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Miriam
Ta! Ta ta!
So, recently I started discussions about the expressions "Fancy a cuppa?" and "Cheers!". Today, I'd like to add "ta" and "ta ta" to it. A conversation could go like this.
A: "Would you like a cup of tea?" B: "Oh, I'd love one! Thanks!
... (they had the tea and B is about to go.)
B: So long! A: Goodybye!

Adding the aforementioned phrases, it could also go like this:
A: "Fancy a cuppa?" B: "Oh, I'd love one! Cheers!
...
B: "So long!" A: "Cheers!"

And today I read that "ta" and "ta ta" could have the same meaning as cheers.
A: "Fancy a cuppa?" B: "Oh, I'd love one, ta!"
...
B: "So long!" A: "Ta ta!"

According to Wiktionary "ta" means "thank you" and "ta ta" is "good bye". I find it interesting that both expressions are used in most English speaking countries apart from the States.
Wiktionary states:
ta
(colloquial, chiefly Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) Thanks.
Ta for the cup of tea.
(Canada, childish) give (imperative)
Mommy needs the bottle back. Ta!
Etymology: Uncertain, but possibly young child's pronunciation of thanks.

ta ta
Alternative forms: ta-ta, tata, ta tah, ta-tah, tah tah, tah-tah

(chiefly Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, informal, colloquial) Goodbye. 

Usage notes
Dated and rarely used in the United States, sometimes used in Canada. Although likely to be understood, it is likely to be considered rather humorous, particularly if used in a parody of British English speakers. The word is very commonly used in India and Myanmar (Burma).

Etymology: Probably hypocoristic, circa 1823.

Hypocoristic means that it's related to babytalk.

Ken Dodd coined the phrase "tatty bye" which sounds like a combination of "ta ta" and "good bye".

"Tatty bye" by Ken Dodd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnlTwN1ttcw (The video is about Pete Duel but the music is by Ken Dodd)

My questions are:
  1. Do you use "ta" and "ta ta" and is it common where you're from?
  2. Do you know any other hypocoristic words in English?
May 27, 2020 2:13 PM
Comments · 18
Obviously I'm not a native English speaker but my nieces are. They are from South Africa and they do use ta ta instead of goodbye/bye. I had an impression it's only used with children because I've never heard a grown up from SA using it unless with kids 🍀
May 27, 2020
I can confirm that Kiwis use "ta" for thanks all the time. "ta ta" for "see you/good bye" is not quite as frequent as ta, but also in common use. Often combined with "for now", so "Ta ta for now" (and in writing abbreviated to TTFN).

I use both frequently myself.

May 27, 2020
ta = the most eventually shortened contraction of "thanks" possible.
ta ta is archaic farewell
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tatty_bye
"taty bye" is a phrase popularised by Comedian Ken Dod
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tatty_bye

ta is still used but not quite as often as "cheers" but still very popular and much used.
taty bye is still lingering despite it being introduced by Ken Dodd a long time ago now.

I noticed your later comments after writing this.
ta is still used and many parents start by saying and encouraging babies to say "ta" when receiving something, before moving on to "thank you" at a later stage of the child's development.
May 27, 2020
I must be among the rare people. I’d use ta ta for goodbye.

It does not seem a strange word for me. I’d also use ta for goodbye. Perhaps I’m strange.
May 27, 2020
Ok, in this video the teacher explains that if you want to sound more like a native British English speaker, you actually should say "cheers" or "ta" instead of "thank you" if someone does you a small favour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZMARmu0cz4.

I like the bonus tip. How to sound more confident when someone asks you if you speak English: Instead of saying "yes", reply with "I get by", "I manage" or "Just a smattering" as the Brits like understatement.
May 28, 2020
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Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)