What Does monkaS Mean in Twitch Chat and Where Did It Originate?

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Twitch Chat’s monkaS is one of the most popular emotes on the platform and it is available via the BetterTwitchTV (BTTV) extension. The emote is based on Pepe the Frog but this particular iteration of the emote known as monkaS on Twitch chat is meant to convey anxiety through the bulging sweaty eyes. In 2021, we have multiple variants of the emote including monkaOMEGA (signifying a very stressful moment), monkaThink (signifying thinking hard under stress), and monkaW (a close-up version of monkaS). Let’s take a look at how monkaS made it to Twitch chat and the meaning behind it.

The Origin of monkaS on Twitch Chat

Monkas Twitch ChatMonkaS is available on Twitch via the BTTV extension. Image Credit: BTTV

The origin of monkaS on Twitch chat can be traced all the way back to 4chan in 2011. There was a thread submitted in /lit/ that year which featured the emote and it was later added to the FrankerFaceZ Twitch extension five years later. Over time monkaS became a part of Twitch’s subculture and has made an appearance outside of the streaming platform as well.

What Does monkaS Mean in Twitch Chat?

MonkaS TwitchThe monkaS emote is used outside of Twitch on social media platforms.

monkaS is an abbreviation for ‘monkaScared’ designed to represent anxious moments whenever something tense happens during streams. The emote has been used over 102 million times and it is one of the most popular emotes of 2020. It is based on an emote uploaded by Twitch user Monkasen (MonkaSenpai at the time) to the Better Twitch TV extension. The emote originated in 4chan in 2011 before being added to BTTV in 2016.

Why Pepe The Frog is Controversial Outside Twitch?

Twitch chat’s monkaS emote might seem harmless to a majority of the streaming community and its viewers but it also has its share of controversies. The frog featured in the emote is known as “Pepe the Frog”, a character that appeared in the 2005 comic Boy’s Life by Matt Furie. The comic depicts Pepe and his friends as college students who play video games, have pizza, and smoke pot. In 2008, in one of the comic strips, Pepe responded to a question about his bathroom habits with “feels good, man”. It eventually turned into the FeelsGoodMan emote on Twitch and a number of other emotes including monkaS were based on the character.

Some people have morphed the character with a Hilter mustache and have added signature messages that are anti-Semitic. The emote has been associated with anti-Semitic groups in the recent past despite it being a completely harmless cartoon. Context matters a lot when using Pepe emotes but despite most of the Twitch community’s inoffensive use of the emote, it didn’t stop Pepe from being added to the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Symbol Database.

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