Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 24, 2005
In Reply to: Tara chuck posted by Bob on April 24, 2005
: : : What is the meaning and origin of "tara chuck"...we yanks haven't got a clue?
: : It means 'good bye, my dear (or any endearment you prefer)'. It is North West of England dialect.
: : DFG
: Interesting. I googled the phrase, got lots of examples, but no clue as to origin. Some sort of rhyming slang? Something evolved from a regional accent?
It's actually two independent idioms. "Ta-ra" is how northerners pronounce "Ta-ta" meaning goodbye, which is used all over England; the Oxford English Dic. says this is "a nursery version of 'goodbye' used playfully by adults" and gives the first sighting of it in 1837.
"Chuck" - pronounced "chook" - is an old northern endearment, probably a version of "chick". In NE England women can also be addressed as "hen" by way of endearment, (which can be a bit startling if you're not used to it). So "ta-ra, hen", "ta-ra, love" "ta-ra, chuck" or plain "ta-ra" are all ways of saying goodbye in northern England.