Kappa Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It?

Wondering what kappa means or where the term came from? If so, you’re in the right place. Read on for our complete guide on the meaning of kappa.

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The word kappa has become an integral part of everyday internet language — but what exactly does it mean, and where did it come from?

In this article, we’re exploring the popular term kappa to uncover its definition, origin, and more. 

So, if you’ve ever been curious about this seemingly new word that’s just about everywhere these days — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on kappa. 

What Is the Definition of Kappa?

Chances are, if you’ve spent any time browsing any popular streaming platform like Twitch, then we bet you have seen the greyscale emote “Kappa.” 

What if we told you that there are a few more ways to look at the word kappa? Don’t stress; we have included a few definitions by some trusted English language Dictionaries.

The Cambridge English Dictionary doesn’t look at kappa as an internet emoticon but rather the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet or the (symbolized by an uppercase K or lowercase κ). It was derived from the Phoenician letter kaph and the Semitic root kpp 1.

However, due to the contemporary rendering of the Latin alphabet by ancient Romans, Greek proper names containing kappa are often written in English with “c.”

Lexico goes on to state that in the biochemistry community, kappa is used to describe one of the two types of light polypeptide chains present in all immunoglobulin molecules.

Now, these are both correct definitions. Still, with Kappa being arguably the most widely known emoticon (and hands down the most used) on Twitch, it’s currently mostly aptly known as the emoticon to signify sarcasm. 

Is Kappa Older Than Twitch Itself?

Sure, you have likely heard of Twitch, but have you heard of Justin.Tv? The precursor of Twitch.Tv was Justin.Tv, and kappa was widely used on that platform, too. The greyscale emoticon was first an image of Justin.tv staff member Josh DeSeno.

Justin.tv was one of the earliest streaming websites, dating back to 2007. While it had a wide array of channels, its dedicated gaming channel, Twitch, would live on to become the parent company even after Justin.tv was long gone.

The Twitch channel became so popular that by 2011 it had its own site, Twitch.Tv. Twitch continued to expand until 2014 when Justin.tv was shut down completely. The company shifted its focus entirely onto Twitch.

Luckily for us, it was a common tradition for Justin.tv staff members to sneak in emotes based on themselves. DeSeno was no exception, using his employee ID to make what is now used on average a million times a day by twitch users alone. 

Origin of Kappa

How on earth did DeSeno arrive at the name “kappa?” He later explained that he was a huge fan of Japanese mythology and named the emote after a water sprite of the same name. 

While no one can pinpoint why the meme became so popular, DeSeno once theorized that it was perhaps due to the fact that “kappa” was one of the shortest names at the time. Or possibly it was due to his apparent smugness in his feigned smile; we shall never know the true reason.

Kappa, as far as internet terms go, is one of the most well-known ways to convey sarcasm, a great way to use the term “jk” and to just accentuate sarcasm in all forms of gaming.

The term has now taken off as a “trolling” meme, and as such, if a sentence ends with kappa, try not to take it seriously. 

Alternate Definition of Kappa

Another way to look at kappa is by looking into Japanese folklore.. According to Japanese mythology, kappa – also known as a komahiki (駒引), kawataro ( 川太郎), or suiko (水虎) — is an amphibious kami (Japanese water spirit.)

Fun Fact: Kappa (河童) were said to love sumo wrestling and cucumbers. Oh! They were also known for assaulting humans in the water, often bludgeoning them to death. 

How Can Kappa Be Used in a Sentence?

Now that you understand the history and various meanings behind the word, let’s review how to properly use kappa in a sentence. Try using the word of the day – kappa – in a sentence today! 

We both know that if an antibody molecule has kappa light chains, it can not have lambda 

Phi Theta Kappa is throwing another killer party this weekend. Are you going to finally make it out? 

Man, no kap, the food you made today was almost edible… almost.

Wow, you are clearly a man among men for taking out the garbage finally. Kappa.

Oh man, that boss crushed you; you are really a god at this game. Kappa.

You can totally trust sites like Urban Dictionary and Wiktionary to be spot on – kappa. 

No kap, most of my favorite streamers are still down to earth.

My brother was once in Delta Kappa Rho; I chose not to pledge. 


While kappa may refer to a mythical creature or the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet, it will always be synonymous with sarcasm and the Twitch.tv emoticon in the eyes of today’s internet-obsessed society.


  1. KAPPA English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com
  2. KAPPA | Cambridge English Dictionary
  3. Kappa Meaning : Best 5 Definitions of Kappa | Your Dictionary