Do you know the origin of the english word OK?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Word History: OK is a quintessentially American term that has spread from English to many other languages. Its origin was the subject of scholarly debate for many years until Allen Walker Read showed that OK is based on a joke of sorts. OK is first recorded in 1839 but was probably in circulation before that date. During the 1830s there was a humoristic fashion in Boston newspapers to reduce a phrase to initials and supply an explanation in parentheses. Sometimes the abbreviations were misspelled to add to the humor. OK was used in March 1839 as an abbreviation for all correct, the joke being that neither the O nor the K was correct. Originally spelled with periods, this term outlived most similar abbreviations owing to its use in President Martin Van Buren's 1840 campaign for reelection. Because he was born in Kinderhook, New York, Van Buren was nicknamed Old Kinderhook, and the abbreviation proved eminently suitable for political slogans. That same year, an editorial referring to the receipt of a pin with the slogan O.K. had this comment: "frightful letters ... significant of the birth-place of Martin Van Buren, old Kinderhook, as also the rallying word of the Democracy of the late election, 'all correct' .... Those who wear them should bear in mind that it will require their most strenuous exertions ... to make all things O.K."

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Origin of OK

    The origin of the ubiquitous psuedo-word "OK" or "okay" has proven to be one of the biggest war grounds in etymology. It is not specifically of English origin, being used all over the world in many different languages. The letters "OK" would be understood by an Englishman or Frenchman alike.

    So what are some of the stories surrounding OK?

    The Greeks had an incantation of "Omega, Khi" with which they drove away fleas.

    The Finnish language has the word "oikea."

    Liberian English has the term "oke."

    Burmese has "hoakeh."

    The infamous jokers at the Boston Morning Post claimed, in 1839, OK was short for "ORL KORREKT."

    The Times, in 1939, claimed it had London Cockney origins, from "Orl Korrec."

    American Indians used the word "okeh" which meant "it is so." The story goes that Andrew Jackson picked up the word during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

    Some Latin scholars claim that "Omnis Korecta" is the origin.

    A site called The Straight Dope claims it is convinced of the true etymology. It claims the Bostonian "OLL KORRECT" is the true origin of "OK." Another site, however, claims the American Indian etymology is correct.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I do know that the word OK is the most used word around the world.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    all I know is that its really 'okay' and OK was probably a mistake someone made when hearing the word for the first time.(they must have thought you spell it how it sounds)

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  • 1 decade ago

    I head it was from the wireless telegraph days - used to confirm message recieved - the letters ok were bried, distinct and not confused with anything else

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  • 1 decade ago

    My fifth grade teacher said "OK" stood for "all correct." I have no idea why "AC" was not used, but "OK" seems to sound better. The same teacher forbade us to use the term in place of "yes." It was one of her many pet peeves.

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  • T.
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    there had been a brief but widespread craze in the US for humorous misspellings, and the form orl korrekt which was among them could explain the initials 'OK'

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    okay <<doe that clear it up, now do your own homework

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