| Tech trends

Twitch slang. Do you know your kid’s lingo?

| 01 Nov 2023

Emotes, memes, slang expressions. The means of communication on the Twitch streaming platform are varied. Do you know what your kids mean when they share a Kappa in the chat? And what are these subs that the streamers crave so much?

“It took me a while to get familiar with all the language used on the platform, too,” says Katerina Tuzarova alias OdetteD, a former Twitch streamer. Not only has she shared general insights about the popular service with us, but she also told us her own story in an interview. In this piece, she takes us to the colourful world of some of the Twitch lingo your child might be using too.

When you see or hear Kappa, expect sarcasm

Eyes rolling. Cynicism. Sarcasm. Trolling. That’s what you can imagine when the Kappa emoji appears in Twitch chat, or if your kid says the word. The emoji has been in use since about 2011 and even made it into the Urban Dictionary in 2014. Why was it created out of a photo? It displays an employee of the video streaming platform Justin.TV (later Twitch) employee, Josh DeSeno. “Justin’s job was to set up the chat client. As part of that, he put up a grayscale image of himself and called it Kappa due to his love of Japanese folklore and culture,” explains the Stream Scheme. Nowadays, Kappas appear all over Twitch. “So, if you want to stand out and show to your child you’re keeping up with the trends, surprise them with remarks such as: Today, we’re gonna stream Fortnite all night long! Kappa,” laughs Katerina alias OdetteD.

The emote has also been used in many variations, such as KappaPride or KappaClaus. What about creating your own Kappa with your teen?

Subs (subscriptions) are the ultimate goal for many streamers

Streaming can turn professional and become a source of income. The most common way of supporting a streamer is to subscribe to their channel. In exchange for a monthly fee, or for a sub as the community calls it, your child can gain access to exclusive features such as special sets of emojes that they can use all across Twitch, and a special sub badge next to their name in the channel’s chat, which makes them stand out among other chatters. Other sub perks may include no ads, access to sub-only Discord channels, a chance to participate in various sub-only activities such as games with the streamer, etc.

By using channels accessible only to the community of subscribers, it could possibly become less likely that your child won’t encounter as many bots or trolls, as they are usually not part of such exclusive groups. Twitch even allows streamers to limit viewership and access to the chat only to subscribers. “However, this function is not used much, as it completely excludes new viewers from participating in the stream,” adds Katerina.

There are also the gift-subs – a user can gift a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month channel subscription to another user. As many Twitch channels offer educative content that can develop important skills such as creativity or critical thinking, this might be an option for a Christmas gift that your child could appreciate!

Can gaming be beneficial for skills development? Find out more.

A ban and timeout as a chat or channel no-go

How to stop haters and spammers from invading the chat on a Twitch stream? The channel owner or moderator can give them a ban or a timeout. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, this can range from just a few minutes to hours, days or even permanent bans. Of course, a streamer can also be banned if they violate the platform’s rules. Learn more about how to manage harassment on Twitch and teach your kids all the important rules. 

Bots as invisible guests and helpful guides 

As Dot Esports explains, there are good and bad bots. These pre-programmed software applications can be set up to be present in the chat and provide stream viewers with useful information. A helpful bot will often be called Moobot, or Nightbot. For example, when a viewer enters the chat for the first time, such a bot may take the role of a moderator and share a message highlighting the channel rules. These bots can be controlled through various commands in the chat. There are also different bots appearing in chats in order to collect data for various streaming statistics. And then, there are the annoying and fraudulent bots that may share spam messages and links in the chat and even in private messages. Another related topic is called view-botting; this is when streamers artificially boost their viewer counts with bots. This can be recognized by when a channel has a suspiciously high numbers of viewers, but almost no activity in the chat.

Want teach your kids to prevent hate speech? Read in a previous SKO piece.

The F word as you don’t know it

The origin of this slang dates back to 2014 and the game Call of Duty: Advance Warfare. “One of the main character’s friends died. Then, a message appeared on the screen, saying to press the F key to give our respects if you want to continue with the game” explains Notes Read. Later, this expression became a meme and came to be used across games and streams. There’s a little trick when it comes to pronunciation though – it should be read in Spanish as “efe.” Nevertheless, as Notes Read adds, the English pronunciation of this letter, “ef,” is also accepted. And of course in some cases, the word might be used ironically.

If your kid gets jebaited, this emoji will let them know

This is another commonly used emoji on Twitch – and a way of letting someone know that they had been tricked, in a mostly funny way. You hear it not only in games, but in real life too. This emoticon features Alex Jebailey, the owner of CEO Gaming, says Esports.net. Usually, being jebaited does not cause any real harm to the victim. Would this meme enrich your and your child’s conversations?

Poggers comes into use if you want to show excitement

It’s almost impossible to surf through Twitch without coming across this frog-like emoji. When your kid uses it, they intend to express joy, excitement, hype or some other positive emotion. Most achievements and victories are celebrated with this funny emoji that you can also see on many other social media platforms. The Urban Dictionary even says that the word can be used for anything. So, don’t limit your creativity!

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