English Idioms


Do you know where the expression 'O.K.' comes from?

I know it!! You?!


Peace Out!
Willy, The Security Guard (of the Delavigne Corp.)

39 comments

  • I know it too.
    So there are two of us who know it.


    Very pleased to share something with you, Willy.
    Amy, the minuscule GymGlish user.
  • If I do say so myself, I also know it.
    Sorry if I might inconvience you with being on it with you, Amy and Willy.
    I promise I won't tell a soul.
    Faithfully yours,
    Tom
  • So, the three of us know about it - That's great Dude(s)!
    OK?!
    See yah-
    Willy.
  • What the hell are you plotting about something every GymGlish user must know?


    I’ll make it right away clear and distinct (so spoke René Descartes about the experience of the truth.)


    The idiomatic expression is in heaven originated, that’s why it looks good, it means good, it’s positive, it’s all right.


    During the first world war a lot of my angel-fellows here in heaven were used to watching the battles in the Marne valley and elsewhere across Western Europe. As my fellows are all good guys but a bit sensitive, at each Western troop being knocked down by the German army they couldn’t help pitiful exclaiming: “Knocked down !” With the passing war days they noticed the knocked down troopers and soldiers didn’t get up anymore, that’s why they turned into exclaiming a “Knock out !” But the men were fired at a so great speed that they hadn’t time to utter their “Knock Out !” Once an angel said “K.O.” From that time they all exclaimed K.O.
    But as the course of war reversed, the Kaiser’s troops started to be fired. At the first one falling down a angel-fellow shouted admiringly “Oh Kaput!” With the same process as for the K.O., “Oh Kaput” turned soon into a O.K.


    That heavenly idiomatic expression moved down to earth as the angels flew down at several moments for abiding a birth, for announcing a pregnancy, for singing through the fields, and so on.
  • Guys and girls of the GymGlish, don’t let you con by that so-called angel. He is nothing but an impostor.


    O.K. has nothing to do with heaven, OK ?
    Are you ready to listen pure-hearted? Did you get rid of all that silly things you have been told about that two letters? I guess you did!


    Okey-dokey! Let’s get started with the true explanation.


    The story started in 1169 at the court of Henry II, king of England.
    Henry II was very fond of music and at the dinners he was having on a weekly basis with the Princes, Earls, Lairds and other Knights, there was always some troubadours to enliven the party.
    But the king had a good ear for music and liked to let it know. That’s why he was used to shouting at the musicians “Off key”, what means out of tune (in French c’est faux!). The musicians had to stop at once and restart the piece.
    The guests were invited by the king to shout along with him “Off key”. But drunkards as they were, the [I:] of the key soon turned into an [ei]. The shout became Off Kay. And little by little the double 'f' faded and gave birth to that bitter expression: O Kay.


    That idiom is used when things go wrong. When you say OK you mean things are going wrong. For example if asked for an outing and you don’t like to go, say OK with a shrug; if tomorrow you get up in a bad mood, just say 'I’m just OK'; to be more expressive say OK by clenching your fists.
  • By Kevin


    Hi there, you strollers around the forum.


    There are a lot of out of place discourses going on those days about that relevant question put onto the floor by our Security Guard. People argue persuasively that OK comes from all kinds of whimsical origins. Those devil’s advocates are nothing but flibbertigibbets*.


    I think it’s time to put things right.
    My mother provided me with a strong acumen for unearthing the roots of words and for tracking down their ancestry. Therefore you’ll be well-advised to listen to me.


    The idiom comes from the Waterloo battle. The French general Cambronne, in command of “le dernier carré”, had been ordered by the enemy to give up. He answered by shouting the famous exclamation "shit !" (in French it makes it with 5 letters) and thereupon had a hiccup. The British courier didn’t report what Cambronne had said but he reported Cambronne had had a big hiccup in French (hoquet). As the courier didn’t speak French he reported o-kay. That OK confirmed the victory, that why the enjoying OK got repeated all around the British and Austrian regiments.


    That’s why OK is related to happy events like victories, well-doings, agreements, etc. For my part I always say OK when it happens once in a while that I get a good score at my daily GymGlish lesson.


    (*) You possibly think that using that word is a whim of my own. Not at all! I’m reliable 100%. To know about " flibbertigibbet " go and consult my Doctor Dictionary at http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/list.
    The Word of the Day for Friday, December 22, 2006 is flibbertigibbet \'FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\, noun: A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities.


    Your devoted servant,
    Kevin
  • Lies, lies, lies!!!
    Would you be kidding, bad guys, you couldn’t make worst.


    You guys and gals, never trust bad guys.
    Never take their words at face value.
    Have you heard of that saying: “The truth always comes out of a female mouth”.
    Here is definitely the true truth.


    The expression OK comes from the time of the hundred years war.
    Around 1340 Edouard III, king of England and nephew of the former French king, tried to use his French heritage to bolster his claim to the throne of France. He granted himself the title "Roi de France" and decorated his badge with the fleur de lys symbol.
    He hated his challenger Philippe, the count of Valois, that he considered as a stupid man.
    He said Philippe was a ass. But in his efforts to make him taken in all seriousness, he tried to insert some French words in his speech.
    So he said about Philippe of Valois: Oh! Qué donkey! (translated : Oh! quel âne! I’ve heard that ‘Qué’ is still used nowadays in some French Southern departments to say “quel.. !” with an exclamation.)


    Some years later the expression had moved in Okey-Donkey!
    And by the end of the war, the donkey had passed away. Left: OK.
    I’d just suggest you, if you answerreply to someone by saying OK, stop after the Key (and only think donkey in your inner side if you really take the person for an ass).
  • From Amy:
    Lies, lies, lies!!!
    Would you be kidding, bad guys, you couldn’t make worst.


    You guys and gals, never trust bad guys.
    Never take their words at face value.
    Have you heard of that saying: “The truth always comes out of a female mouth”.
    Here is definitely the true truth.


    The expression OK comes from the time of the hundred years war.
    Around 1340 Edouard III, king of England and nephew of the former French king, tried to use his French heritage to bolster his claim to the throne of France. He granted himself the title "Roi de France" and decorated his badge with the fleur de lys symbol.
    He hated his challenger Philippe, the count of Valois, that he considered as a stupid man.
    He said Philippe was a ass. But in his efforts to make himsef taken in all seriousness, he tried to insert some French words in his speech.
    So he said about Philippe of Valois: Oh! Qué donkey! (translated : Oh! quel âne! I’ve heard that ‘Qué’ is still used nowadays in some French Southern departments to say “quel.. !” with an exclamation.)


    Some years later the expression had moved in Okey-Donkey!
    And by the end of the war, the donkey had passed away. Left: OK.
    I’d just suggest you, if you answerreply to someone by saying OK, stop after the Key (and only think donkey in your inner side if you really take the person for an ass).

     
  • I wouldn't disclose the hidden roots of OK.
    I must notice that Amy who pretended to be in the know is kidding along with the others.


    I won't tell you the answer.
    I don't want to be taken for a hoax player.


    But I'll supply the searchers with some clues and a process.


    Just remove the O of OK and paste an A in its place.
    Then remove the K of OK and paste a C in its place.
    Find a 3-letters word beginning with the A.
    Add a 7-letters word beginning with the C.
    That should make an understandable expression still making sense in the current English. (It's meaning an agreement. Don't tell a soul!)
    Now you found out the meaning, put back the O and the K in their previous places.
    That expression in 2 words/10 letters, you can pick it up on the family tree of OK.


    I presume everyone will find out that ancestor of OK but that's no end.
    Going further on the track you'll have to tell Who and When and Where that ancestor lived and What happened to it.
    I look forward to your articles.

Please sign in to leave a comment.