. . . . . . . . .Hey, dont
sweat it, Everythings Copacetic!
co·pa·cet·ic or co·pa·set·ic
adj. Excellent; first-rate; completely satisfactory;
"his smile said that everything was copacetic";[Origin
We know very little about the
origin of the word copacetic, meaning "excellent, first-rate."
Is its origin to be found in Italian, in the speech of southern Black
people, in the Creole French dialect of Louisiana, or in Hebrew? John
O'Hara, who used the word in Appointment in Samarra, later wrote that
copacetic was "a Harlem and gangster corruption of an Italian
word." O'Hara went on to say, "I don't know how to spell
the Italian, but it's something like copacetti."
His uncertainty about how to spell
the Italian is paralleled by uncertainty about how to spell copacetic
itself. Copacetic has been recorded with the spellings copasetic,
copasetty, copesetic, copisettic, and kopasettee. The spelling
is now more or less fixed, however, as copacetic or copasetic, even
though the origin of the word has not been determined.
The Harlem connection mentioned
by O'Hara would seem more likely than the Italian, since copacetic
was used by Black jazz musicians and is said to have been Southern
slang in the late 19th century. If copacetic is Creole French in origin,
it would also Southern homeland. According to this explanation, copacetic
came from the Creole French word coupersètique, which meant
"able to be coped with," "able to cope with anything
and everything," "in good form," and also "having
a healthy appetite or passion for life or love." Those who support
the Hebrew or Yiddish origin copacetic do not necessarily deny the
Southern connections of the word. One explanation has it that storekeepers
used the Hebrew phrase kol bes seddeq, "all with
justice," when asked if things were O.K. Black children who were
in the store as customers or employees heard this phrase as copacetic.
No explanation of the origin of
copacetic, including the ones discussed here, has won the approval
of scholars, as is clearly shown by the etymology of copacetic in
the first volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, published
in 1985: "Etym unknown."
"You had to be a good judge of what
a man was like, and the English was copacetic"
copasetic, copesetic, copesettic]
Source: WordNet ® 1.6,
© 1997 Princeton University