Kayfabe roughly translates to "being in character" in professional wrestling. Wrestlers are supposed to be in kayfabe all the time during shows or when they're on camera, although this has been relaxed greatly in recent years. When this doesn't happen, it's known as breaking kayfabe. A wrestler going on a talk show and just being himself, for example, is a break in kayfabe.

Kayfabe is an old carny term, taken from the pig latin for fake. It applies to much more than wrestling, but that's the place where it'll be used most openly.

Kayfabe is the means of protecting any grift or con from the marks being worked, or, to exotericize, it's how you bullshit to keep your secret.

Kayfabe also sometimes refers to carny lingo overall.

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