Oklahoman: ‘Okie’ Now A Source Of Pride For Many

Once a slight, Okie now is source of pride for many
By Juliana Keeping,


It started as a derogatory term for the thousands of impoverished Oklahomans who left the state for Arizona and California in the 1930s, seeking a better life.

As a relative newcomer to Oklahoma, I wondered: If Okie is a slight, why is the word turning up on bumper stickers and T-shirts all over town?

What does it mean now? And, is it offensive or not?

I began by tracing the word’s origins.

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