This discussion occurred in a previous incarnation less than a month
ago: Let me quote from my response of September 17:
"American Heritage gives this etymology: "Probably popularized by a
slogan for the O.K. Club, the Democratic party political club of the
1840s; for "Old Kinderhook," the nickname of President Martin Van Buren,
who was born at Kinderhook, New York; but previously attested in the
1830s as a modish slang...." Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
also gives this source as a possible etymology.
Although Websters and AmHer and other sources give "OK" and "okay" as
alternate spellings, our editors favor "okay," on the theory that
numerals and small numbers are spelled out, e.g., "ten" rather than "10"
(except in certain constructions--percentages, for example--as governed
by other rules), and by the same logic so should "okay."
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