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  • I’d be interested in hearing about the origin of “OKAY” – I’ve heard it associated with Andrew Jackson, known as “Old Kinderhook” and with U. S. Grant, who, a poor speller, wrote “all correct” as “ok”. Any knowledge on the topic?

  • This is one of those expressions for which numerous derivations have been suggested. My favourite (but definitely incorrect) explanation for the origin is that Henry VIII, having just been told that his latest wife had arrived at the quayside, was asked by a courtier “How are you today, sire?” Ignoring the question in his excitement, Henry shouted (in French, as you do) “Au quai” with a broad grin stretched across his face, leading the courtier to assume that “au quai” (take me to the quayside) was an English expression of satisfaction.

    Michael Quinion has a more accurately researched piece on the topic: