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ERIC Number: ED366209
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Historical Evidence on the Etymology of "OK."
Hoopingarner, Dennie
The etymology of the word "OK" has been controversial from the time it was coined. As an acronym, it is ambiguous by its nature. It was originally meant to stand for "oll korrect," a deliberate misspelling of "all correct." These misspellings were a fad among the literati in late 1830s Boston. However, the phrase was soon adopted as an abbreviation for the nickname "Old Kinderhook" by Democrats campaigning for Martin Van Buren's reelection in 1840. Since then, several other theories have been introduced, including the ideas that it came from a Choctaw Indian word meaning "it is so" or a Middle English word for the last load of a harvest. Most dictionaries now acknowledge its source in "oll korrect" or some variation, with later adoption by the Van Buren campaign and subsequent popular recognition. A 29-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A