YEBies BHM Term of The Day: "Okay"/ "OK"

Perhaps the most commonly used African word in the English language (and probably the word used in more countries than any other) is "okay," or "O.K,". Clues to its African roots were found in the 19th century black-spoken English of Jamaica and Surinam, as well as the Gullah speech of South Carolina, all of which have numerous forms of the word. Mande and Wolof people of Africa were two groups who used similar words. In the Mande language "o ke" meant "that's it" or "all right," while "waw kay", meant "all correct," in Wolof the culture. The use of the expression "O.K." is first recorded in the speech of black Americans around 1776, but it was probably used much earlier in the 1700s. By the 1830s it was a part of everyday conversations in America.