Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Alison has inspired me to write about abbreviations.  A while ago I learned what OK stood for.  You ready for this?

Is stands for Oll Korrect ... as  in "all correct." Those old timey people are so funny! 

But the story doesn't stop there.  In 1840, when Martin Van Buren was running for reelection, these weird spellings and abbreviations were all the rage (like OW for oll wright, SP for small potatoes, and g.t.d.h.d. for "give the devil his due.") His reelection campaign realized that Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York, so they called him Old Kinderhook, or OK.  People loved the idea and up sprung OK clubs and OK balls across the country.  Everyone started to say it.  This led to everyone across the world to say OK.  Even in Switzerland, where I served my mission, people say OK.  They kind of "Swissify" it by saying "oh-xchey" (it kind of sounds like they're hocking  a loogie). Unfortunately, Van Buren lost the reelection ... but can you imagine how weird it would be if we said "AC" instead of "OK"?

Some people think that we got OK from the Choctaw Indian word okeh, which means "That's what I said."  But that story isn't as cool as the first.

Now, if only someone could tell me where we got "okey-dokey"...


Mike said...

HA! I love it. When I was in Finland and Sweden, they also said "OK". Mostly in English. They thought they sounded more American that way.

Here is a little link I found for OKEY-DOKEY, which I seem to say often myself..


Kathy Haynie said...

Here's a phrase etymology website. There are lots of them - just Google "phrase etymology" or "slang etymology."


ali said...

WOAH! that just blew my mind. is it really possible to "hock a loogie"?