Why we say “OK”

  • Published on 8 days ago

    VoxVox

    Runtime: 5:22

    How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became the most widely spoken word in the world.
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    OK is thought to be the most widely recognized word on the planet. We use it to communicate with each other, as well as our technology. But it actually started out as a language fad in the 1830’s of abbreviating words incorrectly.
    Young intellectuals in Boston came up with several of these abbreviations, including “KC” for “knuff ced,” “OW” for “oll wright,” and KY for “know yuse.” But thanks to its appearance in Martin Van Buren’s 1840 presidential re-election campaign as the incumbents new nickname, Old Kinderhook, OK outlived its abbreviated comrades.
    Later, widespread use by early telegraph operators caused OK to go mainstream, and its original purpose as a neutral affirmative is still how we use it today.
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    OK  okay  history  linguistics  language  vox  Vox.com  etymology  origin  newspaper  telegraph  martin van buren  old kinderhook  ok club  explain  explainer  why we say ok  origin of ok  why we say okay  origin of okay  what does okay mean  what does ok mean  

Vox
Vox

Another popular false origin of OK comes from the American Civil War (1861-1865) which says that soldiers returning from battle would report "0K" (zero killed). And there's a few from around the world, too. Like the Greek "όλα καλά (óla kalá) which means "all good," the Scottish "och aye," which means "oh yes," and even a French-named seaport in Haiti, Aux Cayes. While these are all pretty interesting and might indicate why "OK" was so easily adapted into language worldwide, none of them can actually be traced in their influence the way "oll korrect" can. Neat. - Coleman

7 days ago
greyztone
greyztone

And the origin of "there's a few"? Come on Vox, we're talking about language here!

8 hours ago
LulitaInPita
LulitaInPita

I was told it originated from WWII, not the American Civil War, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one who believed that xD

20 hours ago
Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar
Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar

iptik Do you know a few languages (being held in my text) to consider the fact? Do you know historical flow of languages along with geography and by their nature of getting altered in time in terms of articulation and pronounciation courses? Do yo know (1) phonology and (2) audiology along with (3) human physiology and (4) natural physics terms? .. Insane? I do know three languages plus the four technical items sufficient for the subject I am handling.. really.. considerably per+fect-ly! .. Weird is what you say (and do) whithout basis for any proofing grounds (especially asby with such a short way of expressing your judgement after such the length and detail and richness my texts presented) with no argumentation at all!

Day ago
Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar
Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar

iptik Please why and how? What is your linguistic and historical merit?

Day ago
Jack Anderson
Jack Anderson

Vox *0k*

Day ago
Jester Jenkins
Jester Jenkins

K.

49 minutes ago
hardassteel
hardassteel

Okay

Hour ago
Zo n
Zo n

Yall forgot Kanye west that part ok ok ok ok ok OKAY on the intro

2 hours ago
Matthew A. Gilbert
Matthew A. Gilbert

So, thank a Masshole if everything is OK with you?

2 hours ago
Varun Govind
Varun Govind

OK

2 hours ago
XXxxsamuelxx
XXxxsamuelxx

ok

2 hours ago
Coyce
Coyce

Hm. I always thought it had to do with an older war in which human life was regarded as a resource you spend to win battles. After the battle was over the fallen were counted and if your side had no deaths the message "0 killed" was given out or 0K short which then eventually became O.K. No clue where I got that from but your explanation seems to date further back since it's unlikely to have no losses in battle before modern military encounters

2 hours ago
Grizz Cmt
Grizz Cmt

I just say K

3 hours ago
SCG Niagara
SCG Niagara

So around the early 1800’s some young, intelligent Bostonians (or as some are calling them, memelords) created this well-known word? Ok, let's hear it...

3 hours ago
Jehova's Abettor
Jehova's Abettor

Acknowledged

4 hours ago
KostasSiderisBarista
KostasSiderisBarista

ΟΛΑ ΚΑΛΑ!!!! Everything Good in Greek. Greek port workers in NY, painted the initials of "Ολα Καλά" on the walls, when they finished their shift.

4 hours ago
kieghacat
kieghacat

This has just changed the whole meaning of "Are you OK? Day" that we had recently....

4 hours ago
Sort Me Out
Sort Me Out

i prefer K rather than OK

4 hours ago
scuttle06
scuttle06

Ness

4 hours ago
Aimee Mena
Aimee Mena

So now I know okay is incorrect, my scrabble better accept ok from now on.

5 hours ago
Smurf
Smurf

0 kills

5 hours ago
Blue Winter
Blue Winter

I wonder how many of our modern abbreviations would survive to the next century? LOL, PLZ, THX, FYI, FWIW, TTYL, GN, JK, BRB, ASAP, ppl, cz

6 hours ago
chongjunxiang3002
chongjunxiang3002

S U K K my D I K K

6 hours ago
chongjunxiang3002
chongjunxiang3002

500 years later, VOX publish a video about what is lol.

6 hours ago
Cori Co
Cori Co

wH- mcr? I now approve of this video

6 hours ago
Jman Rip
Jman Rip

Okay

6 hours ago
Ярослав Курганский
Ярослав Курганский

Knuff Ced

8 hours ago
Window Wiper Guy
Window Wiper Guy

ok

8 hours ago
ItzRally7
ItzRally7

Potassium is lucky

8 hours ago
Shahin Tajeri
Shahin Tajeri

00:27 love that album which is the reason that i clicked on this video XD

9 hours ago
T Ig
T Ig

So...it's chatspeak?🤔 And a meme...?

9 hours ago
God //
God //

I never always said ok in my life. Only AR!

10 hours ago
Gta Comedy skits YouTube
Gta Comedy skits YouTube

Okay

10 hours ago
Nigga I’m high af
Nigga I’m high af

Ok

10 hours ago
beefcakepantiehoes
beefcakepantiehoes

Thank you 1830’s Bostonian intellectual memelordes. We’re oll OK now bekause of you.

10 hours ago
H -Arts
H -Arts

Ok

10 hours ago
dolofonos
dolofonos

This creates an interesting etymological question. I don't think it's invalid to acknowledge converging origins any more than to acknowledge a mother's contribution to the genetics of a paternal lineage. Primary origin is not sole origin, and indeed may not be the most important (like saying the Chinese invented space travel merely because of primitive advancements in rocketry). A word like _troll,_ for example, shouldn't be denied as made receptive by virtue of the word's mythological nature, despite a very probable piscatorial origin. All contributions, even when seemingly erroneous, are clearly important to a word's history.

10 hours ago
Ghofar Lathif
Ghofar Lathif

meanwhile indonesian people are using “oce”

11 hours ago
Gino Tuano
Gino Tuano

take a shot everytime you hear the "OK"

11 hours ago
Milk Man
Milk Man

Nice vid, well done. I love it. Nice job man.

11 hours ago
I_Put_Toast_On_My_Butter
I_Put_Toast_On_My_Butter

Okay

11 hours ago
Ayoub Igmir
Ayoub Igmir

ok.

11 hours ago
Can we get 1 subscriber without videos?
Can we get 1 subscriber without videos?

Only the OGs will remember the OK meme

12 hours ago
Ephreim Harris Ebens AKA Freddy
Ephreim Harris Ebens AKA Freddy

When humans landed on the moon? Seriously? 🤦🏻‍♂️

12 hours ago
RandomOof .-.
RandomOof .-.

I thought "ok" was spelled "okay"

13 hours ago
Socknetea
Socknetea

So ok is basically a historic meme

13 hours ago
Ash Westbrook
Ash Westbrook

I thought it was just a shorter version of "Okay", but ok.

13 hours ago
Nyc vacuum Kidd
Nyc vacuum Kidd

*OKEY DOKEY*

13 hours ago
nzoomed
nzoomed

I thought it was the initials from a worker at Ford Motors who signed everything that passed quality control?

14 hours ago
Monkey
Monkey

Next: Why We Say *K.O*

14 hours ago
J4YV33
J4YV33

Oh ok

14 hours ago
J4YV33
J4YV33

Cuz we can

14 hours ago
Penelope May
Penelope May

When the Alexa part came on mine was like “I’m sorry”😂

14 hours ago
worldtec
worldtec

Normies took it mainstream

14 hours ago
She was drinking tea in the garden
She was drinking tea in the garden

i think the best part of this video was the mcr I’m not okay I promise part tbh

14 hours ago
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ

0/10 no donkey kong from dk64 saying okay in this video at all.

14 hours ago
RedxYeti
RedxYeti

Ok

14 hours ago
Harlequin Ely
Harlequin Ely

Then why the superfluous use of the word "Okay" as the formal use... I always just assumed Ok was just a simply written form for the word playing on its phonetic sound

15 hours ago
mY tEa iS SugAr FrEE
mY tEa iS SugAr FrEE

Where did this come from

15 hours ago
SuJu_Mimi
SuJu_Mimi

Kewl

15 hours ago
J. Spike
J. Spike

Ok

15 hours ago
aSwaggySquirrel
aSwaggySquirrel

Ok

16 hours ago
Jose Rojas
Jose Rojas

Well, I also just learned there are different morse code alphabets...

16 hours ago
Wesley Anne
Wesley Anne

Ok

16 hours ago
Filippo Sala
Filippo Sala

Cracked explained this ages ago waaay before they became cucked.

16 hours ago
RIN SuGaR
RIN SuGaR

We’re weird

16 hours ago
spherical cuboid
spherical cuboid

I just typed ok in youtube because I was bored

17 hours ago
Kevin
Kevin

OHH. Ok

17 hours ago
Kevin
Kevin

I thought that the MJ song said "Are you Wonky Ellie" now it makes sense

17 hours ago
Adrix
Adrix

k.

17 hours ago
Joel Wateres-muddy
Joel Wateres-muddy

Well I guess it’s ok 👌

17 hours ago
Gryffin Hatlberg
Gryffin Hatlberg

Ok.

17 hours ago
Kai Santanna
Kai Santanna

Ok

17 hours ago
Pluk
Pluk

So it should of been AC

18 hours ago
Stephen Fairbanks
Stephen Fairbanks

Ol korrect nah aw we?

18 hours ago
Pluk
Pluk

Ok

18 hours ago
Stephen Fairbanks
Stephen Fairbanks

I like the nostalgic historical information 👍

18 hours ago
Trash y
Trash y

*Ok* but nobody is talking about the My Chemical Romance song in the beginning just let your inner emo shine

18 hours ago
Another Meme Passing By
Another Meme Passing By

Okay

18 hours ago
Brianna Pollard
Brianna Pollard

The whole K thing makes me think about the Kardashians...Shane, get on this conspiracy

18 hours ago
Funkadilla
Funkadilla

Ok

19 hours ago
beef noodles
beef noodles

Ok.

19 hours ago
ryan fire
ryan fire

okay

19 hours ago
Make Homer something, something
Make Homer something, something

So technically saying the word okay is not correct.

19 hours ago
Mark the Demystifier
Mark the Demystifier

Kwiz Nite

19 hours ago
LulitaInPita
LulitaInPita

Are religions memes?

20 hours ago
LulitaInPita
LulitaInPita

The origins of OK is really kool! I was always told that it came from a short confirmation of "zero killed" in troop count reports in WWII, meaning that all the soldiers who went on a specific mission returned home okay. I never tried to confirm or disprove it, so I guess I just accepted it as fact.

20 hours ago
Lord Biffus
Lord Biffus

It wasn't a corny joke. It was a MEME!

20 hours ago
Rainyciin
Rainyciin

ok

20 hours ago
SankyOkay
SankyOkay

Interesting..

20 hours ago
TakeOTW
TakeOTW

Trump 2020 OK

20 hours ago
Miguelv Sayol
Miguelv Sayol

Here's a fun drinking game, Take a shot for every time they say ok

21 hour ago
Morten Skyggebjerg Olesen
Morten Skyggebjerg Olesen

ok

21 hour ago
Neimsterdam
Neimsterdam

K

21 hour ago
Jose Milian
Jose Milian

neat

21 hour ago
David Hauzel
David Hauzel

Ok computer

21 hour ago
marcus Mickel
marcus Mickel

I have been talking about this nonstop since I found out, one of the most inresting things I have ever learned!!

22 hours ago
The WolfInABox
The WolfInABox

The Morse Code that was shown actually says IK (. . - . -) not OK ( - - - - . -)

22 hours ago
TheMasterOfPC
TheMasterOfPC

ok

22 hours ago
potatovirus
potatovirus

*Okeh ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)*

22 hours ago
YaBoiMinhty
YaBoiMinhty

lmao ok den

22 hours ago
owl lego stop motion
owl lego stop motion

Kkk Also kool becuase the us kan in klub

22 hours ago
Lawrence
Lawrence

Truman show

22 hours ago
thescientist
thescientist

okay

23 hours ago

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