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Earliest Usenet uses via Google Groups[edit]

  • ok: - 26 Apr 1981 by Robert E. Spivack
    ok, so on to our nifty, double-sided, double or single density morrow dsc drives (also known by some as 'tinker' toys).
  • OK: net.general - 23 May 1981 by cincy
    I quickly figured out that by manipulating the L.sys file, I could fake uucp into thinking that we had a hardwired line to the system, and that it was OK at this time to call, so that what I had to do was dial the other system, twiddle L.sys, and start uucico, all quickly enough that the login sequence didn't time out.
  • okay: fa.sf-lovers - 1 Jun 1981 by JPM
    So TicToc of Oz is okay but as Pettit at PARC-MAX advised, the Tin Woodman is dubious.
  • Ok: - 7 Jun 1981 by SHRAGE at WHARTON-10
    "Ok, boys and girls, now, trace that door over there so that I can escape."
  • okayed: - 8 Jan 1983 by ixlpc
    Finally, the Stupid Bowl (named after a certain commisioner who okayed this farcical tournament), it will be the Raider defense which will give Washington fits, as the Raiders win their 3rd NFL championship 27-14.
  • okaying: net.philosophy - 2 Sep 1983 by Alan Wexelblat
    You twist (yes, I stand by that word) this into B somehow okaying the murders.
  • ok'd: net.flame - 22 Sep 1983 by nrh
    ... the other hand, were the profession legal, I imagine one could avoid such poor quality control in one's pusher simply by paying more for the brand ok'd by some ...
  • ok-ing: net.jokes.d - 7 Nov 1983 by ron
    i just can't see not liking leper jokes, but "ok-ing" dead baby jokes.
  • OK'd: net.religion.jewish - 24 Feb 1984 by yoavh
    I understand the Conservative movement has OK'd the ordination of women rabbis.
  • O'kay: net.micro.pc - 26 Mar 1985 by Janice Singer
    O'kay, so first I load the interrupt vector with INT 21H - 25H, then I execute INT 21H - 31H to keep the program resident (AL = 00H).
  • ok'ing: net.unix - 5 Oct 1986 by Mark Biggers
    I sent the code below (ok, with a makefile and header file) to Sun support, after ok'ing it with them, and have had no response after being passed to yet another support person.
  • OK'ing: comp.sys.mac - 27 Jan 1988 by Erik Kilk
    Use Control-K immediately after OK'ing the laser print.
  • O-Kay: comp.sys.mac - 11 Dec 1988 by Jeff Meyer
    Plus a lot of repetious sloganizing -- "At Ashton-Tate, we're putting the Magic back into the Machines." O-Kay.... The people around me (mostly business users, graphic designers, etc.) were looking impatient.

OK vs. ok[edit]

Adj, Noun, Adv. (also Verb): I think since "OK" is the preferred spelling of "okay" these should probably be expanded here, and noted there that OK is the (order of magnitude) more common spelling, and that "okay" is only used in formal writing prohibiting abbreviations. Also, there ought to be some mention that it is "OK" and never "ok." This probably should also have w:okay and leave the etymology debate to Wikipedia? --Connel MacKenzie 22:52, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 23:13, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)>

I agree that the main entry should be here, though I thought that such a change might be a little drastic, so I held off. I think that many people do write ok, which means we oughtn't say that it is never to be written that way (especially seeing as the word sees very little formal use, so there's not much use for prescriptivism). Okay is generally not used in formal writing (I believe it is generally considered an informal word), and I've never heard it prescribed in favor of OK for formal situations. That said, I think many people prefer okay because it doesn't stick out as much visually, and normal words are easier to read that all-caps ones.

I don't think we should leave the etymology debate to wikipedia, though we should certainly refer to wikipedia's entries on the topic. As the wiktionary, we are not a sub-project of wikipedia, and we should take all of our entries seriously, which means including an etymology if there is one, and including debates on etymology where there are some. That said, I'm not in any rush to put it in, but I think in time it will find it's way here.

Does this seem reasonable?


I'm not trying to be prescriptive saying that "ok" is incorrect, I'm being penultimately descriptive! It is aboslutely certain to get a writer in trouble to write "ok" instead of "OK." The Wikipedia article also describes the rarity of "okay" and informs that "OK" is the only real use of the term.
It does seem reasonable to leave it alone for a minute, as you said. I too am sure it will find its way into here. The problem with the etymology, though, is that there are (according to Wikipedia) three separate, POV, debated, and contradictory etymologies. THAT debate is one I'd rather not get innundated by, right now. --Connel MacKenzie 00:06, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 00:23, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)>

It is descriptivist to say that a writer might get in trouble for writing "ok" instead of "OK" (though remember that not all writers have editors, particularly on the internet or in informal writing, where the term probably sees most of its use), but it is patently prescriptivist to say that ok is "incorrect." That okay is less common I'm willing to concede, but not by any huge margin ("okay" gets 22.5 million hits on google). Certainly anything that popular could not accurately be described as "rare".
That there are three seperate POV and debated etymologies is not a problem, and should not present a problem to us. We should simply have all three in our etymology section, and include the fact that it is hotly debated (and give them a link where they can find more). We don't necessarily need to provide reasons for each POV, though a very brief explanation might be in order (I would hate to think that American Heritage was one-up on us with regard to it's coverage of the origins of the term OK  :) ).
In any case, even the wikipedia article has some ways to go before it could be considered "complete".


Jun-Dai, I wasn't saying that everyone has an editor who reviews every word they type. The goal of languge is effective communication. Some people read what you type - they may or may not inform you that they think you've made an error, but they may still think less of you. That is a type of "trouble." Regarding Wikipedia describing it as rare; I misquoted them accidentally. They did indicate that "okay" is often written as "OK" and perhaps I read too much into it. But many of the theories they relate (way more than three) have specific meaning (or anecdotal) as to why it was originally (and presumable still is) upper case. These days, I usually only see "ok" is when it is a Unix guru typing after having removed their Caps Lock and Shift keys from their keyboard. Although I love Linux, and like most *nix, seeing that style of typing strikes me as juvenile and base. That is not me being prescriptive, nor POV; that is the connotation they give by writing in a manner that is pointedly, intentionally, "incorrect." --Connel MacKenzie 05:16, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)


This word is used as a common word amongst most of the world's languages and is most likely the only such word known. Is it more appropriate to use the header:


instead of English?

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 04:50, 25 June 2008 (UTC).

According to a NYTimes article I read about 20 years ago . . .[edit]

According to a NYTimes article I read about 20 years ago, the term "OK" was originated by Martin Van Buren, president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. Prior to his election as president he was governor of New York State, from the town of Kinderhook on the Hudson River about 100 miles north of New York City. During his early political campaigns he adopted the "nom de guerre" of "Old Kinderhook". When reviewing documents he would signal his approval by writing "OK" in the margins.

I've seen the provenance described as "all correct". But this would be "AK", not "OK".

Larry Litchfield, NYC & Manila, 10 FEB 2009

—This unsigned comment was added by Larrylitch (talkcontribs) at 03:53, 10 February 2009 (UTC).

Other languages[edit]



# [[#English|OK]], [[all right]]
#* Amanda Rainger, Paul Rogers, "Voyage 2", 2003, Nelson Thornes
#*: '''''OK'''. Bon, on va sortir vendredi comme d'habitude. Tu vas venir?''
#* Eva Marsal, Takara Dobashi, Barbara Weber, "Children Philosophize Worldwide: Theoretical and Practical Concepts", 2009, Peter Lang
#*: '''''OK'''! On se revoit dès que tu peux!''



# [[#English|OK]], [[all right]]
#* David Pogue, ''Zaubern für Dummies'', 2002, Wiley-VCH
#*: ''Bin ich wieder dran? '''OK''', ich wähle diese beiden hier. Nehmen Sie eins davon weg.''


# [[#English|OK]], [[good]]
#* Petr Ondracek, Marta Horňáková, Libor Klenovský, ''Verhalten und Handeln'', 2006, Frank & Timme GmbH
#*: ''Wo würden Sie es auf der Dimension „ich bin '''OK''' ich bin nicht '''OK'''“ einordnen? Wie kommen Sie zu dieser Selbstbewertung?''



# [[#English|OK]], the state of being good
#: 磯部隆, "よりよく生きるための心理学 9つの心理学と選択理論", 2010, 静岡学術出版
#:* ちなみに、もう一つの言い方として、私は '''OK''' 、あなたは '''OK''' のスタンス(人生態度)に立てることにある。お互いは、縁があっての大事な存在であることを受容するあり方である。
#: 造事務所, "副業事典: サブキャリアで儲けちゃおう!", 2004, PHP研究所
#:* ただし単行本、アメ、水分の補給は '''OK''' のところもある。またプラカードを持っ人間は、その会社の顔とみなされるので、長髪や茶髪は不可が多い。



# [[#English|OK]], [[all right]]
#* Sŏng-ran Ha, "푸른수염의 첫번째 아내", 2002, 창비
#*: 이거 니가 교정 '''OK''' 놓은 거지?
#* 이영희, "역정", 1988, 창비
#*: 제시되는 문서에 까다롭게 파고드는 고문관이 있는 반면, 뭣이든 "'''OK'''!" 하는 고문관도 있었다.


# [[#English|OK]], a state of being good
#* 장상, "새 천년의 한국 문화, 다른 것이 아름답다", 1999, Ewha Womans University Press
#*: 그러다 보니 너무 외국 자본에 대한 노이로제가 걸린 것처럼 여겨질 정도로 외국 자본이라면 무조건 '''OK''' 하는 태도가 생겼습니다.



# [[#English|OK]], [[all right]]
#* Judith Velez, "Crossing cultures: How Hispanic youth adapt", 2008, ProQuest
#*: '''''OK''''', yo soy una victima... si dicen que supuestamente somos iguales como uno va a permitir que alguien lo...''
#* Carmen Ruth Bosch, "Los colores de la familia: An ethnographic study of the metaphors newly-arrived Mexican families live by", 2007, ProQuest
#*: ''Yo soy un papá muy consentidor. Me gusta consentirlos. A veces él [Tomás]me está pidiendo algo y cuando él quiere algo a veces le digo: “'''OK''',” pero su mamá dice: “No porque tiene que echarle ganas a la escuela,” y entonces yo a veces se lo compro.''



# [[#English|OK]], [[all right]]
#* Yang Hong Ying-Trần Thái Hùng (dịch), "Người Cha Phi thường", Trần Thái Hùng
#*: ''Bửa ăn sáng là thức ăn nhanh do tôi tự làm, rán một cái trứng gà và mấy lát lạp xưởng, rồi rạch ổ bánh mì ra, bên trong ruột xịt ít tương sala, sau cùng nhét trứng gà và lạp xưởng vào, '''OK''', được rồi.''


# [[OK]], [[good]]
#* Yang Hong Ying - Trần Thái Hùng (dịch), "Nhật Ký Nam Sinh", Trần Thái Hùng
#*: ''Con người trong hoàn cảnh khó khăn, Cường Ba và ba tôi đã làm tấm gương hay nhất cho tôi: chỉ cần tinh thần không ngã, tất cả đều sẽ '''OK'''.''
#* Không Quán, "Nhật ký Dharamsala", Tủ sách Rộng mở tâm hồn
#*: ''Trông thầy nghiêm lắm. Sau đó, em có vào phòng chào thầy, Lisa (la người thông dịch ra tiếng Việt) vào sau, hỏi thầy, chị kia bị sao thế thầy? Chị ấy có '''OK''' không? Thầy bình tĩnh như không có gì, và bảo, bà ta không sao cả, mọi sự xong rồi.''

More to come (prevous unsigned by User:Ingyro)

One at at time, perhaps? Do you know any of these languages well enough? If you provide examples, please translate them. Examples should be short and should show th eusage. Also, please sign your posts with four tildes (~) in the end. No need to post large sections if you're just asking a question. --Anatoli 12:19, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

RFC discussion: October 2011[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

What should the Mandarin section of this entry look like? These edits reclassified it as a Pinyin Romanization of ... itself ... which is possibly even more awkward than what we had done previously, which was call it Mandarin with a Pinyin reading of ... itself. Possible solution: use {{infl}} in this instance, rather than the dedicated Chinese templates, so that we don't have to say it's the Pinyin of itself or it has itself as a Pinyin reading. - -sche (discuss) 01:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Struck, has been cleaned. - -sche (discuss) 20:22, 11 October 2011 (UTC)