While no one’s sure of the origin of ‘ok’, there are a handful of popular explanations. One view is that it derives from the Scot expression ‘och aye’, the Greek ‘ola kala’ (it is good), Choctaw Indian ‘oke’ or ‘okeh’ (it is so), French ‘aux Cayes’ (from Cayes, a port in Haiti with a reputation for good rum) or ‘au quai’ (to the quay, French), or the initials of a railway freight agent called Obediah Kelly, who wrote them on documents he checked. The oldest written references to ‘OK’ are its adoption as a slogan by the Democratic Party during the American Presidential election of 1840. Their candidate, President Martin Van Buren, was nicknamed ‘Old Kinderhook’ (his birthplace) and his supporters formed the ‘OK Club’, thus popularizing the term. ‘Viz’ is an abbreviation of ‘Videlicet’ from Latin, meaning ‘that is to say, namely’ etc. ‘Viz.’ is believed to have originated in 1540.
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