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I have just seen an email containing the phrase "Without further adieu"; I always thought it was "Without further ado."

Which is it?

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closed as off-topic by Joe Blow, Edwin Ashworth, choster, tchrist, Canis Lupus Sep 4 at 5:35

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A recent edit to include a copyright image without attribution has been rolled back. And comments are not the place to discuss voting. –  Andrew Leach Sep 2 at 22:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The common idiom is, "Without further ado." The words at play here are ado:

fuss, esp. about something that is unimportant

And adieu:

another term for goodbye

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I was getting ready to write just that. –  JSBձոգչ Jul 28 '11 at 18:50
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The point I would also make is that there is nothing at all wrong with deviating from an idiom, if you want. Maybe in context it's some sort of joke, and why not? –  z7sg Ѫ Jul 28 '11 at 19:06
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@z7sg: Good point. I replaced "proper" with "common" to soften the answer. –  MrHen Jul 28 '11 at 19:28

"Without further adieu" is a malapropism.

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If it's intended, as most people here seem to think, it's not a 'malapropism' but a pun. –  Edwin Ashworth Sep 2 at 19:34
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Indeed, much adieu about nothing. –  Sven Yargs Sep 2 at 20:00
    
While, as a bald statement of fact, this answer might indeed be correct, it could usefully have been expanded to explain how it's a malapropism, I think. –  Andrew Leach Sep 3 at 7:22

The word in question is "ado." It's worth noting that this phrase is nearly universally mis-used by people trying to sound fancy, without understanding its correct context. The phrase is correctly exclusively used to tie up after a fuss. People tend to use it as a bland introduction with no apparent cause.

If, for example, you try to give a small speech leading up to something - say, at a wedding or at a gathering of coworkers - and someone interrupts and makes a scene, and is asked to step outside to calm down, then you might re-engage by saying "without further ado, the thing we were about to do." The usage of the phrase is to brush aside prior mess and explicitly say "okay, we're back on track and there will be no more lead-in."

This phrase is, used appropriately, quite rare.

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