A phrase like “okie-dokie” can sound totally nonsensical to someone unfamiliar with English. But in a language full of ways to call something good or acceptable, OK and its descendants are extremely prominent and influential. Let’s explore the origin, meaning, and context of this one specifically.
An OK offshoot
Okie-dokie is a variant of OK, which has a fascinating history all its own. The abbreviation was born out of early-nineteenth-century intellectual and literary societies in the American Northeast who intentionally misspelled “all correct” as “Oll Korrect.” From there, OK became a quick, easy, and widespread way to sign off on something.
The definition of “okie-dokie” is no different from its parent phrase, it’s just slightly more childish, a sing-song. Its popular use is sometimes traced back to the movie The Little Rascals, in which it is spelled “oki-doki.” Other accepted spellings are “okey-dokey” and (less commonly) “oukiedokie.”
Because OK and all its variants appear so often in so many forms of interaction and conversation, “okie-dokie” is widely applicable. You can use it as an affirmative answer to virtually any type of question — although this one, being on the casual side, is best used in informal contexts.
“We’ll talk soon, okay?” “Okie-dokie.”
You can also use it sarcastically, like many such responses. That said, the form of OK that has recently taken on the most noticeable sarcastic quality is “m’kay” or “mmmm-kay,” since the mmm suggests disbelief or uncertainty. So if you are aiming for sarcasm, you may want to opt for one of these.
On the receiving end of the phrase — for example, if you’ve asked someone if they understand something and they say “okie-dokie” — you can reply with something as simple as “great.” This lets them know that you are on the same page and ready to go forward.