Indication indicates either a safe or secure condition.
Perhaps no term in the English language has as many supposed origins as OK
. Wikipedia lists 11 separate possible explanations on how we got our favorite little term for saying 's'all good.' For the sake of time - and the fact that it's 7:30 in the morning and I don't feel like typing all that much - I'll give you a brief rundown of them all and leave it up to you to decide which etymology you agree with.
- The word comes from the Choctaw (Native American) term Okeh which has roughly the same meaning as it does today. Choctaw was well known on the frontier and trappers and cowboys alike adopted the term.
- OK comes from "Oll korrect," which is a misspelled way of writing "all correct." Apparently there was a fad in the 1830's and 40's where common phrases would be intentionally misspelled. Th4nk G0d w3 d0n't d0 th4t anym0re!
- The term comes from an abbreviation of the Greek phrase "Ola Kala," which means "everything's fine." Supposedly, "OK" was stamped on shipping crates leaving Greece to show that they had passed inspection.
- OK comes from an African term "Waw-kay" brought over by Bantu and Wolof speaking slaves. The term is equivalent to an emphatic "yes" in it's native usage.
- The term comes from the medieval Occitan word for "yes" which was Oc, which is the root of the modern French word Oui.
- The root of the OK comes from US soldiers in World War II. When they had lost no men on a mission they would repot "Zero Killed" which become "0 Killed" which became "0K."
- Various theories suppose that OK came from someone's initials being stamped on something or other and becoming associated with everything being fine. Interestingly, this is how Uncle Sam got his start when he packaged meat for our soldiers in the War of 1812 and stamped the barrels with a U.S.
- Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States, would sign documents "O.K." which stood for his nickname "Old Kinderhook." Kinderhook being the town on the Hudson where Van Buren grew up.
- OK comes from a term French fishermen used meaning "to the quay." The fact that they had so many fish that they needed to tie to the dock to unload them signifies a successful day.
- The term comes from the word "oak," as in an oak tree. The British built their ships out of oak and it is synonymous with good quality.
- Typesetters would mark a completed document with the letters O.K. when it no longer needed any changes. This came from the German "Ohne Korrektur" which translates to "no changes."
There you have it, a bunch of theories about where we got our little term OK
. But no matter which one is the true source one fact about OK
remains: it is the
most recognized and understood term on the planet...right before McDonalds, Disney World and Bush.