When phrases are confusing in written English, it’s usually because they are old and have lost their original meaning.
Then there’s the internet, where phrases are confusing because they’re brand new. The abbreviation “ikkk” is a great example.
(Not sure what a phrase is? Check out our article on clauses vs phrases. Otherwise, keep reading!)
What is the meaning of ikkk?
Although it looks like an expression of disgust, ikkk is actually an abbreviation meaning “I know, know, know” or “I knoooow.” This abbreviation is used online to state that you know something. It can also be used to agree with something.
ikkk: just the basics
Put simply, “ikkk” means “I know, know, know” or “I knoooow.” However, as with much online slang, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Although the k in “ikkk” stands for “know,” there are a couple of different interpretations. Is this a simple statement of knowledge of is it agreeing with somebody?
Let’s find out!
The two interpretations of ikkk
The two main uses of “ikkk” are to state that you know something and to state that you agree with somebody.
Although it might seem confusing that these four letters can mean two different things, the meaning is usually obvious from context.
“ikkk” to mean “I know”
In theory, the k in “ikkk” stands for the word “know.”
If you were to write out “I know,” people would definitely think you were just stating that you understood something. That can also be one way to use “ikkk” in a sentence.
“ikkk” to mean “I agree”
The second way to use “ikkk” online is probably the most common. In this sense, “ikkk” is used to reply to something someone has just said and state your agreement.
How to use ikkk in a sentence
No matter which meaning you intend, “ikkk” is easy to use in a sentence. Simply use it where you would put the phrase “I know” or “I agree.”
It’s worth noting that this abbreviation is usually used by itself. You can combine it with other short phrases but if you try using it in a completely grammatical English sentence, it’s going to look odd.
Also, this abbreviation is used mostly online. You shouldn’t use it in when talking to someone in real life and using it in a formal document or a business setting is definitely a bad idea.
Breaking out “ikkk the meaning of competitive parity in strategic management, do you?” at a business dinner is just going to confuse everybody.
In this example, CoolName06 uses “ikkk” to agree with NetLuvr49’s comment about TikTok. Although “I know” would work here, it sounds much more brusque than “ikkk.”
Calvin: “omg mom ikkkkkkkkk” [😛]
Here, Calvin responds to his mother’s text by saying he knows she’s asked him to take out the trash.
In this context, “ikkk” takes on a frustrated, almost sarcastic meaning, especially given the number of k’s.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at why extra k’s change the meaning of this abbreviation.
How many k’s does ikkk have?
The internet is a chaotic place, and nobody will hunt you down if you don’t know how to use hence in a sentence. The same is true if you accidentally write “ikkkk” instead of “ikkk.”
If you’re worried about using this abbreviation incorrectly, you can simply stick to four k’s.
That’s because the number of k’s acts a little bit like adding exclamation marks to show emotion.
The more k’s you add to the end of the abbreviation, the more you will emphasize just how much you know something—or how much you agree with it.
Of course, as we’ve seen above, too many k’s end up sounding sarcastic, not happy.
The bottom line is that you should choose your k’s with care!
Related expressions to “ikkk”
There are quite a few abbreviations related to “ikkk,” both in meaning and in what they imply. Let that sink in for a moment before you read further.
The most basic way to say you understand, ik just means “I know.”
This one doesn’t carry any of the implications of other “I know” abbreviations and only uses one letter k, making it a good choice for quick typing.
Useful for when you don’t know something, idk “I don’t know.”
You can also use this abbreviation to express indecisiveness. For example, you could say “idk, what do you think?” to ask for advice.
idek means “I don’t even know.”
As the word “even” suggests, this is an emphatic way to say you don’t know what’s going on. Like idk, idek can take on another meaning.
If you use idek to talk about someone else’s actions, it implies judgment. For instance, “idek what’s going on with Judy” shows confusion about whatever Judy has done.
The last common abbreviation in this list is ikr, which means “I know, right?”
Interestingly, this expression isn’t really used to state knowledge of something. Instead, it’s a way to show that you completely agree with something someone has just said in a slightly ironic way.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.