Is “kekeke” considered an English word?

"kekeke" is somewhat of an alternative to "hehehe" or "huehuehue". From Urban Dictionary:

This is an onomatopoeia for laughter. Its origin is the Korean onomatopoeia ㅋㅋㅋ, in which ㅋ stands for the "k" sound, like in raspy, stifled laughter.

This obviously means it isn’t English in origin but the question I have is whether it would be considered an English word when used in sentences like the following:



Since it is an onomatopoeia, it "translates" perfectly into English. We can make the same sound and the connotation of such laughter carries over into English speaking cultures. Does this mean it is considered a valid English word?

The simple question: What is "kekeke" with regards to the English language?


I don’t have comparable information for the Oxford English Dictionary—but historically, Merriam-Webster has not been terribly welcoming to giggles, gurgles, grunts, and other onomatopoeic ejaculations. The tendency goes back to Noah Webster himself, who included entries for "ha" and "hey" in his Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1806), but not for "hah," "ha-ha," "hi," or "ho," though "hah" goes at least as far back as the play Sir Gyles Goosecappe Knight (1606), and though the Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) dates "ha-ha" to "before 12c," "hi" to "15c," and "ho" to "15c." (Johnson’s 1756 Dictionary has entries for "ha," "hey," and "ho," but not for the others.)

In the United States, "hah" and "ho" debut in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language, which also acknowledges (under the entry for "ha") that "When repeated, ha, ha, it is an expression of laughter, or sometimes it is equivalent to ‘Well! it is so.’" Nevertheless, "ha-ha" in the sense of laughter doesn’t receive its own entry in Merriam-Webster’s until the Seventh Collegiate Dictionary (1963), which also marks the Collegiate series debut of "hi."

For additional context, consider the Merriam-Webster’s handling of "er," "heh," "huh," "huh-uh," "nuh-uh," "ugh," "uh," "uh-huh," "uh-oh," and "uh-uh." The Eleventh Collegiate provides first occurrence dates for six of the words, but the first appearance of each in a Collegiate series dictionary is typically much later:

• "huh," dated to 1608, debuts in the Ninth Collegiate (1983)

• "ugh," dated to 1678, debuts in the First Collegiate (1898); it doesn’t appear in the Webster’s Academic Dictionary of 1895

• "er," dated to 1862, debuts in the Eleventh Collegiate (2003)

• "uh-huh," dated to 1889, debuts in the Eighth Collegiate (1973)

• "uh-uh," dated to 1924, debuts in the Tenth Collegiate (1993)

• "uh-oh," dated to 1971, debuts in the Tenth Collegiate (1993)

• "heh," "hmm," "huh-uh," "nuh-uh," and "uh" do not yet appear in the Collegiate series

Based on these instances, I wouldn’t expect Merriam-Webster’s to start taking "kekeke" seriously as a word in standard English before the year 2035 at the earliest, even assuming that it were to quickly achieve the popularity of "uh-oh" (which seems unlikely).

Source : Link , Question Author : MrHen , Answer Author : Sven Yargs

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