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“Kek” is a translation of the acronym “LOL” (laugh out loud) when reading text written by members of the Horde faction as an Alliance player in the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft (WoW). “Kek” is also associated with the unrelated Turkish snack food Topkek, which is often discussed on the /s4s/ (Shit 4chan Says) board on 4chan.
In the online multiplayer role-playing game WoW, released on November 23rd, 2004, players can choose to play on either the Alliance or Horde factions, which are considered enemies within the game’s universe. Players of separate factions are unable to communicate with one-another, as their typed text is run through an in-game translator. For players of the Horde faction, typing the letters “LOL” results in members of the Alliance faction reading “KEK” (shown below).
On March 22nd, 2005, Urban Dictionary user drat submitted an entry for the word “kek,” defining it as “’lol’ in Orcish.” On June 19th, 2007, Yahoo Answers member Mr. Questionair submitted a question about cross-faction communication, to which user ArcadianStormcrow replied that when Horde players speak the word “lol,” it shows up as “kek” for Alliance players. On April 4th, 2008, a thread was submitted to the Gamespot Forums which included mentions of “kek” and “lol” among other faction translations. On June 24th, 2009, Wow Insider published an article on communicating with enemies, noting that saying “kek” as an Alliance player will not translate as “lol” to a Horde player. On February 16th, 2010, Wowhead Forums member sistereinstein submitted a thread asking if “kek” was a new slang term for “LOL.” On September 2nd, 2011, an entry for “kek” was submitted to the slang website Internet Slang, defining it as “LOL in WOW.”
Topkek is a brand of Turkish cake which is often combined with the neologism “Top Lel” associated with the Top Gun hat worn by the character Adam in the American sitcom Workaholics. According to Encyclopedia Dramatica, Topkek became notable on the /s4s/ board on May 13th, 2013, when user prime minister face began posting photographs of the snack food.
On June 5th, a Facebook page titled “Top kek” was launched. On June 23rd, YouTuber youyours555 uploaded the intro from the animated television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic edited to include Topkek and other Internet meme references (shown below, left). On July 12th, 2013, Redditor glnskp submitted a screenshot of a Topkek 4chan thread to the /r/4chan subreddit, to which several Redditors replied with references to WoW. On the following day, YouTuber Top Kek uploaded a When I’m Bored remix video titled “When I’m kek” featuring a slideshow containing Topkek images (shown below, right).
Yahoo Answers – Alliance understand horde speaking in world of warcraft