- Sense “Idle, meaningless talk” (1940), probably imitative or echoic in origin. Perhaps, but cf Greek "barbarbar” ‘unintelligible sounds’ (Grillo 1989:174.
- Adjective sense “bland, dull” (1919), perhaps influenced by French blasé (“bored, indifferent”).
- The blahs (“boredom, mild depression”) first attested 1969; extension of adjective sense and influenced by term the blues.
- Also may be connected with bleat
GRILLO, R. D. 1989. Dominant Languages: Language and hierarchy in Britain and France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- (uncountable, informal) Nonsense; drivel; idle, meaningless talk.
- (informal) (in plural, the blahs) A general or ambiguous feeling of discomfort, dissatisfaction, uneasiness, boredom, mild depression, etc.
- (nonsense, drivel): bosh, bombast, bunkum, claptrap, eyewash, fustian, rant, hooey, humbug, rubbish, twaddle
- (feeling of boredom, mild depression): malaise
- (informal) Dull; uninteresting; insipid.
- Well, the new restaurant seems nice, but their menu is a little blah.
- (informal) Low in spirit or health; down.
- I decided to go exercise rather than sit around all day feeling blah.
- An expression of mild frustration.
- Blah! Why can't I get this computer to work!
- (When spoken repeatedly, often three times in succession: blah blah blah!) Imitative of idle, meaningless talk; used sometimes in a slightly derogatory manner to mock or downplay another's words, or to show disinterest in a diatribe, rant, instructions, unsolicited advice, parenting, etc. Also used when recalling and retelling another's words, as a substitute for the portions of the speech deemed irrelevant.
- Yea, yea, blah blah blah, Mom, you said this all yesterday.
- And then he was like, "Oh, my brother's an Internet millionaire, blah blah blah." Like I care!
- Representing the sound of vomiting. See bleah, bleh.
expression of mild frustration
imitative of meaningless talk
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