Why we say “OK”

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  • Published on:  9/12/2018
  • How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became the most widely spoken word in the world.

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    OK is thought to be the most widely recognized word on the planet. We use it to communicate with each other, as well as our technology. But it actually started out as a language fad in the 1830’s of abbreviating words incorrectly.

    Young intellectuals in Boston came up with several of these abbreviations, including “KC” for “knuff ced,” “OW” for “oll wright,” and KY for “know yuse.” But thanks to its appearance in Martin Van Buren’s 1840 presidential re-election campaign as the incumbents new nickname, Old Kinderhook, OK outlived its abbreviated comrades.

    Later, widespread use by early telegraph operators caused OK to go mainstream, and its original purpose as a neutral affirmative is still how we use it today.

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Comment

  • Vox
    Vox  2 months ago+5456

    Another popular false origin of OK comes from the American Civil War (1861-1865) which says that soldiers returning from battle would report "0K" (zero killed). And there's a few from around the world, too. Like the Greek "όλα καλά (óla kalá) which means "all good," the Scottish "och aye," which means "oh yes," and even a French-named seaport in Haiti, Aux Cayes. While these are all pretty interesting and might indicate why "OK" was so easily adapted into language worldwide, none of them can actually be traced in their influence the way "oll korrect" can. Neat. - Coleman

  • Edward V
    Edward V an hour ago

    So when did it start being spelled “okay” instead of the abbreviation?

  • Abdul Zulqhar Nain
    Abdul Zulqhar Nain 2 hours ago

    O.K

  • Shajitha thavayil
    Shajitha thavayil 3 hours ago

    K

  • shaillie tiwari
    shaillie tiwari 5 hours ago

    Ok!

  • i might be ainon
    i might be ainon 5 hours ago

    im not ooooKAAAAAAAAAYYYYY

  • LonelyWolf
    LonelyWolf 6 hours ago

    I've never thought about this
    Where it came from and when ?

  • Clark Benagua
    Clark Benagua 7 hours ago

    OK. Knuff Ced.

  • John Christian Genova

    my chemical romance

  • Putri Wahyuni
    Putri Wahyuni 9 hours ago

    Oll korrect is the best slang I ever heard

  • Simba
    Simba 11 hours ago

    You wanna know who really gave us the word okay? God😁

  • esme c
    esme c 12 hours ago

    0:05 yes

  • Evonne Sutherland
    Evonne Sutherland 13 hours ago

    How about Ολακα καλά ?from Greek?

  • Bryan Chrobot
    Bryan Chrobot 15 hours ago

    Ok

  • Chin
    Chin 17 hours ago

    Okay

  • It's Garnet bishhh
    It's Garnet bishhh 20 hours ago

    Knuff Ced bro

  • Joshua Ramos
    Joshua Ramos 20 hours ago

    Ok the only word that never seems to lose its meaning after its been repeated so many times

  • Connor Coulson
    Connor Coulson yesterday

    Depicts Alexa even though it's literally "okay Google".

  • its mary
    its mary yesterday

    Ok