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.Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjOOK 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. Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyEFollow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06oOr Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H


  • Vox  10 months ago

    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...

  • Ok, nice to know

  • TheUsername217  14 days ago


  • Teixeira  10 months ago

    so a meme in 1830 became the most used word in the world

  • In 2200: LOL is the most used word in the word

  • Sìr Híss ẞøī  10 hours ago

    A meme

  • WarpRulez  4 months ago

    So "OK is one of the oldest memes that have survived to this day.

  • Adapple  3 days ago

    language is a meme

  • C_minus  2 months ago

    Are you telling me that "ok" is a meme made by ye olde shitposters

  • jeremiah annie  2 days ago


  • yggonyii  2 days ago

    idk y i laughed at this😂

  • QuickTrips  5 months ago

    And I thought O.K. was a shortcut for 'okay'

  • Tim Kerkhof  2 days ago

    Kk means "cancer" in Dutch. Bye.

  • xXPORTALXx  8 days ago

    @LeSethX kk

  • Me:I want some mind blowing factsVox: OK

  • Marissa Bustamante thanks mate, have a nice day 👍

  • Marissa Bustamante  1 months ago

    Lmao underrated comment

  • sunflower  2 months ago

    34 seconds into the video and the word OK already sounds so weird to me.

  • Ok, then

  • god with me  2 days ago

    Jamai vu.

  • *Mentions how K used to replace C's in advertising*Me: Oh, so THAT'S why it's spelt the Krusty Krab

  • Pata Pajak  3 days ago

    Sponge Boy Me Bob!

  • caramel coffee  4 months ago

    so whyyyy did my high school English take off marks when i wrote "O.K" instead of "okay"

  • turtlesurge  4 hours ago

    @promontorium if OK was an acronym, then it would be read as "ok" instead of "oh-kay." Although all that you said are correct except for the last part.

  • Sri  3 months ago

    “The Krave for K is a visual strategy”The kadarshians did research before naming their daughters huh

  • Murder HeWrote  2 months ago

    Your on some good LSD with that one.

  • Jimmy Rustler  2 months ago

    I wouldn't give them that much credit...