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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

なんでじゃろうねwwとりあえず電車なうだから間に合いそう笑

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Do you mean SMSs? –  Andrew Grimm Sep 3 '11 at 1:44
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Social Network Services :) –  nevan king Sep 3 '11 at 13:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

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

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And it can have kind of derisive... –  Nate Glenn Jun 1 '11 at 1:04

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.

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

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I 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 Jun 1 '11 at 0:40
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Yeah, I agree. Okay, w = *g*, www = LOL, wwwwwwwww = lolololol? :D –  Amanda S Jun 1 '11 at 0:44
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shouldn't it be l0oo00ol –  Pacerier Jun 13 '11 at 17:57

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".

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My 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 Jun 1 '11 at 11:59
    
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 Jun 10 '11 at 13:56
    
@Tsuyoshi sry do you mind explaining the used to express surprise ? so does "ちょwww" means "Give me a break"? –  Pacerier Jun 13 '11 at 18:00
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@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 Jun 13 '11 at 21:16
    
@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 Jun 15 '11 at 2:29

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