phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

La Di Da

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on November 14, 2007

In Reply to: La Di Da posted by Lewis on November 12, 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

: : Agreed. La-di=dah enjoyed a good revival, having been uttered by the eponymous heroine of Annie Hall. Lardy-dardy seems very 19th C.

: Also used as a fairly meaningless expression by Connie Booth co-writer and actress in "Fawlty Towers".

: Lewis

Polly (Connie Booth) of course was echoing Annie Hall and she even mentions the movie in the scene.

Also used by James Joyce in Ulysses (which I'm reading on a dare from my son) and spelled "lawdydaw".