Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 03:01:33 -0400

From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: O. K. ( a new "Oh ki" from Boston)

The Library Company of Philadelphia had the 1836 COMIC TOKEN (A

COMPANION TO THE COMIC ALMANAC), which was published in Boston in 1835. This

is from pg. 16:

A negro was brought to England, and the first point shown him being the

chalky cliffs of Dover, "Oh ki!" he said, "me know now what make the buckras

all so white!"

"O. K." was first cited in Boston in the spring of 1839; an "Oh ki!" here

in a comic periodical likely to have been read by the "O. K." writers may be


"OK--IS IT AFRICAN?" by Frederic G. Cassidy can be found in American

Speech 55 (1980), pages 269-273. Page 271 discusses "Oh ki." There is an

1816 citation, but it is obscure and punctuated "Oh, ki, massa...." Other

examples of "ki" alone are given.

My cite is a plain "Oh ki," cited at the right place (Boston) and the

right time (1830s).

Give it what weight you will.