How ‘OK’ took over the world

February 22, 2011 - 2 Comments

Did you know that the word ‘OK’ is one of the most frequently used and recognised words in the world? One reason for is success is the fact that almost every language has an O vowel, a K consonant, and an A vowel, so it is easily incorporated into a multitude of languages.The word first appeared in the Boston Morning Post on 23 March 1839 as “o.k. (all correct)” and a few years later the word was used as an abbreviation for the presidential candidate Old Kinderhook. Within a decade, people began to use it in documents and on the telegraph, but it wasn’t until the 20th century when the word moved to the mainstream. Today, the likes of President Obama and David Cameron commonly use it, although the word is rarely included in prepared speeches.

Do you know of any other words that frequently appear in many languages? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. The “STOP” sign is used fairly internationally, I guess it is a fairly important sign for road users to understand.

  2. While the spelling may vary slightly, the word “taxi” is widely understood. The reasons should be obvious, travelers often need one.