"I'm good" -- chronology?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 9 15:10:17 UTC 2014

No cigar. "Good-o" isn't quite "good."  It's a slang/colloq. idiom of its

"Jakealoo" was primarily a Canadian term of 1914-1918.

I first noticed "I'm good" as "recently" as 2002-03, spoken by a college
freshman.  Undoubtedly it's older, but my idiom is still "I'm OK," "I'm
fine," "I'm all right," and "No, thanks."

She was also the first person I'd ever heard say "It's all good," meaning
"Everything is going well; all is OK."

By the bye, the now ubiquitous "good to go" came to my attention a few
weeks before Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The CBS newsman characterized
ir as an army expression.


On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 9:35 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "I'm good" -- chronology?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I'm interested in when "I'm good", expressing
> satisfaction with one's state (e.g. of eating or drinking), became common.
> The OED has a quotation from 1938, under
> "jakealoo", and I think no others with this sense:
> >1938  X. Herbert Capricornia xii. 169  Lambkin,
> >you're not wounded, are you?’..‘Na­ow! I'm
> >jakerloo.’ ‘You're what?’ she demanded, looking
> >scared. ‘Jakerloo Mum, jakerloo.’ ‘What­not a
> >disease, my darling?’ ‘Na­ow­that's French for “I'm good-o”.’
> Joel
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