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You might say "blah blah blah" when you're not interested in what'd be said.

I sometimes say "whatever" to convey the same idea, which does not share the nice rhythm effect of "blah blah blah". As a non-native speaker of English, I often pronounce "blah blah blah" in a very awkward way when speaking out very quick.

Any alternatives for "blah blah blah"?

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"bleh bleh bleh"? –  siamii Nov 16 '11 at 20:01
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"If silence was golden, you couldn't raise a dime." ("Because your mind is on vacation and your mouth is workin' overtime") - Mose Allison –  mickeyf Nov 16 '11 at 22:34

5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

"Yadda yadda yadda" is one variant.

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As are "Yeah yeah" "And so on and so forth", and "Etc., etc." in some circumstances. –  FumbleFingers Nov 16 '11 at 19:15
    
@FumbleFingers I've heard "etc etc etc" quite often. It deserves to be an answer here. –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 19:41
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I thought it was "yada yada yada" –  LarsTech Nov 16 '11 at 21:13
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@LarsTech It's hard to get the spelling right on those nonsense words. :) –  Bill the Lizard Nov 16 '11 at 23:49
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Populair Seinfeld episode, The Yada Yada, imdb.com/title/tt0697814 –  Saif Bechan Nov 17 '11 at 0:35

I've been known to make the "Charlie Brown's parents" sound (basicaly like a trumpet with a mute on it) with my mouth.

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I've heard that used for incomprehensible speech (as opposed to speech one isn't interested in). For example, our QA person sometimes says things like "I asked the developer why that happens and he said (Charlie-Brown noise goes here)", meaning the QA person is still in the dark. –  Monica Cellio Nov 16 '11 at 19:30
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Orthographically, "Wah wah, wah 'wah wah wah". –  Mitch Nov 16 '11 at 20:56
    
@MonicaCellio - I dunno. As a kid, I rarely had that much trouble understanding what my parents said. I always took it as meaning that it was relatively unimportant noises from another world (in this case, the world of adults). –  T.E.D. Nov 16 '11 at 23:26

You can open and close your palm with your fingers straight. When you close, your thumb should touch your middle finger. All other four fingers should line up side by side. This looks like a chirping bird and basically means you speak too much, shut up. This is how your palm should look from sideways while performing the motion.

\        \
 \  ---.  \  ---.
 /  ---'  /  ---'
/        /
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Perhaps I'm too dumb, but I can't follow your sense of humour here :( –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 20:08
    
@Terry: It's making your hand look like a duck opening and closing it's beak. Or opening the mouth of a hand puppet. –  Mitch Nov 16 '11 at 20:20
    
@Mitch Thanks Mitch. But anything to do with the question? –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 20:33
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@TerryLiYifeng: Oh. As to meaning, it is mimicking someone talking a lot, in a deprecatory manner. It is often a hand gesture that goes along with 'yadda yadda yadda' or 'blah blah blah' (but not at all with 'etc etc etc') or behind someones back when one is bored with their incessant blather. This answer isn't really about English language, but about gestures in modern American culture (other cultures may easily use it but I don't know). –  Mitch Nov 16 '11 at 20:53
    
@Mitch So kind of you to solve my confusion! –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 20:56

I have heard 'nah nah nah' used as well for this purpose (sometimes accompanied by placing ones fingers in their ears).

On the popular TV show "how i met your mother"* a common way they showed disinterest was by placing the palm of their hand over their mouth and blowing to create a flatulent sound. This is generally viewed as more offensive than saying 'blah blah blah' as it is alouder and more obnoxious sound.

*Yes, there is improper grammar in the title of the show.

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I can't see the improper use of grammar in "how i met your mother" :( –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 19:09
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haha the 'i' should be capitalized –  ChrisM Nov 16 '11 at 19:11
    
==! what about the first letter of "how"? lol –  Terry Li Nov 16 '11 at 19:13
    
That is true as well –  ChrisM Nov 16 '11 at 19:14

They are not so short, but they do have a little rhythmic effect if you say them quickly:

  • etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ......
  • and so on, and so on, and so on, ......
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