Why we say “OK”

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, September 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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  • Vox  (Sep 12, 2018))

    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 adapt...

  • Matheus Franca  (Feb 15, 2019))

    That's exactly what I was going to comment.A professor of mine once told me that in college.

  • Knave New World  (Jan 30, 2019))

    @voxdotcom James Corbett got there before you, haha!https://cnclips.net/video/cDO3_G7RpHU/video.html

  • Truly Infamous  (Sep 13, 2018))

    So it came from 1800's memelords and became one of the most well known words.

  • Allen Allen  (Feb 15, 2019))

    Imao

  • Khajiit Hadwares  (Jan 31, 2019))

    O.K actually comes from Pepe the Frog, aka TOP KEK.Kek is an egyptian deity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kek_%28mythology%29OK is said in the same manner as Oh My God - Oh Kek.Being a vocal shortening of the phrase Ave Kek.

  • Ingles  (Nov 5, 2018))

    Weird flex but “ok”

  • Khajiit Hadwares  (Jan 31, 2019))

    O.K actually comes from Pepe the Frog, aka TOP KEK.Kek is an egyptian deity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kek_%28mythology%29OK is said in the same manner as Oh My God - Oh Kek.Being a vocal shortening of the phrase Ave Kek.

  • sir monsieur  (Jan 17, 2019))

    yu a real one.

  • Emmett Kineman  (Nov 23, 2018))

    I bet in 100 years their will be another video: Why we say "oof"

  • mili bist  (Feb 9, 2019))

    A roblox oof

  • GBRL  (Jan 25, 2019))

    +EvilLemon OK

  • TheReal Doge  (Nov 27, 2018))

    weird flex but *_Oll KORRECT_*

  • Genia Dogan  (Jan 13, 2019))

    😂😂😂😂

  • Black Monroe  (Dec 26, 2018))

    😂😂

  • ibsio  (Dec 10, 2018))

    OK = oll korrectKC = knuff cedKY = know yuse OW = oll wright

  • James Smith  (Feb 3, 2019))

    +Luke Haulin Good call! 👍👏👏👏😂

  • Luke Haulin  (Feb 3, 2019))

    All 4 would be excellent as rapper names

  • Anime Balls Deep  (Sep 12, 2018))

    Answering questions I didn't know I had, excellent.

  • Zach Kariotis  (Feb 9, 2019))

    so tru

  • Bitter Blooms  (Nov 25, 2018))

    OK, Balls Deep

  • mattronimus  (Nov 8, 2018))

    So back in the 1800's memes didn't die within a week??

  • Matt Williams  (Feb 16, 2019))

    No, likely due to longer transportation times.

  • beginned  (Jan 17, 2019))

    +Firman N reported for bullyingp.s I didn't actually report you

  • Name not found  (Dec 16, 2018))

    I hope “Yeet” lives up to this and becomes one of the greats.

  • Arianna M.  (Feb 2, 2019))

    YEET

  • Anysh  (Nov 5, 2018))

    •• –•–

  • Gaming Guitarist  (Feb 8, 2019))

    +Novák Csilla yep. can confirm. oll korrekt

  • Crippled Retard  (Jan 28, 2019))

    ⚫⚫⚫➖➖➖⚫⚫⚫