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Background[change | change source]

The term appears to have achieved prominence in the United States in 1840, when supporters of the American Democratic political party claimed during the 1840 United States presidential election that it stood for "Old Kinderhook," a nickname for a Democratic presidential candidate, Martin Van Buren, a native of Kinderhook, New York. "'Vote for OK' was snappier than using his Dutch name."[1] In response, Whig opponents attributed OK, in the sense of "Oll Korrect," to Andrew Jackson's bad spelling. The country-wide publicity surrounding the election appears to have been a critical event in okay's history, widely and suddenly popularizing it across the United States.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The Economist, 2002.10.24, "Allen Read, obituary"