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
    Vox  4 months ago +6129

    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 adapted into language worldwide, none of them can actually be traced in their influence the way "oll korrect" can. Neat. - Coleman

    • sir monsieur
      sir monsieur  3 days ago

      +Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar cheeel 😂

    • saif haider
      saif haider  10 days ago


    • Yay :D
      Yay :D  21 days ago

      OH KAY

    • the chad
      the chad  1 months ago


    • Eamonn Scully
      Eamonn Scully  1 months ago

      I thought for years it came from the Lakota Sioux tribe Hokay Hey meaning "a good day to die Now it appears I was badly mistaken

  • soldofpol
    soldofpol  4 hours ago

    4:27 Charles Boyle?

  • soldofpol
    soldofpol  4 hours ago

    Petition to start pronouncing it "awk"

  • M Brewerman
    M Brewerman  11 hours ago

    Okay ~~ buddy ~~~

  • Badd Z
    Badd Z  12 hours ago


  • teakey
    teakey  13 hours ago


  • Texas Outlaw
    Texas Outlaw  14 hours ago

    We are controlled through symbolism.

  • Nicolás Luna
    Nicolás Luna  14 hours ago

    nah it means "Oatmeal Kookies" <3

  • Son Goku
    Son Goku  17 hours ago

    So there is a bunch of rumours how the word came to be and in this video they just claim to have the only right answer without any proof. I'm not saying I don't believe this version, I even want it to be true. That it evolved from a literal 19th century meme, but you can't just bring up "myths" about the origin while not explaining how your story must be the correct one. Vox always has high production value and seems credible but they ironically often lack sources and evidence.

  • Graviler
    Graviler  18 hours ago


  • jumalu sh
    jumalu sh  yesterday

    0:05 wArN fiRsT I wAsN’t rEaDy

  • Truls Olsen
    Truls Olsen  yesterday

    So it's a 200 year old meme. Ok then.

  • Lululipes
    Lululipes  yesterday

    *O* ll *K* orrect

  • HipnikDragomir
    HipnikDragomir  yesterday

    Video starts at 0:36

  • 洛基loki
    洛基loki  yesterday

    google assistent kept on firing

  • Rubin Chavarria
    Rubin Chavarria  2 days ago

    I mean .. ok I guess

  • Rurouni005
    Rurouni005  2 days ago

    I love that Strongbad was used in this. Real og

  • iamthefirsttosecond


  • Connor Student
    Connor Student  2 days ago

    Kraft was just the last name of the company's founder.

  • Völundr Frey
    Völundr Frey  2 days ago

    So where did the spelling "okay" come from?