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The world has yet another word for falsifying information entering the OxfordDictionaries.com Kayfabe: – “The fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic.” It’s largely used in pro wrestling circles, but the dictionary says its origin is unknown, except possibly as a reversal of the phrase, “be fake.”

I don’t know why they didn’t reference the obvious squeeze on the standard word “confabulation” defined as – Early 17th century: from Latin confabulat- ‘chatted together’, from the verb confabulari, from con- ‘together’ + fabulari (from fabula ‘fable’). The old word confabulation is limited to verbal constructions made out of already perceived ideas that are considered by informed sane people as insane.  The new word kayfabe is similar but its meaning relates to physically ‘blended together’ ideas.

Thus when the action is intended to deceive others is a verbal lie it’s a confabulation, and when it’s a physical lie it is a kayfabe. There already exist many words for physical lying, such as camouflagedevice or stratagem for concealment or deceit; dissemble – To disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance; fabricate – to fake, to forge (a document, signature, etc.); fake – a person who pretends to be something he is not; pretend – To represent fictitiously as in a play; to make believe; play – to be performed, as in a theater or on television.

The definition of play, as in a theater, has the purported purpose of entertaining the viewers. This new word kayfabe is performed in a venue where the actions are considered to be legitimate and the viewer responds in some way with the assumption that the kayfabe is a real event.

This kind of believable performance, a kayfabe, was done by Sherlock Holmes in the first short story, A Scandal in Bohemia, (1891) where he hires some actors to perform a commotion in front Irene Adler’s home, where she is hiding an incriminating photo being used to blackmail the King of Bohemia. The king has employed Sherlock to find the photo so it can be destroyed, and Sherlock goes about obtaining the photo by creating a kayfabe. The actors are instructed to to create a kerfuffle in front of Irene’s home, where Sherlock is dressed as a rich man and pretends to be injured so Irene will bring him into her house. As he is lying on her sofa, supposedly recovering from the attack, he has prearranged for his confederate Watson to throw a smoky fire-bomb into her house, whereupon she reacts by running to her secret hiding place to save the valuable photo, and thus reveals it to Sherlock.

Kayfabes have thus been around for a long time, and now they have a  unique name.

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