Obama warns of the "old okey-doke"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Fri Jan 25 00:23:30 UTC 2008

I guess I didn't make myself clear, Ben. Yes, Obama said (and I took into
account the full context):

1. "They're trying to bamboozle you."
2. "It's the same old okey-doke."

That is:

1. "They are trying to fool you."
2. "They are just giving you the same old 'everything is OK'."

That is:

1. "They are full of lies."
2. "They say everything is okie-doke(y), but it really isn't."

As it was usually used in discourse, "okey-doke" meant simply, "OK--fine" as

"Don't worry, everything is okey-doke(y)."

Pretty much synonymous with "hunky-dorie," though "hunky-dorie" is perhaps a
shade more enthusiastic.

It is most likely, imho, that Obama associates "okie-doke" with older people,
hence it is characteristic of the geezer thinking that he is attempting to
pin on Bill and Mrs. Bill.

In a message dated 1/24/08 5:26:54 PM, bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU writes:

> On Jan 24, 2008 4:59 PM, <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
> >
> > In a message dated 1/23/08 10:31:22 PM, bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
> writes:
> >
> > > ---
> > >
> http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/01/when_obama_call.html
> > > Obama used the friendly setting to urge voters not to be fooled by
> > > what he said were untruths coming from Hillary Clinton's campaign.
> > > "They're trying to bamboozle you. It's the same old okey-doke," he
> > > said, using a slang phrase for a con. "Y'all know about okey-doke,
> > > right? It's the same old stuff."
> > > ---
> >
> > It seems to me that Obama is merely using the somewhat archaic phrase
> > "okey-doke" in the ordinary sense of "OK," i.e., the discursive sense
> "everything's
> > fine". The reporter is the one who glosses it as "a con." Obama is just
> > signalling his usual mantra that Clinton is somewhat old fashioned (and
> "okey-doke"
> > old gal) who hopes to reasure the public with the same old "Don't worry,
> > everything is basically fine" attitude.
> That interpretation seems unlikely, considering that Obama prefaces
> the "okey-doke" line by saying "They're trying to bamboozle you."
> Here's more context for the bamboozling theme:
> "They're trying to bamboozle you. It's the same old okey doke. You all
> know about, okey doke, right? It's the same old stuff. Just like if
> anybody starts getting one of these e-mails saying 'Obama is a
> Muslim.' I've been a member of the same church for almost 20 years,
> praying to Jesus with my bible. Don't let people turn you around
> because they're just making stuff up! That's what they do. They try to
> bamboozle you, hoodwink you."
> <
> http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/2008/01/23/obama-defends-faith-against-ongoing-assaults/>
> So I think it's pretty clearly HDAS sense 1, 'a swindle; trick or
> deception'.
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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