What Does AFK Mean? Understanding Gaming Chat Acronyms And Lingo

Posted on June 7, 2021

Have you ever seen someone have as their status on-screen “AFK” when playing a game? If so, what does AFK mean? Is it some kind of code? Is it an acronym? If it is either of these things, what information is it giving the viewer?

For someone new to the world of gaming, the different gaming acronyms and lingo used commonly by players can be difficult to understand at first. However, the good news is that it can be relatively easy to pick up and in this article, we are not only going to answer the question of what does AFK mean, but we are also going to look at some other common phrases used in gaming and esports too.

So let’s start with one of the most obvious phrases in common usage by gamers today.

What Does AFK Mean?

AFK is an acronym that simply means Away From Keyboard. It indicates that the player, while participating in the game, is not at their computer or console at that moment.

It is often used with another acronym BRB, which stands for Be Right Back. Which means that if a player puts AFK BRB, then this means that they will be away from their keyboard, but should be back very shortly.

Acronyms are used widely across the gaming community to stop people from having to type out much longer phrases for common events, emotions, or behaviours. It is similar to the use of acronyms that are utilised by many people when text messaging each other.

So, there’s no great mystery as to the question of ‘what does AFK mean’ but there are some less common phrases and acronyms used that may require a bit more explanation for new players (or Noobs).

AFK meaning in Gaming

Other common Gaming and Esports Acronyms and Phrases

In the hugely popular Dota 2 game, you will often see viewers of a game use the phrase ‘Lakad Matatag Normalin Normalin’. So, what is the Lakad Matatag meaning and what does it relate to?

Now this time, Lakad Matatag Normalin Normalin is not an acronym. Instead, it is a phrase taken from the Filipino language Tagalog. When translated, it means “Walk strong and complete a standard attack”.

The reason it became such a popular phrase that is spammed thousands of times by viewers is due to a cast featuring two very excitable Filipino commentators on a game at the ESL One Katowice 2018 tournament between Fnatic and Team Secret when Fnatic came from behind to win the game.

The commentators repeatedly used the phrase and given their excitement, the video of the game quickly went viral, and the phrase was quickly adopted across the Dota 2 community to the point where it is commonly used today.

What is KEKW Meaning?

In Twitch Chat, you may well have seen the phrase KEK used very often when games are being played. For emphasis this can often be adjusted to KEKW. But what does this mean and where did it come from?

In terms of the KEKW meaning, It originated in a video that went viral on YouTube that featured a Spanish comedian, Juan Joya Borja, hysterically laughing as he told a story in Spanish. People took the original video and added their own subtitles to it and as a result, the video went viral.

Alongside this is an emote that depicts a man laughing hysterically, the name of that emote was KEKW. This emote was introduced on Twitch in 2019 and went viral very quickly.

As such, the phrase KEK was used instead of Laugh Out Loud (LOL) to indicate when someone in the chat has seen something funny. KEKW is an expansion of that to indicate that they found it very funny.

However, KEK has also been a part of the World of Warcraft game for a while now as when a player sends a message of LOL to a player on the opposing team, that player sees KEK. Adding the ‘W’ for KEKW means that something is extremely funny.

As you can see, there are many and varied ways that gaming chat evolves to incorporate new phrases, themes, memes, and emotes and in doing so, it has evolved into a rich and diverse language of its own.

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Ian John

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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