In many places, it seems as if games have their own language. And with the terms „Copium“ and „Hopium“, further terminology has now spread in the streaming scene that is often difficult for outsiders to understand. Roughly speaking, „copium“ refers to realists and „hopium“ to idealists or optimists. The two terms are transformed in such a way that they sound like chemical elements, but they are aimed at a certain state of mind in the gaming world.
Copium“ and „hopium“ became particularly well-known on the US streaming platform „Twitch“. There, both terms established themselves in the form of memes, which in turn are images, videos or texts that are edited and disseminated in a humorous way. They often have a cultural context – in this case a context based on the gaming scene.
Since the terms „copium“ and „hopium“ are almost unknown outside the gaming world, they will be explained in detail in the following article. In addition to the actual definition of the terms, the origin, use and further developments of the terms will also be shown. Last but not least, similar terms will be mentioned.
What do Copium and Hopium mean? Memes, explanation, meaning, definition
The terms „copium“ and „hopium“ are English-language artificial words derived from the verbs „to cope“ (meaning „to cope effectively with something difficult“) and „to hope“ (meaning „to hope for something“ or „to expect something“). The two verbs are first substantivised and supplemented by the ending „-ium“. This ending comes from Latin and is primarily used to designate substances or other chemical elements. This is intended to represent „copium“ and „hopium“ as an imaginary chemical substance that corresponds to a fictitious chemical element.
The inspiration for this word creation is „opium“, which is composed of the word „opiate“ and the suffix „-ium“. „Copium“ is thus depicted as a drug that is primarily used by people who are realistic and purpose-oriented. On the other hand, people with a more optimistic disposition tend to use „hopium“.
Origin of „Copium“ and „Hopium“
„Copium“ and „Hopium“ probably originated in 2018 on the English-language imageboard platform called „4chan“. Quickly, both terms were then also used in the „Reddit“ and „Twitch“ worlds. Namely, Twitch user COUNCIL was the first user to establish „Copium“ and „Hopium“ on the streaming platform. „Copium“ and „Hopium“ gained greater notoriety during a Republican campaign in which a Republican candidate used both terms to mock competing candidates.
As 2020, 2021 and 2022 progressed, „copium“ and „hopium“ were then used primarily in in-game communications and found their way into regular gamer-speak. From then on, „Copium addicts“ were people who acted in a realistic and solution-oriented way. Hopium addicts“, on the other hand, tended to be people who were overly optimistic or even idealistic.
Use of „Copium“ and „Hopium“
„Copium“ and „Hopium“ are mainly used as a basis for creating memes. Particularly popular is the use of Pepe the Frog, which was created by US artist Matt Furie back in 2005. In the memes, the frog breathes in two different substances from an adjacent gas bottle via a face mask – namely „Copium“ or „Hopium“.
The word „copium“ is primarily used in situations in which the person concerned reacts realistically, dispassionately and emotionlessly – for example, in the case of an emotionless separation from a loved one or the execution of an order from a superior without discussion. On the other hand, the word „hopium“ is often used when the situation itself seems completely hopeless and unrealistic to master, but the person nevertheless remains optimistic and level-headed. „Hopium“ is therefore also often used for people who stubbornly and steadily continue to invest in the stock market despite a recession.
Advantages and disadvantages of „Copium“ and „Hopium
The two expressions „copium“ and „hopium“ are of course associated with certain mental attitudes that are attributed to the people who are designated with the respective term. These have advantages and disadvantages and will be listed below:
Advantages and disadvantages of „Copium
- Realistic and emotionless way of acting (+)
- Purposeful and goal-oriented and especially helpful in dicey situations (+)
- One can cope with even the most difficult situations and is always sovereign (+)
- Often passionless, loveless and joyless (-)
- Little enthusiasm and sometimes depressed (-)
- Tendency to introversion and conservatism (-)
Advantages and disadvantages of „Hopium“
- Always optimistic, good-humoured and level-headed (+)
- Enthusiastic and inspiring to others (+)
- Has a positive effect on one’s own psyche and health (+)
- Can sometimes appear naive (-)
- Can be taken advantage of by others (-)
- Failure to recognise dangers in actually dangerous situations (-)
Social classification of the two terms „copium“ and „hopium
„Copium“ and „Hopium“ were the first terms of their kind to use verbs to create a fictitious substance. Both terms are also increasingly gaining a foothold outside their origins and are gaining more and more social recognition. An example of this could be the use of the terms in a political context. Both terms are also gaining popularity in the context of the current financial crisis, where they are used to refer to either realists or optimists. Basically, however, these are terms that are primarily used by younger generations such as „Millenials“ or „Generation Z“, or „Generation Alpha“. They occur comparatively rarely in the language of the older generations (over 30).
Conclusion on the topics „Copium“ and „Hopium“
In summary, „Copium“ and „Hopium“ are two terms from the e-sports world that originated on the streaming platform „Twitch“. While „Copium“ serves as a (swear) word for excessive realists, „Hopium“ is used more as a (swear) word for overly strong optimists. The terms recently gained greater attention outside the gaming world as well, being used on „Reddit“ as part of a political campaign.
Related to the terms „copium“ and „hopium“ are, among others, the expressions „doom-posting“ or „red-pills“. While the word „doom-posting“ refers to an exaggerated posting of pessimistic comments, „red-pills“ rather means that someone speaks out a certain, unpleasant truth and accepts it for himself, even if others do not like it. Both terms can therefore be attributed more to „copium“ and are rather realistic to pessimistic expressions.