Why do we say "Everything is hunky-dory"?

Well-Known Expressions

Everything is hunky-dory

Meaning:

Things are going very well.

Background:

Opinions differ. One view is that it derives from Hunkidori, a breath freshener introduced in 1868.

Another opinion is that it originates from a street in Yokohama, frequented by American sailors called huncho-dori (which translates broadly as "main street," and thus is a street name found in many cities.)

Others say it is from the old Dutch word honk, meaning goal. Thus to be all hunk is to have reached ones goal and to be safe.

With all that said, the earliest known reference in print is found in the USA, in a 1862 collection of songs performed by the Christy Minstrels, a "blackface" minstrel group founded by Edwin Pearce Christy, who is believed to have been of Irish origin.

One of the boys am I,
That always am in clover;
With spirits light and high,
'Tis well I'm known all over.
I am always to be found,
A singing in my glory;
With your smiling faces round,
'Tis then I'm hunkey dorey.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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