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Why we say “OK”

123157 ratings | 3800471 views
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 (10408)
Vox (6 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
iChillypepper (16 days ago)
You forgot the Choctaw use of okeh
Matheus Franca (1 month ago)
That's exactly what I was going to comment. A professor of mine once told me that in college.
Knave New World (1 month ago)
@voxdotcom James Corbett got there before you, haha! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDO3_G7RpHU
sir monsieur (2 months ago)
+Mikrofonlar Kralarına Cevaplar cheeel 😂
saif haider (2 months ago)
Muhammed GA (2 hours ago)
Knuff Ceid
cinnabon (4 hours ago)
Okay. Ok.
Nathan Franke (10 hours ago)
monick Verma (12 hours ago)
Shanika Anderson (13 hours ago)
Im not woahkaaaaaaaaaaay!
Kylen Small (14 hours ago)
Chris Hansen (14 hours ago)
August Schroeder (14 hours ago)
3:43 Don‘t forget Kellogs!
SEP0 2 (15 hours ago)
WarpRulez (16 hours ago)
So "OK is one of the oldest memes that have survived to this day.
Abdul Barr Ibn Zaker (17 hours ago)
2:25 That reminds me of Bioshock Infinite
Every Language say the world OK
mehdi mehdi (20 hours ago)
Suzannah Connel (1 day ago)
Meme it up fam it'll probably be our legacy.
burnt f1ames (1 day ago)
Drool (1 day ago)
II Yahir II (1 day ago)
Brian (1 day ago)
👌👌👌👌👌 Ok! Oh and don't take the kool aid. 👌👌👌👌👌👌👌
Thunder (1 day ago)
Mosxidi Gaming (1 day ago)
Bailey Clancey (1 day ago)
Umm ok
19aryav2 (1 day ago)
Napf Mann (2 days ago)
AkwardStuck (2 days ago)
0:04 seconds in and I'm already having my emo phase flashbacks, thanks, Vox
राघव Ji (2 days ago)
Mubashir Khan (2 days ago)
Cloud Guitar (3 days ago)
So it’s basically just a meme that never died
C.M A (3 days ago)
Am I the only one who is Strangely thinking about the fault in our stars ? ....ok.
Kasi Rao (4 days ago)
OK for this video
David Chin-Shong (4 days ago)
From watching this "ok" lost meaning
brown sausage (4 days ago)
So much for o.k okay
Katy Out n About (5 days ago)
I laughed a little too hard at 0:56
jacob makes music (5 days ago)
So is it spelt ok or okay
Jacob Bowl (5 days ago)
Drink every time you here ok
what did they say before OK?
Chelsea McDermott (6 days ago)
my alexa went off when itsiad alexa
Mohammed shabaz (7 days ago)
Now it's FK.
caramel coffee (7 days ago)
so whyyyy did my high school English take off marks when i wrote "O.K" instead of "okay"
Hannah (7 days ago)
Kiro Ishi (7 days ago)
I honestly just came here to see I’m not ok featured
Kane Mining (8 days ago)
Gamers: IT'S K
Ed Sanity 10 (8 days ago)
Someone: *KYS* Another person: *OK*
gobang dobal (8 days ago)
OK = one Kilo wkwkwk but K.O and VS @ #* "_" what the mean?
AlterMannCam (9 days ago)
2:47 the Morse says "I K". ·· is I, --- is O
Don Hellcat (9 days ago)
King Oshawott (9 days ago)
Chuck Morris (9 days ago)
Imagine if KY became the popular phrase. We'd all be humping with OK jelly lol
lamp . png (10 days ago)
VBMN (10 days ago)
could’ve used Oh Okay by Gunna lol
black red (10 days ago)
We say "Ok" 'cause...yeah, it's Ok
Shivansh Tripathi (11 days ago)
Guen Kennedy (12 days ago)
I really just got “I’m not okay’ed”
4:49 worst pet shop ever 😂
Aid-BO (13 days ago)
"Oll Korrect"
DeathBorn (13 days ago)
Ok, now I know.
GamingBoi , (14 days ago)
Ok thanks
PinkStrayBangtanDay (14 days ago)
•• -•-
Then what's okay?
PB & J (15 days ago)
Ok... :)
Crown & Jester (15 days ago)
How did "O.K" become "Okay"?
MissMirko // (15 days ago)
Sebastian Perez (16 days ago)
*We do not say ok in the Philippines. We say "k"*
Curry Pando (16 days ago)
I used oll korrect in an essay insteas of ok, I got marked down.
Alexis Westland (16 days ago)
So everyone who says "Okay" instead of "Ok" is just wrong
Michael Bauers (16 days ago)
The original telegraph just had clicks, so long and short were two clicks close together, or two clicks further apart.
JahRandom (16 days ago)
Fascinating! For anyone like me who finds this super interesting, search YouTube for "How Georgeaphy Killed A Letter". I didn't even know that back in the day, English had more letters than it does now. And this one letter that the video talks about was essentially killed by the printing press. It is the reason signs read "Ye Ole Pub" or whatever rather than "The Old Pub" and it's also how the word "you" came into existence and replaced "thou". Suuuuper interesting!
Kreami (16 days ago)
Oh, okay. I see now.
xnnoying (17 days ago)
Firegen1 (17 days ago)
Knuff said is that old. Incredible.
Ayra Adnan (19 days ago)
Ken (20 days ago)
Бабушка ??? (20 days ago)
But i say Oki dokie
isaac johnson (21 days ago)
Aaron Puzon (21 days ago)
Today we have "K"
Xorloz The Noob (21 days ago)
damn someone help me what does ok mean?
Subatomic mule 3 (18 days ago)
gerling tascam (21 days ago)
Kris van Geel (21 days ago)
I'm very confused. Because in Dutch, we say oke. And for as far that I am aware, the Dutch culture and language is way older than the American culture and dialect. Isn't it perhaps possible that 'oke' is the right origin? I don't know about British English and other European languages, but it seems more likely that the words would be introduced through colonial history.
Rex Sawell (21 days ago)
Schizophrenic Soap (22 days ago)
Me: *immediately likes because mcr was featured*
Deeva Thomas (22 days ago)
Aiden Chan (22 days ago)
Specs (22 days ago)
gaming duck Adventures (22 days ago)
I mean oll korrect but I dont really care
RAYOOMTA KWT (22 days ago)
"...... OK guys cut it out . " 🌐😌👁
iedricman (22 days ago)
So the work OK was the longest running meme?
L Schlebusch (23 days ago)
Why would they not use the vine of the guy in the woods saying "ok"
Ok means okay
Jay H (23 days ago)
Meow (24 days ago)
Adeel Shakoor (24 days ago)
C J (24 days ago)
Όλα καλά
Liyana (24 days ago)
ugh why didnt u show the fault in our stars
Jairo Bennu (25 days ago)
orient the last layer (OLL)
Sauce Boi (25 days ago)
please check out my beats
FreshGirl 3000 (25 days ago)
Oh! I didn't know "okay" was actually the unoffical version😅😂😂 I thought it was just a normal english word and OK was the abreviation of it. Ooops😅😂

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