2 years ago
Last edited at 9:12AM on 2/22/2011
The origin of OK or 'okay' is not known for certain, and has in fact been the subject of much discussion among etymologists.
But here is another interesting speculation: The use of the term among African slaves has been documented as early as 1784, and it is possible that 'okay' came to America when people were brought from Africa.
The Mandingo language includes the term "o ke," and the Bantu language has a work "waw-key."
(This is discussed on Wikipedia, among other places.)
OK actually started out to stand for oil korrect and originated in 1839. During this time using abbreviations was the going thing. In 1840, O.K became the shortened/slang nickname for Van Buren, 'Old Kinderhook'.