How did it become so popular? And most importantly, how do you even pronounce it? We’ve got you covered on all these questions and more.

The Origin of KEKW: A Hilarious Spanish Comedian

KEKW didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. The emote originated from a Spanish comedian named Juan Joya “El Risitas (the Giggles)” Borja. In an interview on a Spanish talk show, Borja shares a hilarious story about throwing pans into the sea while working in a restaurant as a young man. The emote shows a picture of Borja in a burst of laughter during that anecdote. KEKW was submitted to a custom Twitch emote website on August 21, 2019. It quickly gained popularity among Twitch streamers and viewers alike. You can watch the original video that the emote comes from on YouTube.

The Meaning of KEKW: A Blend of WoW and Korean Roots

If you are wondering what KEKW means, it’s an abbreviation for laughing or LOL. It’s a blend of World of Warcraft and Korean roots that come together to form a hilarious emote. KEKW consists of KEK followed by W. KEK has roots in World of Warcraft, where “LOL” written by a Horde player was translated to “KEK” for an Alliance player. KEK also has Korean roots, where (ㅋㅋㅋ) kekeke is the hahaha equivalent. The W in KEKW often indicates funny facial expressions, like LULW, monkaW, and KKonaW. Together, KEKW suggests laughter, and it’s often used when something is particularly amusing on a Twitch stream.

How KEKW Became Popular: A Surge of Streamer Support

KEKW wasn’t an instant hit on Twitch. The emote took a few weeks to gain traction on the platform. However, after several prominent streamers, like xQc and AdmiralBulldog, started enabling it, the emote surged in popularity. Soon, Twitch chat was filled with the laughing face of El Risitas every time something funny happened on stream. KEKW quickly became one of the most used emotes on Twitch, with viewers and streamers alike using it to express their laughter or joy during streams.

How to Pronounce KEKW: KEKU or KEKWu?

If you’re wondering how to pronounce KEKW, you’re not alone. The emote is pronounced like “ke ku” or “ke kwu,” or sometimes “kek double u.” The pronunciation can vary depending on who you ask. Still, regardless of how you say it, KEKW is a powerful way to express your amusement during Twitch streams.

How to Use KEKW in Your Chat: BetterTTV Step by Step

1. Download and install the BetterTTV browser extension: To use KEKW on Twitch, you need to download and install the BetterTTV browser extension on your browser. You can find a download button on their website.

2. Connect BetterTTV with your Twitch account: After installation, go to the BetterTTV website and click on the “Login” button. Follow the instructions to log in with your Twitch account and connect it with BetterTTV.

3. Add KEKW to your channel:

3.1 In the navigation, click “Emotes,” then “Popular.”

3.2 Search for “KEKW” and click on it.

3.3 Click on “Add to Channel.”

4. Use KEKW in your chat: Anyone in your channel should now be able to see and use KEKW in your chat.

Death of a meme

On April 28, 2021, Juan Joya Borja, the Spanish comedian who was the face of the KEKW emote, passed away. His death was mourned by many in the Twitch community, and in response, Twitch made the decision to ban the KEKW emote for one week. The ban was implemented to show respect for Borja and honor his memory. While some viewers were disappointed by the ban, many understood and respected Twitch’s decision. After the one-week ban was lifted, the KEKW emote was again available on Twitch. The brief ban was a reminder of the real-life people and stories behind all the emotes that have become such a big part of Twitch culture.


In conclusion, KEKW is an emote that has taken the Twitch community by storm. It shows a hilarious Spanish comedian and has roots in World of Warcraft and Korean culture. It suggests laughter and is often used during funny moments on streams. After several prominent streamers enabled the emote, it became one of the most used emotes on Twitch. Now that you know more about KEKW and its origins, meaning, and popularity, you can join in on the fun and use it to express your entertainment during your favorite Twitch streams.

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