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Another possible origin of Okay or O.K. - Afraid Not

Posted by TheFallen on January 18, 2003

In Reply to: Another possible origin of Okay or O.K. posted by ESC on January 18, 2003

: : "OK - Ola Kala (Greek: Everything's fine; an origin for the word Okay)"

: : I got this from

: That does look like a new one. We are up to 18, I think.

We are up to 18, but this one's already been mentioned - in fact it was the most recent addition. From the archives, here's the current list of contenders, with #4 still being the hot favourite.

1. Orrin Kendall biscuits, which soldiers ate during the Civil War.
2. Short for Aux Cayes, a Haitian port that American sailors praised for its rum.
3. Old Keokuk, a Native American tribal chief who was said to have signed treaties with his initials.
4. OK stands for "all correct" or the illiterate phrase "Orl Korrect."
5. U.S. President Martin Van Buren's nickname "Old Kinderhook" -- OK for short. He was a native of Kinderhook, N.Y.
6. Choctaw word "okeh," (or "hoke") meaning "indeed" (or "It is so.")
7. Scottish "auch aye", meaning "ah yes." (Or "och aye," meaning "okay.")
8. From the French maritime phrase "au quai" meaning "at dock", and therefore at last safe from the ravages of the open sea.
9. '0 killed' - the report of the night's death toll during the First World War.
10. All clear after the shoot-out at O.K. Corral.
11. Instruments calibrated at an Observatory at Kew had, affixed to them, a stamp, or impression, to authenticate that calibration. This stamp was O K - Observatory Kew.
12. The abbreviation is for Oberst Kommandant, German for "Colonel in Command," used by either -- take your pick -- a General Schliessen or Baron von Steuben when initialing letters and orders during the American Revolution.
13. It comes from the name of a freight agent, Obadiah Kelly, whose initials were widely disseminated on bills of lading.
14. The abbreviation is for Open Key, popularized by telegraphers in the 1860s.
15. It comes from the names of Lords Onslow and Kilbracken, who initialed bills after they were read and approved in England's House of Lords.
16. From a misreading of "Order Recorded" on official documents.
17. Or from Finnish "oikea," correct.
18. From the Greek "olla," all, plus "Kalla," good.