Why we say “OK”

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Why we say “OK” 5
How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became the most widely spoken word in the world.

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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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

Author — Vox


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

Author — Teixeira


*_"OK Boomer" is just a collaboration between the youth of the 1830's and 2010's._*

Author — Crustacean Jason


YouTube at 3 am: Wanna know why we say Ok?

Me: Ok.

Author — Raj Adhikari


imagine being an ✨intellectual✨ from the 1830s and sharing a joke about a made up abbreviation to your friend in boston, unknowing that you just made one of the most popular words in english

Author — -ˏˋ mayaaa ˎˊ-


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

Author — C_minus


"the chicken was okay"
"worst pet shop ever"

Author — pr_smomberg


u telling me ok isn't an abbreviation of the word okay

Author — Koen


When people try to correct it to OKAY. Smh.

Author — James Hewitt


O.K: *exists*

Okay: *I'm about to end this word's whole history.*

Author — Fazen107


vox : we are running out of ideas
me : ok
vox : yes.

Author — yishun


I guess I’ll start saying “Oll korrect”

Author — Uncle [last name]


"There's a two-letter word that we hear everywhere."
Okay: *Am I a joke to you?*

Author — Alex Niggins


"The chicken was okay." "Worst pet shop. Ever."

Author — Peepsil GamePlayer


So, OK was basically an ancient meme.

Author — Collton Righem


4:49 “Best chicken of my life!”

“Worst pet shop, ever.”


Author — Dat Niggy


Am I the only one who thought we say "OK" as a short form of "Okay"?

Author — Faisal F Rafat


Low key had a seizure when MCR came on

Author — Isabelle Stevens


I want some mind blowing facts

Vox: OK

Author — Adrian Gabriel Labadan


If we dont have ok, then we would not have memes, such as

Author — ZANTA