What is the meaning of all those "w"s in email and SNSs?



You see a lot of w and ww and even www in Twitter and casual chat. What does it mean? I've always thought it was わいわい but never found out. How is it pronounced?

Here's an example from Twitter


nevan king

Posted 2011-06-01T00:28:17.247

Reputation: 6 552

Do you mean SMSs? – Andrew Grimm – 2011-09-03T01:44:36.877

2Social Network Services :) – nevan king – 2011-09-03T13:34:12.707



They derive from 笑う(わらう). They're the Japanese equivalent of "LOL".

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams

Posted 2011-06-01T00:28:17.247

Reputation: 4 719

3And it can have kind of derisive... – Nate Glenn – 2011-06-01T01:04:39.057


www is Internet slang like lol in Japanese. It stands for warai (笑い), often used on online message boards

笑 is like www, it's another internet slang, like lol in Japanese. You will also see people adding 笑 at the end of sentences on the Internet just like the example you gave.

Ken Li

Posted 2011-06-01T00:28:17.247

Reputation: 2 344


It is an abbreviation for warai (laugh), and it comes from gamer slang. It can be translated as "LOL."

Amanda S

Posted 2011-06-01T00:28:17.247

Reputation: 7 369

2I would argue that a single (or small number of) w is a lot weaker than the LOL - more like a grin or chuckle, so to speak. – bdonlan – 2011-06-01T00:40:42.380

3Yeah, I agree. Okay, w = *g*, www = LOL, wwwwwwwww = lolololol? :D – Amanda S – 2011-06-01T00:44:02.617

1shouldn't it be l0oo00ol – Pacerier – 2011-06-13T17:57:49.930


As the others have said, the "w" stands for 笑う(わらう).

You might also see someone write "ちょwww" online. This is similar to somebody saying "ちょ~かわいい" if you've seen that line before. In this case, the ちょ is actually 超(ちょう) so "ちょwww" would translate into something like "so funny" or "very funny" compared to the standard "www" or "wwwwwwwww (ad infinitum)" which would just be "lol" and "roflmao".


Posted 2011-06-01T00:28:17.247

Reputation: 558

I was finally able to ask my Japanese friend to cross reference what you said and he agrees. Thank you for pointing this out, Tsuyoshi. – rcjsuen – 2011-06-10T13:56:41.043

@Tsuyoshi sry do you mind explaining the used to express surprise ? so does "ちょwww" means "Give me a break"? – Pacerier – 2011-06-13T18:00:29.037

3@Pacerier: “Give me a break” seemed to be a wrong translation (caused by my misunderstanding of how this phrase is used in English). “Wait a moment” or “hold on” is a better translation. Anyway “ちょwww” is an Internet slang used when someone did a funny thing to denote that the speaker is surprised and wants to say “ちょっと待て” or “ちょっと待って” (Wait a moment), but he/she cannot finish the sentence because he/she is laughing. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-06-13T21:16:59.160

@Tsuyoshi ok cool that does clear up some doubts, btw if i want to say ちょっと待て but not when they did anything funny.. can we use ちょwww as a general replacement for ちょっと待て? – Pacerier – 2011-06-15T02:29:14.213

12My understanding (as a native Japanese speaker without professional knowledge in linguistics) is that ちょ in “ちょwww” comes from ちょっと待て, not 超. ちょっと待て literally is a command “wait a moment,” but in this case it is used to express surprise (in a similar way to the English expression “Give me a break!”). – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-06-01T11:59:04.110

@Pacerier no don't! or else you risk getting misunderstood that you're making fun of your partner. – syockit – 2011-07-17T12:29:46.380

@Ito Depending on the case ちょっと待て can be "give me a break" if it was shortened from "ちょっと待て、本気か?" ("wait a minute, are you serious?"). If it was "ちょっと待てコラ!" ("Oy, hold it!") then it could be translated to "Stop screwing around lololol!" – syockit – 2011-07-17T12:38:39.183