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[oh-kee] /ˈoʊ ki/
noun, Slang: Usually Disparaging and Offensive.
a term used to refer to a migrant farm worker from Oklahoma or nearby states, especially one who moved westward during the Great Depression.
a term used to refer to a native or inhabitant of Oklahoma.
Origin of Okie1
First recorded in 1930-35; Ok(lahoma) + -ie
Usage note
In historical contexts, Okie is usually used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting, implying that the migrant worker is homeless, poor, ignorant, and uneducated. But as a nickname for an Oklahoman, Okie is sometimes appropriated as a positive term of self-reference.


[oh-kee] /ˈoʊ ki/ Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
a contemptuous term used to refer to a native of Okinawa.
belonging to the Okinawan people.
First recorded in 1935-40; Ok(inawa) + -ie Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Okie
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Okie, the proprietor, was on duty readying the place for the night shift.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • "Listen, you guys," Okie pounded his fat finger into Sartan's chest.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • Okie took the piece between his fingers, examined it and frowned.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • Okie arbitrarily judged the gold piece to be worth ten dollars.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • Okie scratched his head and addressed one of the two men at the bar.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • Okie lit out from behind the bar and elbowed his way through the crowd.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
  • He then knew that the eagle was his Okie, and that he was to be a warrior, not a hunter or medicine-man.

    The Story of Tonty Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • "Comin' right up," Okie mumbled, his attention still wrapped around the crypterpreter.

    Jubilation, U.S.A. G. L. Vandenburg
British Dictionary definitions for Okie


noun (US, slang, sometimes offensive)
an inhabitant of Oklahoma
an impoverished migrant farm worker, esp one who left Oklahoma during the Depression of the 1930s to work elsewhere in the US
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Okie

"migrant agricultural worker," especially one driven from farms in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, 1938, short for U.S. state of Oklahoma.

"Okie use' ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you're a dirty son-of-a-bitch." [John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath," 1939]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for Okie

Okie 1


  1. A migratory worker, esp one in the 1930s who had to leave home because of dust storms; arky
  2. A native or resident of Oklahoma; sooner (1935+)

Okie 2


A native or resident of Okinawa (WWII armed forces)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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