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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Author

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

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

Author — Teixeira

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

Author — C_minus

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Me:
I want some mind blowing facts

Vox: OK

Author — Adrian Gabriel Labadan

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34 seconds into the video and the word OK already sounds so weird to me.

Author — sunflower

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*Mentions how K used to replace C's in advertising*

Me: Oh, so THAT'S why it's spelt the Krusty Krab

Author — you dont need to know my name

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So, OK was basically an ancient meme.

Author — Collton Righem

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I wonder if any of our current memes will be an integral part of language in a few hundred years

Author — specter

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“It’s the “K” that makes it memorable”
Ku Klux Klan: hold this corpse

Author — Karl Matthew De Guzman

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"OK" created in the 1800's

"K" created recently by pissed off gfs.

Author — Freddy E.Carhuas

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So "OK is one of the oldest memes that have survived to this day.

Author — WarpRulez

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Other lads of the period: OW
The lads and I, somewhat intellectuals:
OK

Author — Mr.fid

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I heard it so much now it doesn’t even sound like a word 😂

Author — Teddy Jennings

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

Author — yishun

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Chances are, if you are wondering when something was invented, it was invented in the 1800s.

Author — David Shirvanyan

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It’s actually from Greece where the people at the ship yard would right ok on the boxes instead of ola kala

Author — y6f6r ftyryh

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When it said Alexa turn kitchen light off it turned my kitchen lights off

Author — Uncut Gameplay

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Today, we don't say O.K

It's OkUUUuuRT, mKAy.

Author — Johnson Borantes

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

Author — Koen388

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And I thought O.K. was a shortcut for 'okay'

Author — QuickTrips