What does OK stand for, if anything? Does anyone know where it comes from?
I heard something about bombs and the war, but i need to search it again i guess…
yes… here we go:
What’s the hot favourite?
One of the most widely accepted origins is that OK stands for oll (or orl) korrect – ‘a factitious early 19th century American phonetic spelling of all correct,’ according to the Encarta Dictionary. It was favoured by President Andrew Jackson, who used it when he was a court clerk in Tennessee to mark up legal documents. This use was first printed in 1939, in the Boston Morning Post.
That’s a very small way to start – how did it become so popular?
A year later, ‘OK’ was endorsed as an expression when it was used as a slogan in a presidential election, where it stood for Old Kinderhook, the nickname of US president Martin van Buren, who was born in Kinderhook, New York State.
Any other explanations?
It comes from other languages: the Greek ola kala, which means everything is fine: the Finnish oikea, which means correct: the Choctaw word okeh, which means ‘it is’: even the English word hoacky, which means the last load of the harvest.
So this is a word which could have evolved in any language to mean something good?
Possibly. Or OK could be someone’s initials…
The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable offers these suggestions… Obadiah Kelly, a railroad freight agent who used his initials on bills of lading: Old Keokuk, an Amerindian chief who used his initials on treaties: or from Orrins-Kendall crackers, which were popular during the American Civil War.
Could it be short for something else?
Yes, other suggestions include: ‘0 killed’, as used by soldiers in World War I to report deaths each evening: or Aux Cayes, a Haitian port famous for its rum.
In other words, nobody knows..
That’s right. But wherever it came from, this little word can now be understood in almost every country in the world.
Ok, which is also spelt ‘okay’ or ‘O.K.’, is a very common word, though not many people really think about where it came from.
There are many different theories of how the word OK, or okay started off. The historical record shows that O.K. appeared as an abbreviation for ":oll korrect": (a conscious misspelling of ":all correct":)
The okay spelling of it first appearing in British writing in the 1860s. Spelled out in full in the 20th century, ‘okay’ has come to be in everyday use among English speakers, and borrowed by non-English speakers.
If you want to find out more about the word, follow the link below 🙂
It is from the Greek ola kala but this does not mean good.
It means all is well = everything is OK
No one really knows but it is believed to be Greek. ":ola kala": which means ":it:s good": is the most likely origin