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Off topic: Are You Oll Korrect? --> The origins of O.K.
Thread poster: Rafa Lombardino

Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 03:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jun 28, 2007

Interesting article about the widespread expression "O.K."

http://www.industryweek.com/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=12759


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:04
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Or did it come from the Choctaw language? Jun 28, 2007

www.prairienet.org/prairienations/ok.htm

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:04
French to Spanish
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Dunno... Jun 28, 2007

...but I red something about "O (zero) Killed" = O.K. sometime during the Civil War. Could be?

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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:04
English to Spanish
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mmmm Jun 28, 2007

Juan Jacob wrote:

...but I red something about "O (zero) Killed" = O.K. sometime during the Civil War. Could be?


I read that too...


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
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Oh no one has any idea where it comes from, really Jun 28, 2007

Certainly not me!

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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
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German origin? Jun 28, 2007

I once heard the theory that the abbreviation is from the German "ohne Korrektur", i.e. "without corrections", or "no corrections needed" which was introduced by a German guy working in an American factory whose task was to check the quality of the products. This must have been in the mid- or end-1800's.

Another theory says that the same guy's name was "Otto Krause", which would explain his initials in the abbreviation.

A third theory, although I believe quite far away from truth, would be the reverse of "K.O." for knock-out. "The boxer is still fine, he's OK, and not (yet) K.O."

Oll Korrect was new to me!

Erik


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Francesca Battaglia
Italy
Local time: 12:04
English to Italian
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I knew the one.. Jun 28, 2007

of the 0-killed for "0"-killed during the War of Indipendence. But there seem to be so many alternatives..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 03:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
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TOPIC STARTER
Fascinating Jun 28, 2007

Isn't it amazing how such an international word has become sort of a "urban legend"? Nobody knows who or what created, but everybody understands it.

There are so many explanations for possible origins, but no one knows for sure where it came from. The one I posted here is definitely new to me.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 06:04
Spanish to English
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Too short, OK? Jun 28, 2007

OK is one of the rare abbreviations that is often found to be too short, with the result that it is commonly expanded into longer words (or pseudo-words) - such as okay and oky-doky - which do not in any way relate to the words from which OK was derived.

MediaMatrix


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Evi Wollinger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:04
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taken from askoxford.com.... Jun 28, 2007

What is the origin of the word 'OK'?


There have been numerous attempts to explain the emergence of this curious colloquial expression, which seems to have swept into popular use in the US during the mid-19th century. Most of them are undoubtedly pure speculation. It does not seem at all likely, from the linguistic and historical evidence, that it derives from the Scots expression 'och aye', the Greek ola kala ('it is good'), the Choctaw Indian oke or okeh ('it is so'), the French aux Cayes ('from Cayes', a port in Haiti with a reputation for good rum) or au quai ('to the quay', as supposedly used by French-speaking dockers), or the initials of a railway freight agent called Obediah Kelly who is said to have written them on lading documents he had checked.

The oldest written references to 'OK' result from its adoption as a slogan by the Democratic party during the American Presidential election of 1840. Their candidate, President Martin Van Buren, was nicknamed 'Old Kinderhook' (after his birthplace in New York State), and his supporters formed the 'OK Club'.

This undoubtedly helped to popularize the term (though it did not get President Van Buren re-elected!). During the late 1830s there had been a brief but widespread craze in the US for humorous misspellings, and the form orl korrekt which was among them could explain the initials 'OK'. Such a theory has been supported by more than one distinguished American scholar, and is given in many dictionaries, including Oxford dictionaries.

The only other theory with at least a degree of plausibility is that the term originated among Black slaves of West African origin, and represents a word meaning 'all right, yes indeed' in various West African languages. Unfortunately, historical evidence enabling the origin of this expression to be finally and firmly established may be hard to unearth.

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutwordorigins/ok?view=uk




[Edited at 2007-06-28 22:41]


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Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 12:04
Spanish to Russian
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One more possibility ;) Jun 28, 2007

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070401023904AAfrnMh

Actually I thought the oll-korrect version was the most popular one, but now it seems it is not.


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:04
Japanese to English
"Okely-dokely!" Jun 29, 2007

my personal favorite...
GO NED FLANDERS!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Flanders


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:04
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
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Same here Jun 29, 2007

I also heard about this version during a Civil War museum visit in the US.

Monika

Juan Jacob wrote:

...but I red something about "O (zero) Killed" = O.K. sometime during the Civil War. Could be?


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lingomania
Local time: 20:04
Italian to English
Italian humour Jun 29, 2007

Interesting thread. A funny Italian friend of mine, who considers himself strictly 'monolingual' and jokingly refuses to speak any foreign language (his excuse being: "parlo a malapena l'italiano...:)), will not say O.K. and invented his own personal term "O Kappa"!. That's Italian humour for you!

Rob

[Edited at 2007-06-29 07:36]


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Chiara Righele  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:04
English to Italian
+ ...
Humor?!? Jun 29, 2007

lingomania wrote:

Interesting thread. A funny Italian friend of mine, who considers himself strictly 'monolingual' and jokingly refuses to speak any foreign language (his excuse being: "parlo a malapena l'italiano...:)), will not say O.K. and invented own personal term "O Kappa"!. That's Italian humour for you!

Rob



Hey, man, I hear it quite frequently here!
I obviously love being surrounded by humorists
Anyway, you know Italians often have their own way to pronounce English words...

Going back to the issue: I also knew the version of OK coming from "0 killed"

Have a nice day folks!
Chiara


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