Submitted by goossun  •  July 29, 2004

OK

Does anyone know the origin of the word okay or O.K. or OK? I once heard that that has to do with French and is derived from some Mississippian dialect and so. Does that make any sense at all? The bad thing is that I do not quite remember what I was told, neither I remember the supposedly original French word.

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The etymology of OK is unclear and controversial. Here's a pretty good article on the question.
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_250

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The wikipedia article on 'Okay', uses the straightdope.com as one of the sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay

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Okay is phonetical pronounciation for OK that stands for Old Kinderhook, which was the nickname for Van Buren when he ran for president. If you were "OK" then, it meant you were voting Van Buren.

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OK! :-)

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