[Ads-l] New to me: 'kayfabe'

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Wed Jan 6 04:54:43 EST 2021


Reportedly from "Scholastic Wrestling News," an article in an Oregon newspaper:

There is a special vocabulary among wrestlers, these three claim. For example, the term "Kay Fabian" is used to mean shut up. If a promoter and two wrestlers are in the dressing room discussing how an upcoming match is to go and an outsider walks in, someone will say "Kay Fabian," and everyone will suddenly begin talking about the weather.

Greensboro Daily News [NC; AmHistN] April 16, 1975, 29/1.

S. Goranson


________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 10:26 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: New to me: 'kayfabe'

Ben Zimmer mentioned "kayfabe" on this mailing list back in 2005
(before my time) within a thread titled "Carny Lingo". Ben pointed to
an entry in the "Double-Tongued Dictionary" which is now maintained at
"A Way with Words":

[Begin excerpt]
Both the Keyser and Torch glossaries also have "kayfabe", one of the
many fascinating terms that I've first encountered on Grant's site.
https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/kayfabe/__;!!OToaGQ!7IU8xz2cD6lTZAZl8Txx00PbU18hIrgAufk1snLIVLbSHYJksrjBHgoH6PqqalDu$
[End excerpt]

Further back in time, the term was mentioned in a thread titled "kay
fabe" on this mailing list in 1999:
https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/1999-June/000447.html__;!!OToaGQ!7IU8xz2cD6lTZAZl8Txx00PbU18hIrgAufk1snLIVLbSHYJksrjBHgoH6PrM1OYI$

Nancy Friedman has an up-to-date discussion on her website as she noted:
https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2016/09/word-of-the-week-kayfabe.html__;!!OToaGQ!7IU8xz2cD6lTZAZl8Txx00PbU18hIrgAufk1snLIVLbSHYJksrjBHgoH6JRFga9W$

Garson

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 6:38 PM Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu> wrote:
>
> Just learned a new word. From an article on Slate about how tomorrow's Senate
> process is likely to unfold I found the following:
>
> 'More than a dozen Republican senators have said
> they will sign on to various objections,
> promising to make this year's electoral count a spectacle of kayfabe sedition.'
>
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://bit.ly/2Xe1HOq__;!!OToaGQ!7IU8xz2cD6lTZAZl8Txx00PbU18hIrgAufk1snLIVLbSHYJksrjBHgoH6E-84Zlo$
>
> According to Wikipedia, 'kayfabe' means the kind of scripted 'fight' seen in professional
> wrestling, where the outcomes are predestined and the 'fighters' remain in
> character, even outside of the ring while entertaining fans.
>
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> WSU Information Privacy Officer (Retired)
> Emeritus Professor, Linguistics Program
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://clasprofiles.wayne.edu/profile/an6993__;!!OToaGQ!7IU8xz2cD6lTZAZl8Txx00PbU18hIrgAufk1snLIVLbSHYJksrjBHgoH6Ftbn0UM$
> geoffnathan at wayne.edu
>
>
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