ta-da

or ta-dah

[ tuh-dah ]
/ təˈdɑ /

interjection

(used as a jovial interjection in making an announcement, taking a bow, etc.).

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does ta-da mean?

Ta-da is an enthusiastic interjection used when presenting or revealing something, especially to bring attention to it and produce excitement.

An interjection is a term that is used, usually by itself, to express emotion. Ta-da is informal and is often used to be a bit funny or silly. It is most commonly spelled ta-da or ta-dah, but it is often stylized to reflect how it is said, as in ta-daaaah! When spoken, it is often accompanied by a gesture toward the thing being presented.

Example: Without further ado, here is the winning floral arrangement! Ta-da!

Where does ta-da come from?

The first recorded uses of ta-da come from the 1900s. It is thought to have originated as a vocal imitation of the fanfare from a trumpet or similar instrument. You know—that two-note flourish that’s played when a king is introduced (in which the first note is short and the second note is longer). For this reason, ta-da is considered imitative, or an example of onomatopoeia, which is the formation of words that sound like what they refer to, such as buzz.

But ta-da is a bit different. Unlike buzz, which can be both a noun and a verb, ta-da doesn’t have a specific definition. It’s simply used in an expressive way, with its exact meaning depending on the situation. Often, it means something like “Here it is!” This makes it similar to the word voilà, which is based on a French phrase meaning “See there!”

Ta-da is often associated with the completion of a magic trick that ends with a special reveal, such as when a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. It is also often used to mark the presentation of the completed version or something. For example, someone might say ta-da when presenting a birthday cake. Or a child may say ta-da when presenting a drawing they are proud of.

Much like fanfare for a king, ta-da is sometimes used to mark someone’s entrance, especially when the speaker wants to add excitement or a sense of ceremony to the entrance, as in Ta-da! Your Aunt Linda flew here to surprise you!

You could say that the opposite of ta-da is womp womp, which is a slang interjection used to indicate or mock failure. It too is an imitation of a musical sound—two sad notes from a trombone.

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What are some other forms of ta-da?

  • ta-dah (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for ta-da?

What are some words that often get used in discussing ta-da?

What are some words ta-da may be commonly confused with?

How is ta-da used in real life?

Ta-da is usually used excitedly or enthusiastically, especially to make an announcement or draw attention to something. It is often intended to be funny or silly.

 

 

Try using ta-da!

In which of the following situations would someone be most likely to say tada?

A. when asking a question
B. when answering a question
C. when presenting a surprise gift
D. when giving an instruction