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I'm trying to find out where does the word OK come from?

marked as duplicate by Sven Yargs, user66974, Edwin Ashworth, Mari-Lou A, Chenmunka Feb 4 '15 at 9:58

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    I should note, Mike Muller, that the search box in the black bar at the top of this page works quite well. I found the earlier question on the first page of search results after simply entering the word 'OK' there. Using the search feature will save you time in getting answers to other questions you may have (if they've already been answered here), and it will help us avoid having unnecessary duplicate questions and answers. – Sven Yargs Feb 4 '15 at 8:15

here is what i found:

There have been numerous attempts to explain the emergence of this expression, which seems to have swept into popular use in the US during the mid-19th century. Most of them are pure speculation. It does not seem at all likely, from the linguistic and historical evidence, that it comes from the Scots expression och aye, the Greek ola kala ('it is good'), the Choctaw Indian oke or okeh ('it is so'), the French aux Cayes ('from Cayes', a port in Haiti with a reputation for good rum) or au quai ('to the quay', as supposedly used by French-speaking dockers), or the initials of a railway freight agent called Obediah Kelly who is said to have written them on documents he had checked.

A more likely explanation is that the term originated as an abbreviation of orl korrekt , a jokey misspelling of 'all correct' which was current in the US in the 1830s. The oldest written references result from its use as a slogan by the Democratic party during the American Presidential election of 1840. Their candidate, President Martin Van Buren, was nicknamed 'Old Kinderhook' (after his birthplace in New York State), and his supporters formed the 'OK Club'. This undoubtedly helped to popularize the term (though it did not get President Van Buren re-elected).

The only other theory with at least a degree of plausibility is that the term originated among Black slaves of West African origin, and represents a word meaning 'all right, yes indeed' in various West African languages. Unfortunately, historical evidence enabling the origin of this expression to be finally and firmly established may be hard to unearth.


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