• This word is used in different forms: OK, Ok, Okay and O.K, being the form with periods the way it started. I have found three different explanations of its origin: -It was used in the 1830s in a Boston newspaper as a joke. There was an humoristic fashion to reduce a phrase to initials, and sometimes the abbreviations were mispelled to add more humor. Someone used O.K. for "all correct" (oll korrect). -The previous explanation is connected with my favorite one, that says that during the Civil War, when batallions returned from the front, the first man in line carried a sign with the number of soldiers killed in action in that group. So the signs stated "9 Killed", "5 killed" and so on. If the number was zero, they stated "O K", a perfect mark. -The last one (somehow connected too), tells that during the glorious days of the telegraph, there was a man named Oscar Kent, who never commited mistakes in his transmissions. Then, if the telegraph message was signed "O.K." all was correct. Additionally, in German the expression "Ohne Korrekten" means "without correction" and in Greek "Ola Kala" means "everything's fine".
  • There have been numerous attempts to explain the emergence of this curious colloquial expression, which seems to have swept into popular use in the US during the mid-19th century. Most of them are undoubtedly pure speculation. It does not seem at all likely, from the linguistic and historical evidence, that it derives from the Scottish expression 'och aye', the Greek ola kala ('it is good'), the Choctaw 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 lading documents he had checked. The oldest written references to 'OK' result from its adoption 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!). During the late 1830s 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'. Such a theory has been supported by more than one distinguished American scholar, and is given in many dictionaries, including Oxford dictionaries. 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.
  • I actually understood it came from a whole other place.. Apparently, some linguists maintain that Andrew Jackson coined the expression after hearing a Choctaw Indian word "Okeh". It turns out however, that popularization was by none other then Martin Van Buren. Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York and acquired the nickname "Old Kinderhook". In 1840, Van Buren ran for reelection against General William Henry Harrison who's nickname was "Tippecanoe" in reference to his victory over the Indians at Tippecanoe. His running mate was John Tyler and thier campain slogan was :Tippecanoe and Tyler too!" After many other nicknames given to him, Van Buren supporters wanted to improve the public image of "Old Kinderhook" and formed the "Democratic OK" club. The expression OK, meaning that Van Buren was favoured by the Democrats spread across the nation quickly. Van Buren is almost forgotten today, but his initials live on!
  • From "all correct."
  • The definitive answer is, according to Columbia University's Dr. Allen Walker Read, the "oll korrect" one, but allow me to further elaborate. It is often linked to Andrew Jackson in his infamy with mispelling (I must be related), he did not coin the term "oll korrect". In a court preceeding, as told by Nuggets of Knowledge (George Stimpson) Jackson "proved a bill of sale from Hugh McGary to Gasper Mansker, for a Negro man, which was O.K.". A result of poor penmenship, rather than mispelling, this should have read "O.R." for Order Recorded, as attested in Andrew Jackson's biography (Jame's Parton). Dr. Allen Walker Read's published work American Speech (1963) reports the use of "oll korrect" by Anti-Bell-Ringing Society (Mass.) as a jibing mispelling. The term made it's way into the spring 1829 Boston Morning Post, and there it began to spread. It is today the most popular of all American expressions, having been adopted into hundreds of languages.
  • According to Merriam Webster -- it's an abbreviation for "all correct" -- back in the days when "all correct" was spelled "oll korrect". But! according to -- it actually comes from Africa: slaves that were imported to America used the term "waw-kay" which was an "emphatic form" of the African's word for "yes". C2 goes on to argue that the word "okay" (spelled okay, not OK) has been in the English language for 100's of years, and was considered slang, so it didn't appear in print for a very long time. By the time it appeared in print, the mostly white/European dictionary writers and language experts decided okay was not okay -- it was OK -- the abbreviation of "oll korrect".
  • "oll korrect" used by the Dutch immigration of New York at the time of Dutch colonisation in the 1600s.
  • It's the shortened version of "Okey Dokey"

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