Why we say “OK”

  • Published on Sep 12, 2018
  • 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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Comments • 10 298

  • Vox
    Vox  5 months ago +6250

    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

  • Jeff Goldblum
    Jeff Goldblum 6 hours ago

    0:05 that’s a 4 letter word okay?

  • abu hanifah
    abu hanifah 9 hours ago

    now we say


  • Kancer
    Kancer 2 days ago

    * **OK** *

  • Petar Mitkov
    Petar Mitkov 2 days ago


  • hashas bashbash
    hashas bashbash 3 days ago

    4:48 one "comment" says worst pet shop

    L3N1NVEVO 3 days ago

    Wtf now I love KKK now

    CORN MEAL 3 days ago +1


  • Deborah Landau
    Deborah Landau 3 days ago


  • The kinz tube Sister

    So “ok” was the spongebob meme of the 1800’s, never truly dies

  • Fortnite Pro
    Fortnite Pro 4 days ago


  • Fancy Pelican
    Fancy Pelican 4 days ago

    Ok 👌

  • bjorink
    bjorink 5 days ago

    my alexa went off at the start

  • Eureka
    Eureka 5 days ago +1

    And I thought O.K. was a shortcut for 'okay'

  • MrFatcakes
    MrFatcakes 5 days ago

    What about “Okay” ?

  • Amarendra Nath
    Amarendra Nath 6 days ago

    And I thought we were hip and cool with our urban lingo. Jeez those 1800 dudes were way cooler.

  • Akira.MadeThat
    Akira.MadeThat 6 days ago

    Lmao, ‘Murica.

  • Taylor Joyce
    Taylor Joyce 6 days ago +2


  • Sasha Staples
    Sasha Staples 6 days ago


  • Chelsea Keniston
    Chelsea Keniston 6 days ago +1

    Krusty Krab pizza is the pizza for you and me

  • Lola 。 Barclay 。

    Ok sounds weird now

  • JANU bilera
    JANU bilera 7 days ago

    ok, i got it.

  • a n n x i e
    a n n x i e 7 days ago


  • TeNgGiLinG
    TeNgGiLinG 7 days ago


  • Architectural Boi
    Architectural Boi 7 days ago

    4:48 Who is that at the bottom saying 'Worst Pet Shop' in a Yelp Review of a Restaurant? What, Are they're trying to but burnt Chicken?

  • Callister Rod2500
    Callister Rod2500 8 days ago

    Weird flex but OLL KORRECTOMUNDO

  • H. M
    H. M 8 days ago

    Where did alright come from

  • jake marten
    jake marten 9 days ago


  • Zack Lamb
    Zack Lamb 9 days ago


  • LosAngeles.323
    LosAngeles.323 9 days ago


  • Whatever Man
    Whatever Man 10 days ago


  • Seton43
    Seton43 10 days ago

    “The chicken was ok.”
    “Worst pet shop ever.”

  • PewDiePy
    PewDiePy 11 days ago

    Όλα καλά

  • Ty Boo
    Ty Boo 11 days ago


  • Fortnite Beginner
    Fortnite Beginner 12 days ago +1


  • OkayLexi
    OkayLexi 12 days ago

    This is fascinating, thank you for making this video!

  • Zach Kariotis
    Zach Kariotis 12 days ago

    I always thought that they replaced c's with k's to make it more marketable to young people and fun to read. I mean, I would probably take Kool Aid more seriously if it was Cool Aid. That actually sounds like some medical term used to mellow out the blood of patients or something.

    BRIT BE TRIPPIN 12 days ago

    Bradley Cooper’s character in Silver Linings playbook explained the origins of OK in the movie.

  • Yusri Amilkassim
    Yusri Amilkassim 13 days ago

    wdym means what do you mean, owh okay than...

  • pdxrailtransit
    pdxrailtransit 13 days ago

    Really well done, OK?

  • Renzo Reynaldo
    Renzo Reynaldo 13 days ago

    kKk is also memorable

  • Isko Maxmin
    Isko Maxmin 13 days ago

    Ok Hitler !!!

  • Beleszove Foldlanya
    Beleszove Foldlanya 13 days ago

    so how did Ok become Okay?

  • Martel Clark
    Martel Clark 13 days ago

    Ight is my okay that slang and most ppl in cincinnati say it

  • sunlight_ beam
    sunlight_ beam 14 days ago

    Those dots are basically like Morse code.

  • {DL} WildeSchildpad
    {DL} WildeSchildpad 14 days ago


  • Gaming Guitarist
    Gaming Guitarist 14 days ago


  • fir3w0rx Productions
    fir3w0rx Productions 14 days ago

    Reminds me of the word 'hodl' in the cryptocurrency world, which was a mispelled 'hold' that everybody joked about but continue to use today, and probably will for a long time.

  • Not Lazy
    Not Lazy 14 days ago

    Now the word OK sounds weird now.

  • kiran Aher
    kiran Aher 15 days ago +1


  • James Kolan
    James Kolan 15 days ago

    "Kraft" is a poor example of using the letter "K" to get attention. Kraft is simply the German form of the English "craft." The name of the family that founded the company was indeed "Kraft" and one of the descendants of the family is the owner of the New England Patriots.

  • PoehlerBehr
    PoehlerBehr 15 days ago


  • Chris Skinner
    Chris Skinner 15 days ago

    Why am I learning about where O.K. came from instead of studying for my math exam??

  • grplayer
    grplayer 16 days ago

    Ancient Greeks wrote ok on wood meaning όλα καλά (all good) to identify wood strong enough for ship building

  • Я Обычный
    Я Обычный 16 days ago

    Well, excuse me my scepsis, but according to the international morse code, "OK" spelt like this --- -.-

  • AnanaFetaGaming
    AnanaFetaGaming 16 days ago

    In Greece we have a different theory. A professor got into America and OK or Oll Korrect. That is a theory

    xXJAYMOXx 17 days ago

    O is 3 dots in morse code btw

  • SarNarNoma
    SarNarNoma 17 days ago

    Yeah Aight

  • Patrick
    Patrick 17 days ago


  • Hasyel
    Hasyel 17 days ago

    OK is Oll Korrect. So can KO means korrect all?

  • bergamotblonde
    bergamotblonde 17 days ago

    This slang habit would make a great meme today.

  • The Sultanate of Ferrets
    The Sultanate of Ferrets 17 days ago +1


  • deepak malik
    deepak malik 18 days ago


  • Not Playing
    Not Playing 18 days ago

    what about the -ay ????

  • James Smith
    James Smith 18 days ago


  • Valii Cuca
    Valii Cuca 18 days ago


  • L Hunter
    L Hunter 19 days ago

    Let‘s establish „Nokay“ as the opposite of Okay

  • Goi Garg
    Goi Garg 20 days ago

    When news channel don't have news - why not make video on 'ok'

  • Alex Byron
    Alex Byron 20 days ago

    I wondered if you’d explain why it can be both ‘ok’ and ‘okay’. Never understood why...

  • Sasha Novikova
    Sasha Novikova 21 day ago

    Wait so why do we say “okay” and not “o.k.” then?

  • Esther Rogers
    Esther Rogers 21 day ago

    This was really fascinating! Now I know what OK stands for 😅

  • Henrique Ourives
    Henrique Ourives 21 day ago

    And what about kerbals!?

  • Linus Pönig
    Linus Pönig 21 day ago

    I did actually know this before

  • Alex Eastwood
    Alex Eastwood 22 days ago

    Ok is over used and outdated. Ladies and gentlemen...... I give you....... K.

  • waughj12
    waughj12 22 days ago

    #OldFashionMemes lol

  • Willie Peppers
    Willie Peppers 22 days ago

    Oh ok

  • Cole W
    Cole W 22 days ago +1


  • Mr. N0Body
    Mr. N0Body 22 days ago

    0:17 what was that ?

  • Parrish Thomas
    Parrish Thomas 23 days ago


  • alejandro ojeda
    alejandro ojeda 23 days ago

    Is there a reason why you said OK was .. _._ instead of ... _._?

  • Brian Davidson
    Brian Davidson 23 days ago

    why is there 1800 dislikes for this video ahahahaha

  • Bored 5
    Bored 5 23 days ago


  • Dirt Poor
    Dirt Poor 23 days ago

    So back then people refused to use abbreviations and acronyms? (a sect of philosophers)

  • Max Horsford
    Max Horsford 23 days ago

    Ok but what about “okay”

  • Mr Oof
    Mr Oof 23 days ago

    Oxygen Potassium

  • Mr Oof
    Mr Oof 23 days ago

    _up next, why we say K_

  • Lucas
    Lucas 23 days ago

    I'm going to say all correct from now on

  • Ross' Random Stuff
    Ross' Random Stuff 24 days ago


  • vinay sukhija
    vinay sukhija 24 days ago

    Now we say okurrrrr! Thanks to cardi b !

  • Laura Lucas
    Laura Lucas 24 days ago

    I wonder if that's how the Kardashians got so famous. 2 Ks per person.

  • Hunner Smit
    Hunner Smit 24 days ago


  • Evan george
    Evan george 25 days ago

    O.K = Ολα. Καλα

  • moumous
    moumous 25 days ago

    2:45 isn’t that wrong? Shouldn’t it be - - - - • - ?!

  • AdiJoPey
    AdiJoPey 25 days ago

    vale vale vale vale

  • Bogdan Popescu
    Bogdan Popescu 25 days ago

    Omfg they did not just use MCR in the beggining and wreck my life

  • Asishll Aurora
    Asishll Aurora 26 days ago

    Well we now know Ku Klux Klan was trying to be hip with the kids.

  • Pixel Donkey
    Pixel Donkey 26 days ago

    Ohhhhh ok

  • josh s
    josh s 26 days ago

    so its ok not okay

  • Lil Sausage
    Lil Sausage 26 days ago


  • Steven Seserko
    Steven Seserko 27 days ago

    Don’t believe anything in this video. The word “ok” was created by Playboi Carti and that is why we say it today.