Full Form of OK – History behind the development of OK

Full Form of OK :

All Right (or) Correct (or) Agreed

OK Full Form refers to ‘All Right (or) Correct (or) Agreed’. It is believed that during 1838, in Boston, people used various short form expressions like ‘GT-gone to Texas’; NG-no go; SP-small potatoes; etc. One of the expressions includes OW, which was Oll Wright, which eventually turned out to be OK. The next theory is that OK originated to represent ‘Orl Korrect’, which is a misspelling of ‘all correct’ during the 1830s.

There are people who believe OK to be an Indian word, which refers to the affirmative reply ‘okeh’ to a question. Various origins have been proposed for the origin of OK. However, irrespective of its origin, the usage, and the meaning convey the same. Ok! This is something about OK. Yes, we shall explore various facets of this commonly used catchphrase that has become so tightly and deeply embodied in our daily colloquial language that we barely care to explore about its origin, different meanings, and other related things.

Full Form of OK - History behind the development of OK
Full Form of OK – History behind the development of OK

OK Full Form – Additional Information

There are many facts about the use of OK as a catchphrase or otherwise. Many of the readers will probably have never thought about this phrase as anything important but an outcome of casual developments in English. However, this is not the case. Historically as well as contemporarily, the phrase has more to it than inherent brevity. Here are some facts about OK that you probably would not have heard of:

General Information about OK

OK is used as an adjective, indicating acceptance, approval, acknowledgment. It is an express form of assent and is generally understood in this fashion only. It is popular as a loanword, which basically means adoption of a word or phrase from one particular language and use of it in different languages, without any need of translating it.

Apart from indicating acceptance, it is often used to mean average or mediocrity. We often say “That item is Okay or OK”. Sometimes, the catchphrase is used in the form of an adverb. It can be used to obtain confirmation and other similar ways.

History behind the development of OK

The catchphrase OK has a rich history that can be traced back to the 19th century. The predecessor of OK was OW, which meant Oll Wright. Eventually, it was transformed into OK with early meanings being All Correct, Oll Korrect, and sometimes, Ole Kurreck. In the year 1840, the word became a nationwide phenomenon when Presidential campaign was happening. The word OK was used in reference to the abridged form of the nickname of the presidential candidate, Martin Van Buren, which was Old Kinderhook.

Following thing, OK became prominent when Pete Seeger, a folk singer, sang that the word OK derives its origin from Choctaw Indian culture. The language Choctaw was prominent in a certain tribe that lived in the South-east United States. There are still arguments as to the claims made in respect of the origin of the phrase.

A joke?

This needs a separate discussion as many consider this story as the most acceptable one as far as the origin of the word OK is concerned. In the year 1839, the Boston Morning Post made a publication of a hilarious article about an organization, which called itself the Anti-Bell-Ringing Society. The article made a hilarious use of the word OK. The term was used as an abridged form of All Correct. Nobody could imagine back then a word like OK would be such a big hit.

Spelling variants of OK

With time, the use and popularity of the catchphrase grew rapidly, with many variants emerging in different countries and in different languages. There is no agreement as to what the proper form of OK is, that is, whether it is Okay, or OK, or Okayee! It all depends on upon the region and language. Under this head, we shall discuss some of the popularly known variants of OK.

  • Octl: It is a modern variation of the Mayan catchphrase. It is prominently used in the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • Okeh: This word comes from Choctaw. It was once very famously used but has become less and less prominent.
  • K or kk: This form of OK is extensively used in instant messaging or in general texting. It was also used in Morse code indicating “Go ahead”.
  • Kay: The word became famous after finding mention in The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. In the book, the word was used by Captain Queeg.
  • Okie: The term was popularly used in the movie The Little Rascals as Oki doki, which can be stretched to Okie dokie
  • Oukej: It is popularly used in Slovak and Czech.
  • Ookoo: The phrase is prominently used in Finland and it is pronounced as OK.

Gesture OK

OK can be depicted in the form of gesture. The gesture is depicted when the thumb is touched by the index finger, creating a round circle. There is a confusion as to whether the gesture origins from the phrase or the phrase origins from the gesture. There are, however, usages of same gesture in a different manner in different countries.

Language counterparts of OK

Although OK is a loanword and it been unanimously and rather inadvertently incorporated in other languages, it is important to note about the counterparts of the word OK in different countries. It will be a fun exercise, apart from being an informative course of information. The term OK is used as a substitute for the regional term “ii”, which means good, and daijobou, which means all right.

In the Chinese language, the word hao is the linguistic counterpart of OK. In Taiwan, the term OK is used with linguistic modifications, by incorporating certain Taiwanese expressions: OK le, when people communicate with foreigners; OK ma, which means “Is it OK?”; OK la, which is a powerful word that is used in the sense as “Is it OK or not?” It is more of an intimidating expression.

In the Philippines, the phrase OK lang is used, which means just OK. In Malay, the word OK is suffixed with “lah”. In Singapore, the prominence of Singlish has led to different conjunctions of the term OK such as OK lor, OK leh, OK meh; each of these expressions is used in different contexts.

Use of the term OK in the digital world

The word OK has been incorporated as popular terms used on buttons such as acceptance messages, error messages, and other forms where some sort of approval is needed. Generally, where there is one button, the label is most likely to be OK or Okay. It is used as OK, not as O.K. or Okay! by default. Now we know that OK is not just a mere term but has many connotations, uses, historical facts, and whatnot.