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".
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".