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Q: The origins of "kekeke" ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Question  
Subject: The origins of "kekeke"
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: jbeaumont-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 19 Nov 2002 07:46 PST
Expires: 19 Dec 2002 07:46 PST
Question ID: 110569
On various weblogs and chat mechanisms in games I see people from
Korea and other parts of Asia say "kekeke."  I've been assuming this
is the equivalent of "hahaha" laughing, but I'm not positive.  I would
like to know if "kekeke" is some sort of equivalent to laughter, or if
it means something else.  I'd also like to know if "kekeke" was used
before the internet/sms/etc.
Answer  
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 19 Nov 2002 10:36 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
 
In the English language the words “moo”, “bow-wow”, and “ding-dong”
are readily recognizable "onomatopoetic" words, or onomatopoeia. This
kind of word is used in almost every language to imitate naturally
occurring sounds. Most people take them for granted and don’t realize
that these words are not the same in every language. In America, for
example, we say a dog's barking is best represented by the
onomatopoeia, “bow-wow” and “woof-woof”, while the French prefer to
describe it as “woah-woah”, and the Chinese, “wang-wang”. The sound a
bell makes in America is commonly described as “ding-dong”, while a
German bell goes “bim-bam”. These words represent the icon from which
they are generated, but they are, in large part, arbitrarily chosen to
represent the sounds they are understood to convey.
 
In Japanese language, one that uses hundreds of onomatopoetic words,
and indeed in other Asian cultures, laughter is conveyed as
“kera-kera” (and an older form “keta-keta”), possibly shortened of
late to “ke-ke” for chat purposes. If so, this is a relatively new
onomatopoeia. As was explained in one forum thread, the term “kekeke”
indicates a form of “cackling”, and of course, since chat is text
based, the best way to convey this is buy devising a commonly
understandable onomatopoeia, which apparently is what we are seeing in
this particular situation. As for how long this improvised term has
been in use, the Internet Slang Dictionary provides no clue. One guess
is probably as good as another. Since the sound “kekeke” is easily
recognizable as a kind of suppressed giggle (if you recall the TV
sitcom, “Dukes of Hazard”, the character known as “Sheriff Roscoe P.
Coltrane” laughed like this in almost every episode), it has probably
been around much longer than anyone really knows for certain.
 
Thank you for allowing me to work on your question. I look forward to
working with you again in the near future.
 
Best regards; 
Tutuzdad-ga 
 
SEARCH STRATEGY 
 
 
Engine used: 
 
Google ://www.google.com 
 
 
Search terms: 
 
Mimetic words 
Mimetic language 
Onomatopoeia 
Onomatopoetic words 
Onomatopoeia slang 
 
 
“Onomatopoetic Words in Japan” 
http://www.kt.rim.or.jp/~etshioda/onoma.html 
 
“Japanese Slang” 
http://www.geocities.com/thduggie/japan/jslang.htm 
 
“Way of the Samurai” 
(This is the thread where someone asks, “What does ‘kekeke’ mean?”) 
http://forums.enix.com/Forum11/HTML/003712.html 
 
“Internet Slang Dictionary” 
http://www.filetrading.net/slang/index.htm
jbeaumont-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Comments  
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
From: bobbie7-ga on 19 Nov 2002 08:44 PST
 
Hi  Jbeaumont, 

Im posting this as a comment as I was not able to answer the second
part of your question, if "kekeke" was used before the internet or
SMS.

You are correct in assuming that kekeke is laughing.

“Koreans also have a different culture, so they have different ways of
expressing laughter and smiles on the internet. "Kekeke" is pretty
much their way of saying LOL.”
http://www.diablo2.com/Information/faqs/forzan.php

"Kekeke" is equivalent to "hehehe", an expression of laughter.
http://www.jingseng.com/blog/archives/2002_08_01_vague.html

Forum discussing jejeje haha LOL kekeke puahahaha.
http://www.yolkshop.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=6&threadid=595

SMS abbreviations in various languages. 
http://www.hit.uib.no/corpora/2001-4/0119.html

Regards,
--Bobbie7-ga
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
From: hahna-ga on 19 Nov 2002 08:49 PST
 
hi there

i can attest to the fact that kekeke was definitely used before the
internet.  i have letters from highschool cousins who would write
stuff like 'kekeke' and 'hu-hu-hu' and so on in their letters to me. 
(native koreans.)
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
From: hahna-ga on 19 Nov 2002 08:50 PST
 
those letters date back to the mid-late 80s.  internet was around, but
not used by middleschool and hs students (kids my age that i wrote to,
etc).
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
From: tutuzdad-ga on 19 Nov 2002 09:56 PST
 
Dear jbeaumont-ga

I am posting this as a comment for the time being. I can repost it as
an answer if you find it informative.

In the English language the words “moo”, “bow-wow”, and “ding-dong”
are readily recognizable "onomatopoetic" words, or onomatopoeia. This
kind of word is used in almost every language to imitate naturally
occurring sounds. Most people take them for granted and don’t realize
that these words are not the same in every language. In America, for
example, we say a dog's barking is best represented by the
onomatopoeia, “bow-wow” and “woof-woof”, while the French prefer to
describe it as “woah-woah”, and the Chinese, “wang-wang”. The sound a
bell makes in America is commonly described as “ding-dong”, while a
German bell goes “bim-bam”. These words represent the icon from which
they are generated, but they are, in large part, arbitrarily chosen to
represent the sounds they are understood to convey.

In Japanese language, one that uses hundreds of onomatopoetic words,
and indeed in other Asian cultures, laughter is conveyed as
“kera-kera” (and an older form “keta-keta”), possibly shortened of
late to “ke-ke” for chat purposes. If so, this is a relatively new
onomatopoeia. As was explained in one forum thread, the term “kekeke”
indicates a form of “cackling”, and of course, since chat is text
based, the best way to convey this is buy devising a commonly
understandable onomatopoeia, which apparently is what we are seeing in
this particular situation. As for how long this improvised term has
been in use, the Internet Slang Dictionary provides no clue. One guess
is probably as good as another. Since the sound “kekeke” is easily
recognizable as a kind of suppressed giggle (if you recall the TV
sitcom, “Dukes of Hazard”, the character known as “Sheriff Roscoe P.
Coltrane” laughed like this in almost every episode), it has probably
been around much longer than anyone really knows for certain.

Let me know if this answers your question and I will post it as such.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga

SEARCH STRATEGY


Engine used:

Google ://www.google.com


Search terms:

Mimetic words
Mimetic language
Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoetic words
Onomatopoeia slang


“Onomatopoetic Words in Japan”
http://www.kt.rim.or.jp/~etshioda/onoma.html

“Japanese Slang”
http://www.geocities.com/thduggie/japan/jslang.htm

“Way of the Samurai”
(This is the thread where someone asks, “What does ‘kekeke’ mean?”)
http://forums.enix.com/Forum11/HTML/003712.html

“Internet Slang Dictionary”
http://www.filetrading.net/slang/index.htm
Subject: Re: The origins of "kekeke"
From: jbeaumont-ga on 19 Nov 2002 10:23 PST
 
tutuzdad please repost your comment as an answer if you would, it's
excellent, thank you.

Thanks bobbie7 and hahna for your very insightful comments.  This has
been very interesting!

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