Celebrity Cardi B cannot trademark the non-word ‘Okurrr,’ her signature phrase, U.S. Patent and Trademark officials have decided.
Some sources spell it with only two Rs while others insist that three are more appropriate because of the exaggerated trilling of the R sound.
Heaven help us all when that’s the kind of debate we’re facing with the English language.
Dictionary.com calls it “a fun, sassy and trilled way of saying ‘okay.’” Clearly, Dictionary.com’s definition of “fun” is far different from mine.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Cardi B explained to Jimmy Fallon that “okurrr” is supposed to sound like “a chilly pigeon” and is meant to put the period at the end of the sentence when someone checks someone.
In my day, we’d say something slightly less ridiculous like, “Burn!” We certainly didn’t say that as if we were a cold bird. I don’t actually understand why anyone would want to, but then I’m probably more than twice as old as the people who’d use such a word. (At least, I can hope no one older than that ever would.)
Trademark application denied
The reason the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office denied the application is because “okurrr” is “too commonplace,” which is their way of saying the word isn’t restricted to her.
The rapper reportedly intended to use the trademark on her own line of merchandise. In such a case, the trademark owner can use the phrase commercially while legally prohibiting others from doing the same.
Apparently, Cardi B herself claims she started using the phrase back in 2016 after hearing Khloe Kardashian use it. WSB-TV in Atlanta reports the phrase dates back even earlier than that, however. The term’s roots can be tracked years earlier to a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Well, I’m certainly glad we got that controversy settled. Now, at least, we know that as far as federal trademark officials are concerned, “okurrr” is not OK.