Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 02:35:32 EDT
From: Bapopik
Subject: O. K. (1780?); O. P. H.

O. K. (1780?)

This is probably ridiculous, but I think it was missed in Allen Walker
Read's "O. K." series in AMERICAN SPEECH.
It's from the New-York Commercial Advertiser (an important newspaper), 6
December 1841, pg. 2, col. 2:

_O. K._

We have at length struck upon the origin of these mystical
letters--stolen last year by the wicked Whigs, as their watchwords, from the
sagamores of Tammany Hall. It will be seen from the heading of the following
order that these letters formed the countersign of the guards on the 6th of
September, 1780.
"HEAD Quarters, 6th Sept. 1780.
"_Parole_, RICHMOND. Counter-signs,{O.
"For the Day, Brigadier Patterson,
"Col. H. Jackson,
"Col. Badlaw,
"Brigade Major Nicholas Fish."

O. P. H.

In "The First Stage in the History of 'O. K.,'" AMERICAN SPEECH,
February 1963, pg. 16, "o. p. h." is explained as "but a spelling out of
_off_." This is repeated in the RHHDAS entry. However, is there another
One citation is, "Faugh! chips and porridge were a feast to them.
Landlord, you'd better get _died_. Come, bucks, let's o-p-h."
This is from the _Pittsfield Sun_, 21 January 1841, pg. 3, col. 3:

After to-day, (new year's) so far as the girls are concerned, K. K. will
mean _kant kourt_.
K. K. (_kold konsolation_) as the toper said when he gulphed down a glass
of cold water, for a "suck" of P. W. G. (_phirst wrate gin_)
Here's the last. It was got off at a party the other night. O. P. H.
(_oll phired hungry_)--_Spirit of the Age_.