To everyone who enjoys using the annoying ‘K’ in conversations.

We all seem to use the word “OK” alot both in speech and in writing. Although, many have abused it. Please, its not “k” or the more annoying “kk” (which alot of these folks don’t realize stands for “kuli-kuli”), its plain ol’ “ok”. I wonder how “ok” became “kk” sef. Ok sha.
You see, “OK” can be spelled “okay”, “ok”, or “O.K.”, ok? Not “k”, or “kk”, ok??

Throughout this piece I shall spell it anyhow I choose, its my piece not yours.

Ok is a word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, or acknowledgment and I bet you already knew all that. But wait, you probably didn’t know that this “OK” is likely to have originated from Africa. Yes, we formed it at the time humongous yam tubers were forming. Ok, let me gist you. A West African etymology has been argued in scholarly sources, tracing the word back to the Wolof and Bantu word “waw-kay” or the Mande phrase “o ke”. But what about the Yoruba, “hoke”? Hehehee!

Well, you didn’t know all that abi? It’s Ok, thank me later.

A certain David Dalby first made the claim that the particle “OK” (particle ke?) could have African origins in the 1969 Hans Wolff Memorial Lecture. His argument was reprinted in various newspaper articles between 1969 and 1971. This suggestion has also been mentioned more recently by one Joseph Holloway, who argued in the 1993 book The African Heritage of American English that various West African languages have near-homophone discourse markers with meanings such as “yes indeed” or which serve as part of the back-channeling repertoire. One Frederic Cassidy guy like that challenged Dalby’s claims, asserting that there is no documentary evidence that any of these African-language words had any causal link with its use in the American press. Ehen, ok na! There’s always that one guy that will just come and do over sabi.

The West African hypothesis had not been accepted by 1981 by any etymologists (imagine! ok o), but nevertheless has since appeared in scholarly sources published by linguists and non-linguists alike. Ok, better.


There’s a verifiable written attestation of the particle ‘kay’ from a North Carolina slave who didn’t want to be flogged by a European visiting America in 1784:
“Kay, massa, you just leave me, me sit here, great fish jump up into da canoe, here he be, massa, fine fish, massa; me den very grad; den me sit very still, until another great fish jump into de canoe;…”

Eeyaa, I don laff die. The guy tried sef, spoke better than many of our graduates. Ok, I’m tired. Let me stop here abi? Ok, thanks.

Oh, by the way, I just copied all this from Wiki and pasted it here, is that OK too?

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Olumide 'Glowville' Lawrence is a Digital & Social Media Strategist, Content/Concept Developer and Blogger with special interest in the fun side of relationships. His blog - - is his creative expression of how he views dating and relationships. Follow him on BBM: D610A114 | 08038273738 | | Twitter & Instagram: @oluglowville | Facebook: Olumide Glowville

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