A way to notify a person that what they’re saying is predictable or boring.
This phrase has many alternate forms, which include ‘yatata yatata,’ ‘yadda yadda,’ and ‘yada yada.’ There’s also the phrase ‘blah blah blah’ that essentially shares the same meaning. Where these words derive from, I believe, is currently unknown.
The saying, with its current “and so on and so forth” meaning, looks to have appeared somewhere in the mid 1900s in its ‘yatata yatata’ form, as shown in the Tucson Daily Citizen from 1947, where it reads:
“What I purely love are those letters which say: ‘Buster, you are just putting words in my trap, and furthermore, yatata yataya . . .’ Because that way you know you are apt to keep eating if you can stir up even a small portion of the people.”
The earliest mention of the phrase with its ‘yadda yadda’ iteration that I could find comes from the Hutchinson Newsnewspaper, where it reads as follows:
“But we herewith dig it up again to give it a fresh approach other than the usual ‘Why hasn’t Hutchinson got a drag strip yadda, yadda, yadda.’ “
- My friend Kimberly keeps insisting I go on a diet, telling me I’ll be healthier if I do and yada yada, and after months of ignoring her, I think it’s about time I start listening to her advice.
Tip: Did you know that the origins for many of the popular sayings you hear about are not really known or understood that well? A lot of the time, what you see on the page will be the more plausible theories for how an expression was born, but it’s not a full confirmation, and shouldn’t be seen as one.
The quotes, coming from old books, plays, newspapers, etc., are there to help the reader recognize how old some sayings are. I’ve tried to find the oldest written forms, but it’s possible that older citations exist and I missed them. If you’d like to inform me of an older written form of the phrase that dates further back, then feel free to contact me!