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 - page 4

  • From Willy The Security Guard:
    I know it!! You?!

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

  • Il Think it means : o killed .
  • Hi everybody,
    I just googled the word and get the right information from the right source askoxford.com instead of hearing to all the BS without any reference. So to be more fruitful let's read what the pro. said about the world OK.
    "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 Scots expression 'och aye', the Greek ola kala ('it is good'), the Choctaw Indian 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."
    BTW, I've got confirmation from more than 5 references with the same info. Thus I ask everyone who'd like to write anything in this forum be correct, clear and with references.
    And sorry to be late but I just get enrolled ;)
  • The irish said Ok come from the language of them.
  • I think 'o.k' is :
    which means order of the queen.It was used in england.
  • I had listened who the phrase ' OK' it was used in World War I when they returned to the quarter of control reported zero deads, is why this phrase occurred to know in the world.
  • Hi,

    I've heard the same story than you The guardian angel,
    O killed, which meant also "all correct" and became OK when everything went fine
  • Tks for correcting.
  • Hi Gee,
    CS: restrained (last but one line)
    restraint is a noun
    to restrain is the verb.
  • Hello mericicimo astutissimo,

    I am pleased to know that in the end we have got a fellow writer down this forum who is in a position to give "the right information from te right source". Yes indeed, up until now we were short of a know-it-all who could get the bottom of matters. Therefore I want to congratulate you and I am looking forward to often reading your conclusions.

    Of course, the experts of Oxford are a most reliable source. Nevertheless I'll be sure to tell you that, as for me, I always adopt an epokhe attitude towards any statement, be it from renowned experts. Besides I would draw your attention to the fact that the first three paragraphs are "undoubtedly pure speculation". To my mind that speculation is of the same ilk as many of the funny stories released by the so-called BS (I am one of them) under this thread.

    So you "ask everyone who'd like to write anything in this forum be correct, clear and with references". Do you mean that there is no room in this forum for fantasy or humour? If so, I think that you should suggest the GymGlish to reschedule the forum, humour being possibly restrainted to the lounge.

    Read you soon.

    [CW] (corrections of my tip are welcome)

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