OK is thought to be the most widely recognized word on the planet. We use it to communicate with each other, as well as our technology. But it actually started out as a language fad in the 1830â€™s of abbreviating words incorrectly.
Young intellectuals in Boston came up with several of these abbreviations, including â€œKCâ€ for â€œknuff ced,â€ â€œOWâ€ for â€œoll wright,â€ and KY for â€œknow yuse.â€ But thanks to its appearance in Martin Van Burenâ€™s 1840 presidential re-election campaign as the incumbents new nickname, Old Kinderhook, OK outlived its abbreviated comrades.
Later, widespread use by early telegraph operators caused OK to go mainstream, and its original purpose as a neutral affirmative is still how we use it today.