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Lardy-Dardy ( or ) La-di-da : Phrases


Used to highlight and ridicule snobbish forms of behaviour or speech.



'La-di-da' was fading out of use in the language until it staged something of a comeback following its use by the eponymous herione of the 1977 film Annie Hall. Diane Keaton's character actually said 'La-di-da, la-di-da, la la'. This wasn't a reference to swanky or snobbish behaviour - it was used as a meaningless phrase, spoken out of context when nervous, to emphasize Hall's ditzy personality.

George Duckworth's Atkin House Scraps, 1883 included the expression:

"The young 'un goes to music-halls And does the la-di-da."

'La-di-da' sounds as though it may be of French origin. In fact, it isn't and derives from the earlier reduplicated phrase 'lardy-dardy'. That was cited in The Amateur's Magazine, printed in London in 1859:

It was exaggerated flattery he always felt provoked and disgusted with. Such absurd palaver, and lardy-dardy talk...

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