Green’s Dictionary of Slang

OK adj.

also ock, okay, okeh, okey
[OK! excl.]
(orig. US)

1. good, fine, satisfactory, acceptable, occas. splendid.

[US]C.G. Greene in Boston Morn. Post 23 Mar. 2/2: He [...] would have the ‘contribution box’, et ceteras, o.k.—all correct—and cause the corks to fly, like sparks, upward [OED].
[US]Atlas 18 June 2: The band rode in a stage, which had a barrel of hard cider on the baggage rack, marked with large letters, ‘O.K.’—oll korrect [DAE].
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 20 Nov. 3/3: ‘Proposals for a New Slang Dictionary’ [...] O.K. —Adj. To rights, proper, stunning, of the right sort, prime, all serene, crummy, some, out-an-out, scrumtious, &c, of the initials of the old English words, Orle Korrect.
[US]J.H. Green Reformed Gambler 164: ‘I can’t understand your meaning of entering your name falsely.’ ‘Oh, all is O. K.!’ replied the sucker captain, placing his fingers upon his nose.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Breitmann in Politics’ in Hans Breitmann About Town 38: He’s O. K. oopon de soobject; / Shoost pet your pile on dat; / On dis bartik’ler quesdion / He intends to coot it fat.
[US]Elk Co. Advocate (Ridgway, PA) 30 Nov. 3/2: I’m all O.K.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the River’ in Punch 9 Aug. 57/1: He’d a seen as my form was O.K., as I fancy ain’t easy mistook.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 14/2: This is the first we ever heard of a ‘Sydney Jockey Turf Club, but we suppose the matter must be O.K. or it wouldn’t be in the papers.
[Aus]Bulletin 9 Feb. n.p.: You didn’t ’ave to pay for my clobber; / I’m ryebuck and the girl’s okay.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 233: She objected to the parting of the ass’s mane as ‘too O.K. for a moke’.
[UK]A. Bennett Grand Babylon Hotel 74: ‘It’s O.K., I suppose,’ said the man.
[US]M. Glass Potash And Perlmutter 37: You examine ’em, and if they’re all O.K., why, you send him a cheque.
[US]M.E. Smith Adventures of a Boomer Op. 63: Outside of this, she was perfectly OK.
[US]C. Sandburg letter 3 Apr. in Mitgang (1968) 236: Friday, the 23d, is okeh.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Gentlemen, the King!’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 173: This mouthpiece is not putting any proposition away as okay unless he knows it is pretty much okay.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 117: He said that anything a girl did was O.K. with him, as long as she was good-looking.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 70: You have done all right and everything is okeh.
[Aus]Williamstown Chron. (Vic.) 3 May 6/2: Everything turned out ock.
[UK]Whizzbang Comics [frontispiece] And the old folks at home will enjoy every line / And vote me a present that’s ‘O.K.!’ and ‘Fine!’.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 233: Jesus, this is okay.
[US]J. Weidman Price Is Right 298: Ide is an okay book-keeper.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 205: I hope they thought I was O.K.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 107: I was thirteen so now it was okay for me to hang out. Nobody squawked.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 25: Thirty quid for the night was o.k.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 26: It’s O.K. for them that can afford it.
[UK]B. Geldof Is That It? 59: They put £32 a week into our hands, which was OK money in those days.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 19: Overall he did an okay job.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 53: Come on, Wheeze. This sounds OK. There’s a lot of sense in what he’s saying.
[UK]Observer Screen 23 Jan. 5: It’s okay girls.
[US]G. Tate Midnight Lightning 81: High school was our true introduction to drugs and alcohol. Which was totally OK with us.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 41: Joe painted houses with Roy. And they actually made okay money.

2. safe, unharmed.

Boston Eve. Transcript 11 Oct. 3: It is o.k. (all correct) in this quarter.
[US]N.Y. Daily Express 9 Apr. 2/2: The Locos having gone into Masonic Hall O.K. and come out K.O. (Kicked out), the O.K.’s have changed their name [DAE].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 284: The sucker quieted down, think he would be O.K. when he reached the station.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 89: My wife Bonnie was putting up with some relatives and I knew she was O.K.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 197: This old codger [...] must have grabbed him by the arm and said, ‘You’re okay son, come with me.’.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 16: Hey, pal, you okay.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 19: Found out later Tina was OK.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 123: Sh now. be calm. You’ll be OK in a bit.

3. up to date, fashionable, e.g. it’s the OK thing to do.

[UK] ‘Walking in the Zoo’ in De Marson New Singer’s Journal xxxv. 246: The Stilton, sir, the cheese, the O.K. thing to do, / On Sunday afternoons, is to toddle to the Zoo.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Cracksman’s Conscience’ Sporting Times 18 Jan. 1/3: I could see a happy time ahead, when I could cut a dash, / And live like a lord, O.K., and up to date.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Living (1978) 213: The O.K. gas plant.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 23 July 23: The Kennedys prove that it’s OK to mourn in Bermuda shorts.

4. of a person, good, decent, e.g. an OK guy.

[US]J.H. Banka State Prison Life 61: I say, boys, let up on that feller. I had a chat with him to-day, and he’s all O.K.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 64: I know [...] that both of you are O.K.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 186: They are both okay geezers.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 26: The first a close friend, the second merely okay.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 29: Look, you’re an okay fella, but not my sort.
[UK]Indep. 10 Jan. 18: He [...] is an OK sort of chap.
[US]R. Price Lush Life 246: ‘Projects kid?’ [...] ‘Yeah, from Cahan, but apparently from an OK family’ .

5. constructed with with or about, comfortable, at ease with.

[US]Woollams & Brown TA 224: She can do something different and feel OK about it.
[US]M. Weller Loose Ends 27: But now I feel like really OK about it.
[US]S. Gotz et al. American Artists 112: Whereas, if the canvas gets eaten away by the heat transfer, I would feel OK with that.
[UK]R. Bryant-Jeffries Counselling for Progressive Disability 40: There’s no way I would have felt OK about that.
[US]B. Morris Jamaica Me Dead 24: No, I’m not OK with that, Zack. I’m not OK at all.

6. well supplied with, usu. money.

[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 16: He’s not okay for money.