Know the true origin of the expression 'OK'

Although it is an expression of American origin, the "OK" has ended up going beyond borders and becoming a universal fragment with many uses, depending on the context in which it is inserted and the intonation we give it. And, according to the folks at Mental Floss, the story about its origin is shrouded in many legends.

Perhaps the most well-known explanation here in Brazil about the origin of the expression "OK" is related to US Civil War soldiers, who counted the dead every day and marked OK when there was "0 killed". ) on a particular day.

But there are other explanations, such as that the "OK" would have come about thanks to the okeh word from the Chocktaw dialect, from the Scottish och aye, from shipbuilders who identified a certain type of wood with outer keel. free), among many others. However, according to Allen Walker Read, a Columbia University professor who has done extensive research on the famous expression, the term came from a joke!


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It all started in the mid-19th century in the US, when there was the custom of abbreviating whole expressions using only the initials of each word, as it is today with "LOL" or "OMG", for example. But to make it more fun, in addition to shortening everything, people began to exchange some letters for others whose words sounded similar or had deliberate spelling errors.

Thus, in 1839, the term "OK" appeared in a humorous Boston Morning Post article, being an abbreviation for the phrase " oll korrect " which, in turn, meant "all correct " or "all right". in free translation). But, unlike other abbreviations, it eventually caught on, and became famous thanks to candidate Martin van Burien, who ran for the 1840 elections.

Electoral War and Telegraph

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The candidate's nickname was Old Kinderhook, and some of his supporters decided to form the OK Club . But voters of the Burien contestant began joking around with the club's name, creating fun - and even offensive - slogans against the election campaign, further popularizing the term.

And instead of being forgotten after the elections, the term was eventually consolidated by the use of the telegraph, which began to become popular at this time. Thus, in 1870 the expression "OK" became the standard term that telegraph operators used to notify - oll korrect - message reception.

However, as the origin of OK - for some reason - eventually fell into oblivion, supposed explanations began to emerge from various parts of the world. Thus, according to the Mental Floss, this was probably why the expression became so universal.