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(BBC-US)   Linguists say that blah blah blah blah   (bbc.com) divider line 43
    More: Interesting, cultural artifact, Ancient Greece, post-war era  
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5459 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 May 2014 at 11:52 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-05-07 09:04:09 AM  
They are very cunning, pulling a stunt like that.
 
2014-05-07 10:06:50 AM  
I asked her her name, she said blah-blah-blah
She had 9/10 pants and a very big bra
 
2014-05-07 11:06:47 AM  
Gary Oldman is a linguist now?
 
2014-05-07 11:24:48 AM  
♪♫♪  I'm covering my ears like a linguist... ♪♫♪
 
2014-05-07 11:55:34 AM  
Who are today's blahbarians?
 
2014-05-07 11:56:44 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-05-07 11:57:41 AM  
yidda yadda?
 
2014-05-07 11:59:54 AM  
And so on and so forth.
 
2014-05-07 11:59:57 AM  
Who knew reading an article about blah blah blah could be so interesting?
 
2014-05-07 12:00:13 PM  
On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.
 
2014-05-07 12:02:56 PM  
In ancient Greece, the term was "bar bar bar". Taken from the same root as barbarian, it implied the words beings spoken were "meaningless noises"

Ironically, the phrase "It's Greek to me" now means the same thing.
 
2014-05-07 12:06:04 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com

Also, never listen to this linguist:
www.guernicamag.com

... it will seem like he is making sense at first so you keep listening and then, when he finally gets to the point, you realize he is a tinfoil-hat quack and you want your hour back.
 
2014-05-07 12:12:54 PM  
So basically to sum up "it started as "bar barb bar" with the the ancient greeks...yadda yadda yadda. it became blah blah Blah around the turn of the 19th century
 
2014-05-07 12:18:50 PM  
In ancient Greece, the term was "bar bar bar". Taken from the same root as barbarian, it implied the words beings spoken were "meaningless noises", says Geoff Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley school of information. professional idiot.
 
2014-05-07 12:19:40 PM  
"But Nunberg says it was probably used before that, and could have evolved from "blab blab blab," a phrase that showed up in books in the 19th Century."

I'm no linguist, but given that both French and Italian also use bla bla, and have for a very long time, I would be surprised that it evolved from an English expression.
 
2014-05-07 12:20:17 PM  
Two posts about Gary Oldman, is there a reference I'm missing?
 
2014-05-07 12:22:15 PM  
I prefer "Wharrgarbl"
img2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-05-07 12:27:37 PM  
I learned it was from the Spanish: "habla habla habla habla habla..."

Anyone else?
 
2014-05-07 12:33:17 PM  

zulius: Two posts about Gary Oldman, is there a reference I'm missing?


An annoying commercial for some smartphone. It was the first thing the title made me think of too.
 
2014-05-07 12:34:04 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.


You "yaddad" over the good part.

/delicious bisque is delicious
 
2014-05-07 12:51:11 PM  
I did a Google n-gram search for "blah blah blah". The curve begins in the 1930s, peaks at a high level during the 1940s, almost drops away in the 1950s and then begins to rise from the 1960s onwards.

It seems to be a predominantly American usage as the British Curve is just a rising curve and the general curve is the same shape as the American curve, with peaks, plateaus and drops in the same place.

World War II did not invent "blah blah blah> but gave it life and is thus the Golden Age of Blah, Blah, Blah.

Since Google only records usage in print we may assume that blah, blah, blah had some life before 1935.

I think prime suspects are 1) American Jews, who invent a lot of the vernacular; 2) sub-populations, possibly in the army, the bureaucracy or journalism; and 3) people who generally just want to get on with the job at hand rather than talk it to death. There would be a substantial over-lap of these three groups of Americans and Brits, especially during WWII.

In general, let's give credit to the Greatest Generation. They were the can-do types who gave blah, blah, blah its first run in the days of radio. It really took off with the multiplication of media and skeptics since the early Sixties.
 
2014-05-07 12:57:40 PM  

TheWhoppah: Also, never listen to this linguist:


... it will seem like he is making sense at first so you keep listening and then, when he finally gets to the point, you realize he is a tinfoil-hat quack and you want your hour back.


When Chomsky was an actual linguist, he made a lot of sense.

Later on, well, it varies. A lot. Plus, depending on your native bias on a given topic, you will either hate him or worship him.
 
2014-05-07 12:59:17 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.


So you're saying that the phrase 'yadda yadda yadda' originated with people saying 'yadda yadda yadda'?

/that's brilliant!
 
2014-05-07 01:05:22 PM  
assets-s3.rollingstone.com
 
2014-05-07 01:07:39 PM  

TheWhoppah: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 276x300]

Also, never listen to this linguist:
[www.guernicamag.com image 300x375]

... it will seem like he is making sense at first so you keep listening and then, when he finally gets to the point, you realize he is a tinfoil-hat quack and you want your hour back.


That dig at Chomsky. Dead farking on.
 
2014-05-07 01:12:52 PM  

Sybarite: I asked her her name, she said blah-blah-blah
She had 9/10 pants and a very big bra


So, you say she just a friend?
 
2014-05-07 01:12:58 PM  
I notice that the article mentions n-gram, also. Good for them. It is a very useful linguistic tool.

I went back and looked at my n-gram and noted that the big rise and plateau of blah, blah, blah during the 1940s began in 1941 in America.

Mmmmm ... did anything important happen in 1941? Not that I know of.

Just kidding. Of course 1941 was the year that FDR sprung a surprise attack on American Nazi-Loving Peacenik Patriots at Pearl Harbour, leading to the takeover and occupation of America by bureaucrats and the Gubbermint. The rise of blah, blah, blah was enormous and so was the precipitous drop in 1949, with the War over, the UNO founded, and Americans turning on the TV to see what they'd missed, which was apparently the Wild West and most of World War II, especially the bit where the Americans condescend to help the benighted Allies by winning single-handedly.

There is another big rise during the run up to Richard Nixon's Resignation. The use of blah, blah, blah falls but picks up with the Election of Jimmy Carter and becomes a virtual Himalaya of blah, blah, blah when Bush 41 loses the Election to the Blah, Blah, Blaher in chief, William Jefferson Clinton Hail to Thee Blythe Spirit, the Bird has Flown the Cage.

I think we may assume that about 90% of the people who use the phrase blah, blah, blah are conservatives or Republicans who think Democrats are all blah, blah, blah and no tax cuts.

Which is really very unfair. The Republicans start the wars, the Democrats finish 'em according to conventional wisdom, so the peaks of blah, blah, blah correspond to periods of crisis, such as the consequences of the Pearl Harbor Attack, the Assassination of JFK, the Rise of Ma Nixon's Criminal Gang, the 1973 Oil Crisis, and the increasing attacks on the Federal Government, liberal democracy and so forth by whangdoodles, Johnny-Reb-Come-Lately, and all the usual crypto-Fascist suspects.

The graph doesn't go past 2000 but it was on the down tick with the approaching theft of the 2000 Election and I imagine blah, blah, blah declined until Obama was inaugurated.
 
2014-05-07 01:16:40 PM  
img3.wikia.nocookie.net

You called?
 
2014-05-07 01:17:27 PM  

lake_huron: TheWhoppah: Also, never listen to this linguist:


... it will seem like he is making sense at first so you keep listening and then, when he finally gets to the point, you realize he is a tinfoil-hat quack and you want your hour back.

When Chomsky was an actual linguist, he made a lot of sense.

Later on, well, it varies. A lot. Plus, depending on your native bias on a given topic, you will either hate him or worship him.



Although I share Chomsky's bias, I hate the fact that he makes inflammatory statements based on dubious sources and poorly constructed logic. Basically the same problem as Michael Moore but much much worse because Moore doesn't pretend to be anything more than a muckraker.  Don't get me wrong, I like the muck he rakes... just don't try to trick me into thinking it has any scholarly basis in objective reality.
 
2014-05-07 01:19:02 PM  

HighZoolander: TheShavingofOccam123: On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.

So you're saying that the phrase 'yadda yadda yadda' originated with people saying 'yadda yadda yadda'?

/that's brilliant!


No, I'm saying the word for hand is yad. The gesture made while uttering the phrase yadda yadda yadda is a waving of the yad. Therefore, yadda yadda yadda you get yadda yadda yadda, a phrase which accompanies or replaces the hand gesture. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
 
2014-05-07 01:21:11 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.


Also means "arm" (at least in Hebrew), depending on context.

Early "yadda yadda yadda":
media1.giphy.com
 
2014-05-07 01:22:39 PM  

The Flexecutioner: Sybarite: I asked her her name, she said blah-blah-blah
She had 9/10 pants and a very big bra

So, you say she just a friend?


You-hoo, you got what I need....
 
2014-05-07 01:26:55 PM  

Dr Dreidel: TheShavingofOccam123: The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.

Also means "arm" (at least in Hebrew), depending on context.

Early "yadda yadda yadda":
[media1.giphy.com image 360x240]


That's some pretty good yadda yadda yadda...

/Can a frog keep kosher?
 
2014-05-07 01:31:03 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Dr Dreidel: TheShavingofOccam123: The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.

Also means "arm" (at least in Hebrew), depending on context.

Early "yadda yadda yadda":
[media1.giphy.com image 360x240]

That's some pretty good yadda yadda yadda...

/Can a frog keep kosher?


Not that frog - too big a fan of eating bacon.
 
2014-05-07 01:37:36 PM  
media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Elaine: I met this lawyer, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, I never heard from him again.
Jerry: But you yada yada'd over the best part.
Elaine: No, I mentioned the bisque.
 
2014-05-07 02:11:28 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

"Yad" means "hand" in Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages.


That's nice, but if you don't scrub that kitchen floor, you ain't gonna rock and roll no more.
 
2014-05-07 02:18:37 PM  
 
2014-05-07 03:00:56 PM  

Fark like a Barsoomian: The Police - De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da


Das all i haf to say to yoo

/You know what Stewart?  I like you...
 
2014-05-07 03:31:14 PM  
mngboxers.com
 
2014-05-07 03:56:22 PM  

Dinner: I learned it was from the Spanish: "habla habla habla habla habla..."

Anyone else?


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-05-07 04:09:36 PM  
i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-05-07 04:09:38 PM  

Fark like a Barsoomian: The Police - De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da


I once got a shiatload of points off that song in Scattergories.
 
2014-05-07 05:55:57 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: On the phrase "yadda yadda yadda":

The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s

I call BS. The phrase may have originated with the hand gesture--waving the hand up and away while saying "yadda yadda yadda".

.

Lenny Bruce had a bit called Father Flotski's Triumph (from ~ 1955) in which one of the characters answered Flotski by saying, "yadda yadda, father!"

/Bruce also had a bit called "Blah blah blah."
 
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