Strange question: I don't know if onomatopoeia are said to have a proper etymology as such, but I was wondering if anyone knows the approximate first usage of the babytalk phrase goo goo ga ga?
The onomatopoeic goo-goo-ga-ga appears to be the combination of two imitative expression of babbling talking. Goo-goo has an older origin, from the mid 19th century while ga-ga, which may derive from French, is from the early 20th century:
- Infantile; cooing : talking goo-goo talk to her, like you would to a baby (1863+)
(The Dictionary of American Slang)
Wiktionary suggests an alternative origin:
- Possibly from the Tagalog gugus, "tutelary spirit." Adapted as an ethnic slur by American troops during the Filipino-American War
- "crazy, silly," 1920, probably from French gaga "senile, foolish," probably imitative of meaningless babbling.