What is the origin of the frequently used expression OK (Okay)?

No one is quite sure how this term came into existence but there are several interesting stories about its origin. One version was made popular by an American humorist who said that Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, used the expression on official papers as an abbreviation of ‘Orl Korrect’. During a presidential campaign Jackson’s political enemies seized upon this story to try to make him appear ignorant. Jackson used to sign the legal papers with the initial O.R. – order recorded – and because R might have looked like K the humorist had material for his little joke.

Another assumption said that the Red Indians may have given us the term. A Red Indian chief, Old Keokuk, was accustomed to signing papers with his initials. The Choctaw Indians have a word, okeh, which means ‘It is and in no other way.’ But regardless of its origin, the expression is widely used today to signify all right or all correct. Even in non-English speaking countries like France and Germany it has become part of the common speech.

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