Is it OK or okay – and why?
Where does OK come from?
It was popularised and begun in 1840 as a slogan of the O.K. Club, a Democratic party political club of the 1840s.
It stands for Old Kinderhook, the nickname of President Martin Van Buren, born at Kinderhook, New York.
It became popular to describe a member of this club as ‘an OK guy’ because the party was seen largely as a positive thing at the time; hence, so were its members.
It moved into being used to mean someone who was alright!
You might have seen ‘okay’ written:
‘Okay’ is the form used when there is an inflectional ending: okayed; okaying. It is called the quasi-phonetic written form – other instances of this are:
- DJ deejay
- MC emcee
- In American English, jaycee is used for ‘Junior Chamber of Commerce member’.
However, in written communications, we should use OK, unless there is an inflectional requirement.