PricingRequest a Quote

What Does the Term 'Okey Dokey' Stands For?

- Being a linguistic expression, the word OK has been somewhat of a phenomenon. Since emanating from the American English, the phrase ‘OK’ has traveled through hundreds of other languages. Yet, there have been several myths around how ‘OK’ emerged to mean positive outcomes. However, we all cannot really tell which story to believe. Sometimes, truth could actually be crazy!

According to David Wilton in his book titled, “Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends,” there exist many fictional beliefs about how we come about the generally accepted thumbs-up in modern languages. Some schools of thoughts believe it originated from the Greek word olla kalla, meaning satisfactory. Others hold the notion that Andrew Jackson adopted the Choctaw word okeh. And there are those who feel it all came from the telegraph’s term ‘Open Key.’

Following a thorough research, Wilton finally arrived at the work of Allen Walker Read, an etymologist from Columbia University, who had solved the mystery in the 1960s and had share the story with the Journal American Speech. He was able to trace the term ‘OK’ to sometimes in 1838 summer, when newspaper editors in Boston were obsess with the use of abbreviations just as it is commonly used today on the Internet and in text messages. For instance, we are now familiar with the expression “Thank God It’s Friday” which can be abbreviated as “TGIF” or “Oh My God” as “OMG.”

The abbreviation fad continues until the mutated versions started to emerge. So, instead of editors to use proper abbreviations, they started using misspelled ones deliberately. In some instances, instead of abbreviating phrase such "No Go" as "N.G.," editors would use expression like "K.G." just for the fun of it. Eventually, on March 23, 1839, the Boston Morning Post introduced the term ‘O.K.’ to the world.

Excerpt: ...perhaps if he should return to Boston, via Providence, he of the [Providence] Journal, and his train-band, would have the "contribution box," et ceteras, o.k. -- all correct -- and cause the corks to fly, like sparks upward.

The mutilation moved from "all correct" to "oll korrect" and eventually arrived at ‘OK.’ After this initial introduction, other editors in New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans began to use the ‘OK’ expression in their publications, making the term to spread further.

Of all the explanations about the origin of ‘OK,’ the one that is associated with President Martin Van Buren's nickname "Old Kinderhook," comes closer to the truth. Although Van Buren's nickname isn't the origin of the abbreviation "OK," it actually made the term to become more popular. Leveraging on the popularity of the ‘OK’ terminology, some of Van Buren supporters began the OK Club in 1840. The term was used in newspapers, in pamphlets, and as political and campaign slogan to express that Martin Van Buren wasn't just Old Kinderhook, but was actually OK.

That was how ‘OK’ metamorphosis from just a deliberate misspelled word casually placed in a newspaper to become everyday expression in the English language. Today, the term ‘OK’ is an expression found in every mouth all over the world.

What Does the Term 'Okey Dokey' Stands For? | Okey DoKey Locksmith

Didn't find what you where looking for?

Search for locks and keys services on our website.