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Martin Van Buren Was OK
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Martin Van Buren Was OK

Martin Van Buren Was OK

Martin Van Buren Was OK
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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5170008/5170009" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Martin Van Buren. Credit: Library of Congress.

Former President Martin Van Buren was nicknamed "Old Kinderhook." Library of Congress hide caption

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OK is an idiom that took the world by storm when it came out of the 1840 reelection campaign of President Martin Van Buren. Born in Kinderhook, N.Y., Van Buren carried the nickname "Old Kinderhook." Supporters used the shortened "OK" in rallies, and it took off from there.

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