- Copacetic is an adjective that means “fine,” “OK,” or “satisfactory.”
- It is pronounced [koh-puh-seh-tik].
- Copasetic is the most commonly used alternative spelling for copacetic, but copesetic is also cited by some sources as an alternative.
You can never know too many words that mean everything is fine. And now you can add copacetic to the list—or copasetic, as some like to spell it. However you spell it, it’s pronounced [koh-puh-seh-tik], and you can use it when you want to say that all is well.
What Does Copacetic Mean?
Copacetic is an adjective that means “in good order.” Some speakers of American and Canadian English consider it a slang word, best suited for informal use. Copacetic is a real word nonetheless, and it can be used instead of “fine,” “OK,” and many other words of a similar meaning.
There’s an air of mystery around copacetic because no one can say for sure how the word came to be. It’s not one of those words that have roots you can trace all the way to Latin or Old English or French. Some have theorized that the word is of Hebrew origin, or that it’s a gangster slang term, but those hypotheses are now considered to be wrong.
Some suggested that it arose in African-American communities of the American South. Some say it’s of Cajun French origin, or even Italian, but no one really knows for sure. What we do know is that copacetic is a twentieth-century word, or at least its first written record goes back to 1919. It was probably in use well before that year.
Copacetic vs. Copasetic vs Copesetic?
Another thing that makes copacetic a peculiar word is that there’s no consensus on how many alternative spellings it has, although most major dictionaries agree that there’s at least one alternative spelling of the word. The OED and The American Heritage Dictionary list copasetic as the only alternative spelling of copacetic. In Merriam-Webster, however, copesetic also appears. And if you look in The Collins English Dictionary, you’d find that copesettic is yet another alternative spelling of copacetic.
Which one should you use? Well, ideally, you’d use the spelling that’s recognized by all the major dictionaries—copacetic. But if you really wanted to be different, you could use copasetic, because that’s the most commonly cited alternative spelling.
Examples of Copasetic
In terms of living standards we’re now back to where we started which while not making us entirely copacetic is at least better than not having recovered as yet. —Forbes
The campaign insists all is copacetic. —The Atlantic
“Most of the time you just open the hives and everything is copasetic,” he said. —National Post