How Do You Spell O.K.?

O.K. is probably the single most common English word in the world. The question is… how do you spell it?


First, let’s go over the correct spellings of the word. These are all correct:

  • O.K.
  • O.K. with capital letters and a period after each letter

  • OK
  • OK with capital letters and no periods

  • Okay
  • okay written out as o-k-a-y and in all lowercase letters (unless it begins a sentence)

The New York Times Prefers O.K.

O.K. seems to be preferred by The New York Times. In the NY Times archive, O.K. returns 55,531 results, OK returns 28,355 results, and okay returns 8,819 results.

As such, I generally recommend using O.K.!


Now, let’s review some common misspellings of the word.

  • “o.k.” and “ok”
  • If you spell the word with two letters, they must both be capitalized.

  • “O K” and “O. K.”
  • There should be no spaces in the word.

  • …Okay…
  • Finally, okay should only be capitalized if it begins a sentence. This sentence is incorrect:

He said it was Okay.

Remember, the word should only be capitalized if it begins a sentence.

He said it was okay.

Using O.K. as a Verb

You can also use O.K. as a verb.

He okayed the changes.

The board OK’d the merger.

If you’re using O.K. as a verb, try to use okay or OK, as O.K.ed looks a little off, as you typically wouldn’t put the suffix ‘ed’ after a period.

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