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Column: Obscures US President A-OK with one of the most used words in English | Chroniclers




The sentence was eventually shortened to the word you and I know today; He agree.

Over time, OK has expanded beyond politics to mean any acceptable person, place, thing, or situation. As in, How’s the food in the new restaurant? It’s OK. Not great, not great. The friendly zone of success. OKAY.

As is so often the case with words in our convoluted and ever-changing English language which tended to be coined as we go, there are alternate versions of OK origins.

One claims it comes from the Choctaw Native American language. Another and it’s a stretch is that the word kind of morphed from oll korrect, which was Old English for all correct.

The most ridiculous of all explanations has come from the early 1800s infatuation among young people for using abbreviations for laughs. A particular favorite was KG, short for know go, which in turn was a pun on no go. The way that KG is supposed to have become OK extends gullibility, although some people emphatically insist that it happened somehow.

Personally, Old Kinderhook’s explanation has a serious sound of truth.

How did the word go from an American idiom to global slang? The Second World War.

GIs, sailors and Marines took it with them wherever they were sent. Since it was a world war, they went to all corners of the globe. And OK went with them.




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