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Origin and meaning of "O.K."

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Origin and meaning of "O.K."

Postby eberntson » Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:07 am

It just seems a little strange to me.
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Postby Apoclima » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:52 pm

OK and OK too.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:40 pm

Pretty OK work, Apo !...

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:51 am

I think I'd agree with the author of the second article and go with whatever Allen Walker Read said. I read Read a few times in college, Lo these many years ago, in the one linguistics course I took. He had a talent for clear, understandable writing, even in an academic journal.
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Postby Garzo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:48 pm

Somehow, I prefer to write okay. It feels a lot more mannerly without thise shouty majescules. I'm sure I've heard that this is simply some over-corrective refinement, but there.
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The etymology of OK makes no sense to me, emdee5

Postby emdee5 » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:26 am

Apoclima wrote:OK and OK too.

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    OK

    Postby Seadog » Mon May 15, 2006 11:55 am

    OK originated with Andrew Jackson. When, as clerk of the Tenn. Legis. He would verify the minutes of the meetings by entering " Oll Korect" Meaning "All Correct". Later on he shortened it to OK. Don't knock it. After all, he did become President. And don't forget "A OK".
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    Postby Perry » Mon May 15, 2006 12:47 pm

    Garzo wrote:Somehow, I prefer to write okay. It feels a lot more mannerly without thise shouty majescules. I'm sure I've heard that this is simply some over-corrective refinement, but there.


    I read Raymond Chandler's The Big Chill last week. I was surprised to see that he wrote out OK as okey. Perhaps he was influenced by Chaucer's interesting spellings.

    Garzo my lad. Good to see a posting of yours. I have been missing your missives.
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    OK

    Postby EZ2TALK » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:13 pm

    Oh, look. The dictionary has something for everyone...whether you like the "shouty majesules" or not.

    Says all seem acceptable: OK, O.K. o-kay be it adj., adv., noun, or v.t.. yes it says it in Radom House Webster's Dictionary: initials of oll korrect, the facetious spelling of "all correct".
    If it was intended as facetious, how then does it become a part of our language?
    Which leads me to a question of my own...

    How DOES slang or colloquial become an approved part of the English language?

    i.e. irregardless = to regardless
    or even something Homer Simpsonish like, "DOH"

    Hmmmmm?
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    OK-okie-dokie?

    Postby maevek » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:55 am

    Is OK related to the
    word, "okie-dokie" - :?:
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    Postby Perry » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:05 pm

    It is a very safe bet that okie dokie developed from OK.

    I just found this article, linking Martin Van Burento OK. There was even an OK Club of Van Buren supporters.
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    Re: OK

    Postby sluggo » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:53 pm

    Unmentioned until now is the old Okeh record label. OkeH (1918-1970) was a prime purveyor of blues, jugband and general black artist rosters, from the first-ever-published vocal blues disc by one Mamie Smith down to Screamin' Jay Hawkins and beyond.

    -Images of Okeh labels stubbornly refusing to integrate themselves into this post-

    I used to assume "okeh" was a variant for "okay" used at the time but a bit of research reveals that it's cased* as OKeH or OKEH for Otto K.E. Heinemann, and left to resemble "okay" as a pun and trompe-l'oeil (*but not always- see images link above). Furtherly interesting, it's thought that Heinemann partially based the label's name on the Choctaw word derivation referenced in Cecil Adams' faux etymologies linked earlier by Apoclima - an Indian head even appears within the original logo, indicating the Choctaw origin idea must have been extant at the time of its origin in 1918.

    (That said, I can't put much stock in Cecil Adams' conclusions/rants on this or any other topic- if the world were as cut-and-dried as he seems to think, we could all close the internet and go home.)

    Our jug band shamelessly plaigiarised the logo for our own circular promotional stickers to hand out at public events (sorry, no image), spelled "Okey" as a parody (and not to be confused with Okie, the affectionately-derogatory term used by Southern Californians for outlanders). Only a few of these stickers must still exist and presumably sell to collectors for near-pennies.

    Further OKeH artifacts ...

    So considering OKeH's true origins, I guess I'm off-topic here. Never mind. :wink:

    I never thought Martin van Buren was all that popular anyway.
    Last edited by sluggo on Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: OK

    Postby gailr » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:10 pm

    sluggo wrote:I never thought Martin van Buren was all that popular anyway.

    An interesting and entertaining commentary on alternative spellings and etymologies. You might consider switching presidential reverence to Andrew Jackson, credited with "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word."
    -gailr :D
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