KEK – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you used to joking around with your friends online? Maybe you want to send a sign of your amusement without using the typical terms?

If so, there are a few things you can say to get your point across. “KEK” is an example of this.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The phrase “KEK” essentially means the same thing as “LOL”. It is an expression used to show a comical reaction to something, or to indicate that one is laughing in response to something someone else has said or done. Kek is a rather common slang term that simply means you are laughing or that you are amused.

This term is not as popular as “LOL”, but is commonly seen in certain gaming communities. As explained later in the “origin” section of this post, the phrase has also evolved to refer to alt-right or hateful ideologies. It is still more often used as a symbol of laughter, but depending on the context, it is also used to refer to these certain groups. More information can be found in the video (here).

Example Usage

“Have you seen the video with the kitten and dog playing? KEK!”

“Did you see Kevin Hart’s new comedy special last night? KEK!”

“I laugh every time I watch Jo Burnham’s videos. KEK!”

“KEK! I can’t believe how funny this is!”

“Chad is so alt-right it’s not even funny. He’s such a kek.”

“Toby is the most hateful person I know. He’s definitely a kek.”

Origin

The popular online video game World of Warcraft was released on November 23 of 2004. In the game, players choose different types of characters they want to play. One type of character available to play is an Orc. When players choose to be Orcs, if they type “LOL” into the in-game chat, it automatically autocorrects to “KEK”. This is supposed to mimic the language of the Orcs and the sound that they would actually make when laughing. This is commonly accepted to be where “KEK” first appeared.

After the U.S. presidential election of 2016, the Internet adopted “Kek” to refer to alt-right political persons or parties. Now, the phrase is typically used to refer to white supremacy, antisemitism, and other hateful ideologies. This was to the disappointment of many gamers, who had always used “KEK” as an expression of laughter in their games.

Though “KEK” is still most commonly seen as a form of “LOL”, the new alt-right meaning of the phrase has tainted the term that many used to love.

Phrases Similar to KEK

  • LOL
  • LMAO
  • ROFL
  • Hateful/extremist/etc.

Phrases Opposite to KEK

  • Crying/sadness/etc.
  • Anger/agitation/etc.
  • Leftist

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Depending on the context, “KEK” either means “LOL” or “alt-right”.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say KEK

“KEK” is typically used to show laughter, or to refer to alt-right or hateful groups. Using this term when one is not laughing, or is speaking of common leftist or non-hateful ideologies would be incorrect. Some ways that “KEK” is used incorrectly are:

  • Did you see that really sad video of the person who lost their dog? KEK!
  • Ashley is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She’s such a kek.
  • The ending of this book made me cry harder than any book I’ve ever read. KEK!
  • I’ve never heard Tony say anything racist or sexist. He must be a kek.
  • Marley and Me is such a sad movie. KEK!

Acceptable Ways to Phrase KEK

  • Have you seen Jeff Dunham’s new comedy show? That guy always makes me laugh. KEK!
  • John is the biggest white supremacist I’ve ever talked to. What a kek!
  • Every time I play Cards Against Humanity, I laugh so hard my eyes start watering. KEK!
  • Paul is so antisemitic, I almost can’t believe it. He’s a huge kek.
  • Amy is super homophobic, she talks about it all of the time. She’s definitely a kek.

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