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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 6 03:26:04 UTC 2021

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.
[End excerpt]

Further back in time, the term was mentioned in a thread titled "kay
fabe" on this mailing list in 1999:

Nancy Friedman has an up-to-date discussion on her website as she noted:


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://bit.ly/2Xe1HOq
> 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://clasprofiles.wayne.edu/profile/an6993
> geoffnathan at wayne.edu
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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