How Seinfeld Made ‘Yada Yada Yada’ A Cultural Phenomenon

Have you ever been in the throes of telling a story and thrown in the phrase “yada, yada, yada” then skipped to the point of the story? Well, for those of you unfamiliar with the origins of “yada yada yada,” it originated from the little classic show, Seinfeld.

In one episode, all the characters are guilty of using the phrase to casually breeze over important details of stories. For example, George is questioning whether his date at the time “yada yada yada’d” over the fact she had sex with another guy, to which Elaine gives this classic response:

Often times when we’re telling a story, we find ourselves looking for ways to cut down the minutia and irrelevant details (even if they’re not so irrelevant).

If you’re George Costanza, you “yada yada yada” over the less spectacular details of your life as seen below:

As you can see from above, “yada yada yada” requires people to take certain liberties with the truth and a story (or person) loses credibility if the phrase is thrown around too loosely.

I have seen every episode of Seinfeld countless times and am so grateful for Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld introducing this phrase into the human vernacular and developing a cultural zeitgeist of the 90s.

The most fascinating part about using “yada yada yada” is it’s your discretion how and when you use it.

A good time to use the phrase is if you’re out on a date with someone newYou sometimes want to tell a funny story but gloss over certain details. Assuming they’re actively engaged in the conversation, your date won’t care that certain details become replaced by “yada yada yada.”

I don’t think you should “yada yada yada” over every story or the less flattering parts of your life experiences. It does, however, allow one to be open without “giving away the whole book.”

The phrasing of “yada yada yada” also serves as a teaser to a story you’re attempting to tell someone. I find myself sometimes using the phrase as a quick retelling of a story I need to share immediately. In a society obsessed with instant gratification, the “yada yada yada” gives credence to the idea that less is better. Furthermore, we can share information in half the time and not confuse anyone with excess information.

The phrase has entered a new dimension in 2018. Country artist Brandon Lay’s single this year is titled “Yada Yada Yada”. It uses the phrase as a way of meaning that people are talking nonsense.

What I find most fascinating on this “Yada Yada Yada” Day is we are still including it in everyday conversation. It’s just as common as saying, “Bless you,” after someone sneezes.

So, don’t give your friends all the details of a scandalous rendezvous , just “yada yada yada” through “the good stuff”. It just might make yourself seem more interesting.

Featured image by Seinfeld via Instagram


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