Obama warns of the "old okey-doke"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 25 21:30:29 UTC 2008

Failing a more nearly explanatory theory, I suggest hypercorrection
motivated by trans-temporal interference by the standard phrase.

I've never finished my thesis, but that doesn't mean that I'm
unfamiliar with the old  academic okey-doke. ;-)

I always forget that I'm coming from fifty years ago or so. What can I
say? "It seems like only yesterday," to coin a phrase.


On 1/25/08, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Obama warns of the "old okey-doke"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jan 25, 2008 2:40 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> > How "the (old) okey-doke" (never with the final -y) as "scam," sucker
> > play," etc. came about I have no idea.
> What do you make of these attestations, all with final -y?
> -----
> Washington Post, Apr. 5, 1985, p A17
> "Chicago Blacks are too politically sophisticated to go for the okey
> dokey." [quoting Chicago businessman Noah Robinson, Jesse Jackson's
> half-brother]
> -----
> St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 9, 1989, p. 3A
> "I tell you, that man made a total fool out of me. I believed
> everything. I fell for the okey-dokey." [quoting Judy Smith, St. Louis
> resident originally from Mississippi]
> -----
> San Francisco Chronicle, Sep. 22, 1990, p. D1
> "Sparky [Anderson] thought we were trying to pull the okey-dokey on
> him." [quoting baseball player Ricky Henderson]
> -----
> New Orleans Times-Picayune, Nov. 12, 1993, p. A1
> "My grandfather used to say, 'Don't fall for the okey-dokey,' I think
> there's a lot of okey-dokey in this budget." [quoting New Orleans
> Councilman Johnny Jackson]
> -----
> Sunday Age, Nov. 26, 1995, p. 6
> "It's important to see that in many of these communities there are no
> men in the household. So all these young black males who grow up
> without any male parental supervision go outside the house to seek
> that. And unfortunately many of these are going to go for the
> 'okey-dokey'." [quoting Spike Lee]
> -----
> Washington Times, July 1, 1997, p. C2
> It's bad enough that folks fall for the okey-dokey every time and fork
> out big bucks for his minibouts. [column by Adrienne T. Washington
> about Mike Tyson]
> -----
> Cincinnati Post, Aug. 29, 2005, p. A1
> "I thought he cleared that up. I guess he pulled the old okey-dokey on
> me." [quoting David Caudill, resident of Clermont County, Ohio]
> -----
> New Orleans Times-Picayune, Apr. 28, 2006, p. 1
> A lot of people are caught up in a wave of stuff that was handed to
> them and they have settled for the okey- dokey, sucked in with the
> scams. [quoting New Orleans music legend Dr. John]
> -----
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list