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Why we say “OK”

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How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became the most widely spoken word in the world. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO 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. Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com. Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
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Text Comments (9505)
Vox (2 months ago)
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
Mikeeyguy26 264 (2 days ago)
Just to let you know, "ok" is spelled "okay" it's a four letter word, not two
ion (13 days ago)
VaanDamn E. (1 month ago)
I think Vox got the Morse Code wrong. A quick search shows that "O" is "..." not ".." at 2:44 can you double check?
+nikos papadopoulos Turks are ancestors of Anglosaxons, Bulgarians, Hungarians.. . Black or Blue eyed black, blond and red haired warrior nation aiming to establish a one/a world state coming from East and Middle Asia rolling into all Europe, Scandinavia, Britain.. carrying their linguistic ancestary too: Attila and Mete Khans are key historical figures to meet the link. .. Nevertheless more than %50 Finnish vocabulary where being of Turkish language origin, especially many English words are considerably or very directly are same or their structures are of same consonants. As for German.. their history includes an era of defness and thonglesness. So they articulating the words with more hardship asin much strongness or strength.. where also word variations are more and with much of spree from the authentic Asian backgrounds (Asian Turkish) in comparison to the English. .. I know Turkish and English.. and can easily see the linguistic characteristics intersections in their authentic progeny and what we read in history thar took place with the actions of Attila and Mete Khans explain the how, why questionaries.. and terms are easily explicit to those are well educated in history and structures of langusges issues. Even today.. the vowels at times driving some into hardship, especially those who are not aware of the authentic stances of English and Turkish, about comprehension/configuring of the very same wordalites of the two languages. And for sure there is an issue of rule of change of articulations and meaning variations as one issue at first fir many academicians.. but.. though even in 70s these rules have been written are cited in encyclopedias.. (like Larousse) the cultural exploitation age has not left a place or time for these serious realities be seen by most. The postmodern age is destroying the reality of all humanity along with healthy sex stances, concept of family, ecosystems, cultures.. thar us not a surprise one to get overwhelmed by hearing the English-German-Bulgarian-Turk relations be it by ancestory or linguistically.
83jwilson (1 month ago)
Vox Your Morse code was a bit off...
Boom Boom Pow (45 minutes ago)
Moon landing was faKed..... oK!!
Brandanax Niculene YT (3 hours ago)
sp ts (5 hours ago)
This story is not true ....the story goes back to a place in Greece which the are shipping protect for the eupore and the forced to every box to be checked before shipping and because they wanted to be faster they short the phrase " ολα καλα " which means "everything is fine" to O.K. ...... Check that vox
Patthew Savants (5 hours ago)
dat part
Carlos Valencia (6 hours ago)
Rossana Parejo (6 hours ago)
I learned this from the movie " Silver Linings playbook"
The Ok Church (6 hours ago)
Dark Modern (13 hours ago)
Nope, its an american term we gained from native american linguistics, like lasso. It derives from the shortened word "hokay" You can see it in Mark Twain. Its from the Oklahoma region of tribes, along with Heya/Heyahoka which became "Hey" over the years. I wouldnt be suprised if the news articles you sourced were published by people eager to anglicize mative american culture that was too indelible to eradicate. Early truthspeak.
turquoise770 (18 hours ago)
Victor Mançur (18 hours ago)
How can I help with subtitles? I'm from Brazil and I love this channel, but I can't share with my friends or the community 'cause most Brazilians doesn't know English.
Rana Ram (18 hours ago)
Ok Jaanu 😁
Aiden Banana (19 hours ago)
its_a_trab (23 hours ago)
Fun fact, we say ok in dutch too. Idk about other languages but we say it in holland
Anonymous (1 day ago)
Marshall Zane (1 day ago)
Weird flex but *oll korrect*
Carleigh The toad (1 day ago)
4ftershock (1 day ago)
An "O" is 3 dashes, not 2 dots.
Well, the Bloods replace their C's to B's and the Crips change their B's to C's. Trying to remember that would drive me brazy.
Mighty Hacker (1 day ago)
Ok this is epic
alex leon (1 day ago)
John Borden (1 day ago)
You mean to tell me that cheeky hipsters from Boston started all of this?
KUUDA (1 day ago)
AbOoOd 1221 (1 day ago)
Why we say why
Sabrina M (1 day ago)
Michal Nemecek (1 day ago)
I thought OK came from Of Course (K because Course is pronounced with a K sound)
Michal Nemecek (1 day ago)
I thought OK came from Of Course (K because Course is pronounced with a K sound
All Correct = Oll Korrect = Okay = Ok = k (Thus I give Thee evolution)
Morgan James (2 days ago)
me llamo Jeff (2 days ago)
Nick Slayr Music (2 days ago)
JesusLемus (2 days ago)
Bobby Robles (2 days ago)
I’m Bored (2 days ago)
During this video I kept saying ok 😂💀🤷‍♀️
Cerise Min (2 days ago)
Why okay?
dddaizy (2 days ago)
0:04 goddamn it
Omar Cruz (2 days ago)
SeeingFire (2 days ago)
When my Mom calls me Me: Hello....yes Me: Ok Me: Ok Me: Ok Me: Ok Me: Ok Me: Ok Me: Bye
Gabriela Glennda (2 days ago)
no wonder the Kardashian gains all the attention
Actually it originates from the British and the Greeks when doing trade, the Greeks would write OK on cargo boxes (short for Όλα Καλά = Óla Kalá= all good/ everything is good- indirect translation ). The British obviously read it O-K and that’s how the abréviation was born.
Giovanni Striano (2 days ago)
Weird flex but ok
Brendan Sullivan (2 days ago)
you had the chance to end the video with "OK guys cut it out" and u missed it
Billion EP Purba (2 days ago)
It infuriates me how you guys didn't include the reference of "Ok" in the fault in our Stars.
kenry landers (2 days ago)
weird flex, but *ok*
GGalaxySnip Galactic (2 days ago)
Willyosk 777 (3 days ago)
Lazy Roll (3 days ago)
Sally Shoaf (3 days ago)
So basically the popularization of OK has to do with a r/fellowkids
Noah L (3 days ago)
Ok not okay
That Guy (3 days ago)
0:16 Wow. I literally can't believe Vox thinks the OK hand sign is ok. It's aactually a white supremacist literally hitler hand sign. Jail anyone that replies to this
Crochet With Ayden (3 days ago)
Isn’t it annoying when people comment the same thing as you and they get thousands of likes and you get none?
This Girl (3 days ago)
Banana Are Awesome (3 days ago)
I thought it was for okay
Justin H (3 days ago)
Whenever you go to a website, if the page loads the server returned a "200 OK" HTTP Status code. So even computers say "OK."
Zach Kaiell (3 days ago)
Worst pet shop. ever.
tobzmiyagi (3 days ago)
I don't buy it
gucci squidward (3 days ago)
I thought it was a short version of okay
G. B. (3 days ago)
Micha chahta anumpa anumpoli li :-) I speak Choctaw. Chahta sia hoke. I am Choctaw. Ok is a Choctaw word.
painedumonde (3 days ago)
Jason Randolph (3 days ago)
Mortal Kombat
MysticBlast3r26 (3 days ago)
this is so sad, *alexa* play despacito *ok*
Abhay Nadayil (3 days ago)
Ok Jaanu
Shriya Sista (3 days ago)
Haiyan Karbelkar (3 days ago)
The video was ok
30secondstomarsMBH (3 days ago)
And now we just say K. I love humanity sometimes!!!!
Padsy Waps (4 days ago)
Rahul Balan (4 days ago)
So when did we start adding "ay" to "ok"?
Thieving Peppers (4 days ago)
The meme that will never die
Autumn's Child (4 days ago)
But like... I screamed when Gerard said Okay 😝
Rishi Patel (4 days ago)
Rishi Patel (4 days ago)
The Boy’s Club (4 days ago)
CXLE (4 days ago)
Crazy that this company was made by a literal white supremacist
Charles Mcdermid (4 days ago)
I always spell it okay
Dorian Emin-Jeong (4 days ago)
pandaroc1 (4 days ago)
Okkkk 🤷🏽‍♂️
deathcamel (4 days ago)
Worst pet shop. Ever.
-Gemberkoekje- (4 days ago)
I thought It was "Are you walking Annie"
-Gemberkoekje- (4 days ago)
Grecia Urcadiz (4 days ago)
ReachSkyla (4 days ago)
No one punch man reference?
ReachSkyla (4 days ago)
The strongest meme in history
Tami Cohen (4 days ago)
Krusty Krab
Stephen Shields (4 days ago)
We did not go to the moon
BrazenBullXXX (4 days ago)
Memes live forever.
Mrs. Hi (4 days ago)
OK, thanks,
Dude Gamers (4 days ago)
Anonymous 123 (4 days ago)
Of course it was in Boston
mysterious blue guy (4 days ago)
me: weird flex but -ok- _oll korrect_
Mike Limon (5 days ago)
12 (5 days ago)
TriplM (5 days ago)
Ok then
Bubb a (5 days ago)
Clement (5 days ago)
So it all came from a meme in the 1800s? The power of memes yall
Jason Perez (5 days ago)
Weird flex but ok
Michelle Cannes (5 days ago)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW1aX0IbZOE "Okey"
Kieroni Reikets (5 days ago)
This has made me suffer from semantic saturation.

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