‘Okay!’ Another word from my Box of Chocolates…Okay, tell me!

words, okay, writers, writing wordsIf you are one of my readers you know by now how much I love words.  New words, obscure words, the origin of words.  Ever wonder about the word, ‘okay’ ‘OK’ ??  I think you’ll be surprised!  How many times do we use it in a day?  How many times do we hear it in a day?
Not to mention how many times a day we click on “OK”!

Here’s some facts about the early history of the abbreviation O.K.

The historical record shows that ‘OK’ appeared as an abbreviation for “oll korrect” (a conscious misspelling of “all correct”) in Boston newspapers in 1839.   It was reinterpreted in the 1840 United States presidential election as an affectionate reference to Presidential  candidate, Martin “OK” Van Buren. (shortened from ‘Old Kinderhook’ as Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, NY.)  Insinuating that he was an ‘okay’ guy.

Other examples at the time included G.T.T. for “gone to Texas” and K.Y. for “know yuse”. The general fad may have existed in spoken or informal written American English for a decade or more before its appearance in newspapers.okay, words, origin if words

O.K. was intended as a misspelling of “all correct”. Deliberate word play was associated with the acronym fad and was a yet broader contemporary American fad. In this first phase, O.K. was spread with the acronym fad from Boston to other American cities.

For example, Eric Partridge says OK derives from the OK Club, which supported Martin “Old Kinderhook” Van Buren in 1840. That isn’t wrong, but it’s only half the story.  Democratic supporters of candidate Martin Van Buren equated “Oll Korrect” with “Old Kinderhook”   In response, Whig opponents attributed O.K., in the sense of “Oll Korrect”, to Andrew Jackson’s bad spelling. Thus, the election popularized ‘OK’.


It seeOK, okay, writing, words ms silly now to think we could have been running around yelling “oll korrect” and  clicking on the keyboard key that says “All Correct“.   Oh,  but wait, we would have named the button AC, wouldn’t we have?   

For more from my series, “Life is just a Box of Chocolates” (words)
click  here   words, origin of words, writers, writing??????????

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