On the Origin of OK
". . .During the Creek War the Choctaws, principally under the leadership
of Pushmataha, not only sided with the Americans but contributed 500
men to Andrew Jackson's army (Niles 1-1-1824)
- Although the Creek war was over, the Choctaw contingent would help the Americans in one last battle. In January, 1815, tradition has it that Pushmataha and his warriors, while serving under Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, gave a lasting contribution to the English Language. During the battle, Jackson is said to have asked Pushmataha if the fight against the British was going well for the Choctaw detachment. Pushmataha supposedly answered with a Choctaw word which meant that things were all right. Jackson liked the word and began using it himself. The word was OK. According to the Dictionary of Word Origins, the favored source for the symbol OK ". . seems to be the Choctaw word OKEH, it is so" (Shipley). The use is also attributed to President Andrew Jackson among others." [Rufus Ward intimates it may have actually been Pushmataha's nephew who had this reported exchange with Jackson. Also, it may have been Jackson's adjutant who made the inquiry.]
Courtesy Dr. John M. Kaye
Recommended further reading.
Search Words and Phrases, including mispellings - Choctaw, Chocktaw, Andrew Jackson.
Reader Comments(E-mail addresses are omitted for privacy.)
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 14:46:31 EDT
To: Robert Fritzius
CC: Judy Linton
Hello Bob Fritzius !
Thank you for telling people on your website an explanation of the origin of the
However, I believe I see the clearest, most verifiable and most convincing discovery
I was stationed by the military near Aberdeen, Scotland. The weather there seemed
Scotland has always been a bully killer when others came to conquer. Even today,
Now, in America we have an utterance to express pleasant surprise: OH ! YES !
Over there they have an utterance to express pleasant surprise: Achh ! Aye !
From the very begining of my active duty over there I noticed the REAL SIMILARITY
That was over 42 years ago. Since I married a lady from Scotland, the similarity has
I daresay humbly that my opinion on the matter is significant because I have also spent
The word HALLELUYAH was the most famous word in the world up until WWII.
( We also use thumbs down, like Ceasar in the Roman Colliseum.)
If you retort that OK had some occurences prior to WWII , that's fine, but even most
Thank you again for your internet research.
Ps. The word HALLELUYAH means: " Praise be to YAH ! " Psalms 68:4.