Which President Is Credited With Coining the Term “OK”?

president-credited-coining-term-ok Credit: Mathew Brady/Public Domain

Though there is a variety of proposed etymologies for the term "O.K.," one of these origin stories involves the use of the term as an abbreviation for "Old Kinderhook," a term used to describe President Martin Van Buren. Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York, and the O.K. nickname was considered easier to remember and pronounce than the Dutch name Van Buren.

The association with Old Kinderhook O.K. with the meaning of "all right" or "good" may have come from the fact that Van Buren's supporters formed O.K. clubs during his presidential campaign. However, the term may also have initially been associated with a comical misspelling of "all correct" as "oll korrect."