Posted by GPP on October 26, 2003
In Reply to: Re: No. 20 posted by ESC on October 26, 2003
: : : : Adding No. 19 - It came from the Japanese word: ryoukai.
: : : No. 20. (From post on Oct. 22) OK has a Turkish origin.
: : I was just wondering. It can always go the other way, and I had no idea OK dates back to the 1840s.
: : More likely ryoukai comes from the english. It's just odd to me that the Japanese would use such in military communications?
: : Oh well, I guess there realy is no way to know.
: That's what makes it interesting. Thanks for posting.
I am informed by an amateur Orientalist that 'ryoukai' means 'understand, comprehend' in Japanese, and has a common root with a related word in Chinese, both antedating not only the expression 'OK' but also the English language as we know it. If 'OK' can be dated in print to 1839 -- regardless of its origin -- and Matthew Perry didn't open Japan and its culture and language to the West until 1854, we appear to have a small dating problem with this suggestion.