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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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By Shelley Gollust from Voice of America

Are you Ok?

Millions of people all over the world use the word okay. In fact, some people say the word is used more often than any other word in the world. Okay means “all right” or “acceptable”. It expresses agreement or approval. You might ask your brother, “Is it okay if I borrow your car?” Or if someone asks you to do something, you might say, “Okay, I will.”

It may be common, but language expert do not agree about where the word come from. Some people say it came from the Native American Indian tribe known as the Choctaw. The Choctaw word okeh means the same as the American word okay. Experts say early explorers in the American West spoke the Choctaw language in the 19th century. The language spread across the country, but many people dispute this.

Language expert Allen Walker Read wrote about the word okay in reports published in the 1960s. he believed that people first used the word in the 1830s. It was a short way of writing a different spelling of the words “all correct.” Some foreign-born people wrote “all correct” as “o-l-l k-o-r-r-e-c-t,” and used the letters O.K.
Other people say that a railroad worker named Obadiah Kelly invented the word long ago. They say he put the first letters of his name – O and K – on each object people gave him to send on the train. Still, others say a political organization invented the word. The organization supported Martin Van Buren for president in 1840. They called their group the OK Club. The letters were taken from the name of the town where Martin Van Buren was born – Old Kinderhook, New York. Not everyone agrees with this explanation, either. But experts do agree that the word is purely American. And it has spread to almost every country on Earth.

Then there is the expression A-Okay. This means everything is fine. A-Okay is a space-age expression. It was used in 1961 during the flight of astronaut Alan Sheppard. He was the first American to be launched into space. His flight ended when his spacecraft landed in the ocean, as planned. Sheppard reported: “Everything is A-Okay.”

However, some experts say the expression did not begin with the space age. One story says it was first used during the early days of the telephone to tell an operator that a message had been received. There are also funny ways to say okay. Some people say okey-dokey or okey-doke. These expressions were first used in the 1930s. Today, a character on the American television series, ‘The Simpsons’, says it another way. Homer Simpson’s irritating neighbour Ned Flanders says, “Okely-dokely.”


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭
    Very interesting news that has increased my culturak background. :)
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,027 mod
    I never had thought about the origins of okay. I had a friend at school who used to always say okey-dokey which for some reason I found slightly irritating.
  • Igor_LoveraIgor_Lovera Posts: 310 Inactive
    @mheredge your school friend is like Ned Flanders LOL
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,876 mod
    Nowadays people often just say "K". Which has led to some saying "potassium". #thinkaboutit :smiley:
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,027 mod
    Haha. I heard someone use okey dokey a few days ago, which made me smile.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whenever the occasion presented, I've always made a point not to miss the chance to explain the puzzle about where the word ' okay ' came from.
    This interesting explanation gives proof that I was a bit overconfident with my understanding.
    I'd been sure that the word came from the initial letters of the words ' all killed ', getting the ' o ' from the way ' all ' is pronounced.
    Only just in a war context, obviously, it would have meant ' the danger is over, all enemies killed '.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,027 mod
    I thought the military use 'roger' to mean okay @filauzio. I wonder what the origins of this are? Maybe someone called Roger started it?
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've got a book written by a pilot of the Italian airline, @mheredge, which I haven't still thoroughly read but to which I just gave a glance here and there.
    However I've read that when the pilots communicate the flight's data, they often use either ' roger ' or ' charlie '.
    ' roger ', would stand for ' all right, I've got it, I'm going to perform that at once, okay ', as you also say it's the use the military do.
    ' charlie ', would stand for ' exactly true, I confirm, yes '.
    They usually repeat ' charlie ' twice, in order to signify that they really confirm.
    He claimed he didn't know the reason why these two words are being used; maybe, he dared to say, because they sound good.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭
    I listen this story. In the USA during the civil war the number of fall were annotated on a board to show to others. For example 3 K did means three killed. When there were not falls the board said OK zero kills. The the OK was a synonymous of something good.
  • navidafrasiabiannavidafrasiabian Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes,thanks!! :D
  • andersonmandersonm Posts: 11 ✭✭
    I already listen a story similar the rhenxoff. :)
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,027 mod
    I'll have to find out. Roger and Charlie have become very famous in their way @filauzio. It would be interesting to find out why.
This discussion has been closed.