If you’re puzzled by the title and are wondering ‘What is Copium?’ you’re officially not ‘hip’ anymore. The internet’s lingo has always been an evolving one, but when it comes to gaming and streaming, it’s a whole different ball game. And the aforementioned word is part of the ever-changing online landscape of platforms like Twitch and Reddit.
Often, viewers use Copium in Twitch chat mockingly. Although its earliest known usage can be traced back to 2003, its current meaning came became popular only around 2018. This now common word has an interesting history and its origin isn’t linked to gaming or streaming.
What Is Copium And Its Origin?
The word Copium is a portmanteau, the latter meaning a new word formed after combining two words or more. Brunch (breakfast + lunch) and smog (smoke +fog) are common examples. Similarly, the Copium meaning can be understood if you realize that it’s derived from cope and opium. It was first seen when artist Keak da Sneak released his album ‘Copium’ in 2003.
But not before 2018 had it started being used in its current connotation. Around 2018, an anonymous user first typed the word on a 4chan board, after which it rose in popularity on Reddit forums to make fun of left-leaning internet users who weren’t too happy with Donald Trump gaining victory in the 2016 US presidential election. You see, Copium is most often melded with the viral meme ‘Pepe the frog’, where Pepe is shown inhaling from a Copium tank.
So if someone is frustrated over a situation, they’re shown to be coping with the situation with the help of Copium, a fictional drug similar to opium in real life. The word also became part of Twitch’s FrankerFaceZ suite as an emote.
Its meaning in the Urban Dictionary is written down as ‘a metaphorical opiate inhaled when faced with loss, failure, or defeat, especially in sports, politics, and other tribal settings’.
It goes on to explain that ‘The effects of copium include, but are not limited to: extreme rationalizations for the defeat, outlandish theories of conspiracy supposedly perpetrated by the opposing side, extreme rage directed at the other side, unconvincing allegations of fraud and abuse in the system, and rejection of the system as a whole.’
What Is The Copium Meme?
What started as a simple Pepe the frog meme showing the character hooked to a “cope+opium” tank was soon being tweaked to suit any situation ripe for mocking a particular group of people. For instance, it was frequently used to mock Donald Trump supporters after his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden. The former’s supporters alleged that the election was rigged. In this case, a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat was added to Pepe’s head.
This meme may or may not show Pepe in a crying state. Also, some others use a modified version of the meme recognized as ‘Hopium’, to indicate addiction to false hope. ‘Super Copium’ is another popular derivation for those extra hard-to-deal-with situations.
Copium Meaning In Twitch Chat?
Users on the platform often spam Twitch chats with the Copium emote whenever people lose games or appear to be frustrated over an argument. In Twitch culture, it is employed to mock the targeted user or streamer over their response to these situations.
People often use the word in casual conversations online, mostly to convey that supporters of a weaker rival player or faction are high on the fictional drug.
Pepe the frog is also distorted into an offensive Pepega meme that’s used on Twitch when a streamer does something dumb or stupid on-screen.
While the use of Copium in Twitch chat is fairly common now, it’s also regularly spotted on other platforms. People can be seen employing this word to make fun of others via YouTube, Facebook and Reddit comments.
Sometimes, players use the term in voice chats in online multiplayer games as well. Although this portmanteau’s popularity is not as widespread as it used to be, it’s still relevant in pockets. And it’s likely to stay so for at least a few years, before being relegated to the cyber graveyard.
Twitch and the larger gaming community are ripe with terms like ‘malding’ and KEKW, unique to gamers and streamers, often unheard of by regular audiences. But Copium’s Twitch chat presence has a singular history, owing to its political context.
Portmanteau words like these often come into being on one online portal, and then spread onto other social media platforms to make their existence felt in the comments section of YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Instagram stories and so on. Some even make it into the official English dictionary…or not.