I was looking at a question on ELU, when I saw “yada yada”. My friends usually text me yadda yadda.

So I looked on the internet.

Urban dictionary says:

yadda yadda yadda

A phrase that means "and so forth" or "on and on;" it usually refers to something that is a minor detail or boring and repetitive.

But Merriam webster says:

Yada Yada

boring or empty talk

So is it Yada or yadda?

  • 2
    Whichever you wish.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 13 '17 at 22:58
  • Ok @HotLicks but is there a more used one? Dec 13 '17 at 23:00
  • 3
    Here is the Ngram chart for yada (blue line) versus yadda (red line) for the period 1950–2008. This represents the frequency of occurrence of each word in the Google Books database in works published during each tracked year. As you can see, the advantage of yada is substantial but not huge. It's also noteworthy that yadda is a word in Hausa, and yada is a word in Mongolian, so the data isn't clean.
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 13 '17 at 23:06

Both versions are used,but according to Google Books yada is more commonly used than yadda:

yada yada:

This phrase is a modern-day equivalent of 'blah, blah, blah' (which is early 20th century). It is American an emerged during or just after the Second World War. It was preceded by various alternative forms - 'yatata, yatata', 'yaddega, yaddega' etc. The earliest of these that I have found is from an advertisement in an August 1948 edition of the Long Beach Independent:

  • yada yada"Yatata ... yatata ... the talk is all about Chatterbox, Knox's own little Tomboy Cap with the young, young

All of those versions, and including 'yada yada', probably took the lead from existing words meaning incessant talk - yatter, jabber, chatter. 'Yada yada' itself is first found in the 1970s.

In the 21st century the place you are most likely to come across it is when installing software; for example, the millions who have installed the Google Toolbar will have seen (although probably not read any further than) the instructions - "Please read this carefully - It's not just the usual yada yada."

(The Phrase Finder)

yadda yadda yadda

North American informal

Used to indicate that further details are predictable or contextually evident from what has preceded. ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, yadda yadda yadda’


1940s: imitative of meaningless chatter.



The Seinfeld episode "The Yada Yada" spells it as "yada yada":

The episode is one of the most famous of the series, specifically for its focus on the phrase "yada yada". "Yadda yadda" was already a common phrase before the episode aired, used notably by comedian Lenny Bruce,[3] among others. The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s vaudeville, or earlier.[4] Seinfeld director Andy Ackerman remarked that while filming the episode he was struck by the fact that "yadda yadda" hadn't been the subject of a sitcom episode before, since it was such a universal everyday expression.

  • That passage is confusing because it uses both spellings. The episode is spelled one way, but the the other usages are spelled the other way.
    – Mitch
    Feb 23 at 19:25
  • This means bupkis.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 23 at 22:23

Yada Yada Yada is Yiddish in origin and goes back much further than the 1940's Yada is the Hebrew word for knowledge Yud-Dalet-Ayin, literally "you know that you know that you know" meaning I can skip over this part of the story because you already know how it goes.

  • 1
    Welcome to English Language and Usage. Please take the tour and when you have a moment, read-up in the help center about how we work. If you could you link to a reference source for your claim it would be appreciated. Mar 23 '20 at 6:28
  • 1
    The question is specifically about the spelling of the word. While pointing out the Yiddish, and ultimately Hebrew, origin of the word is relevant to answering it, what is needed is an explanation of how an understanding of these origins favours one spelling rather than the other.
    – jsw29
    Mar 23 '20 at 16:10
  • 1
    Actually knowing the Hebrew origin would lead to “yada” being the preferred spelling as the Hebrew original wouldn't have had the doubling dot on daleth. Mar 23 '20 at 20:08

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