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Re: La Di Da

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 10, 2007

In Reply to: La Ti Da posted by Joy Singer on November 09, 2007

: Where does the phase "La Ti Da" come from?

Check our archive by backing up one page, then typing into the search box at the top of the page, "La di dah." You'll find a good explanation of how it's used.

You might also be interested in what the Oxford English Dictionary says about it. They treat it as both a noun and a verb.

As a verb, they define it thus: "intr[ansitive] To use affected manners or speech."

As a noun, s.v. la-di-da, they say: "[Onomatopoeic, in ridicule of 'swell' modes of utterance. Cf. HAW-HAW.]

A derisive term for one who affects gentility; a 'swell'. Also attrib. or adj. = LARDY-DARDY.

They cite an 1883 or so example, et seq., and for lardy-dardy, adjective, they have examples from 1861 on.
S.v. lardy-dardy: "Characteristic of an affected swell; languidly foppish.
1861 M. E. BRADDON Trail Serpent IV. vi. 227 You're not much good, my friend, says I, with your lardy-dardy ways, and your cold-blooded words, whoever you are. 1874 Punch 14 Mar. 109/1 This only when the lardy-dardy swells are present. 1887 Illustr. Lond. News 15 Oct. 448 The modern 'lardy-dardy' school [of acting].

La-di-dah, with various spellings, has penetrated the former colonies; lardy-dardy has not, I think.
SS