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Have you ever spent time on social media or watched online gaming streams and come across the word “pog” or seen the emote that goes along with it? You might be curious about the emote’s meaning, origin, and the reasons behind its popularity. Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will dive into the world of “pog” and analyze how it’s impacted internet culture.

What is Pog?

“Pog” is a term that originated in the 1990s from a game called “Pogs,” which involved collecting and trading small cardboard discs. The term became popularized in the gaming community when a popular streamer used it as an exclamation during a particularly exciting moment of gameplay. The word has since become a shorthand for expressing excitement, hype, or surprise in online conversations and gaming streams.

How to Pronounce Pog?

“Pog” is pronounced as “pahg” with a short “o” sound, like the “o” in the word “dog” without the “d”. The phonetic transcription for “Pog” is /pɑːg/, with the first sound being a voiceless bilabial plosive (/p/), the second sound being an open back unrounded vowel (/ɑː/), and the final sound being a voiced velar plosive (/g/).

Usage of Pog

The most common usage of “pog” is as an emote, a small icon or image used in online chats and forums to convey emotion or reaction. However, “Pog” is a universal term expressing excitement, hype, or surprise in various situations. Here are some examples of how to use “pog”:

  1. In Gaming: “Pog” is commonly used during gaming streams to express excitement or hype during particularly thrilling gameplay moments. For example, if a player lands a fantastic shot or completes a complex challenge, viewers might use the word “pog” in the chat to show excitement.
  2. In Reactions: “Pog” can also be used to react to something unexpected or surprising. For example, if a friend tells you some exciting news, you might respond with “pog” to show your excitement and enthusiasm.
  3. In Memes: “Pog” has become a popular meme on social media, often used to express excitement in response to a funny or absurd picture or video.
  4. In Conversations: “Pog” can also be used in everyday conversations as a general expression of excitement or enthusiasm. For example, if a mate tells you about a new restaurant they went to, you might reply with “pog” to show your excitement and curiosity in trying it out.

When using “pog,” it’s important to remember the context and tone of the situation. While “pog” is a fun and lighthearted term, it may not be appropriate in more formal or severe settings. Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of the people you are communicating with and to use “pog” respectfully and appropriately for the situation.

Origin of Pog

As mentioned earlier, “pog” originated from the game of the same name. Pogs were small cardboard discs featuring colorful designs, often with images of popular characters or logos. Players would stack the discs and use a heavier disc, called a “slammer,” to try and flip over as many Pogs as possible. The game became popular in the 90s, especially among kids and teenagers. In the years between, the game has largely fallen out of popularity. Still, the term “pog” has grown in recent years thanks to its adoption by the online gaming community.

However, many may not know that “pog” is a clipping of the PogChamp emote. Clipping shortens a word or phrase, typically by removing letters or syllables. In the case of “pog,” the word is shortened from “PogChamp” to simply “pog.” The origins of the clipping are unclear, but it likely emerged as a way for viewers to express their excitement without having to type out the full name of the emote. As the emote became more popular, so did the term “pog,” which someday took on a life of its own and became ubiquitous in internet culture, particularly within the online gaming community

The PogChamp Controversy

In early 2021, the person featured in the PogChamp emote, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, made controversial social media statements related to the US Capitol riots. In response, Twitch removed the PogChamp emote from its platform, citing concerns about the emote being associated with a person who had made such statements.

Following removing the emote, Twitch announced that it would replace the PogChamp emote with a rotating selection of community-created emotes featuring different streamers and personalities. The decision was met with varied responses from the Twitch community. Some applauded Twitch’s decision to remove the emote, and others expressed disappointment at the loss of such a recognizable and popular emote.


“Pog” may have originated from a 90s fad, but it has become ubiquitous in internet culture, particularly within the online gaming community. Its adoption as an emote allowed viewers to express their excitement and enthusiasm in a fun and easily recognizable way. While the controversy surrounding the PogChamp emote may have temporarily exhausted its popularity, it is likely that “pog” and it is associated emotes will continue to be a mainstay of online communication and gaming streams for years to come.

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