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Posts Tagged ‘done deal’


Posted by Admin on April 17, 2013

We’ve all watched movies and TV shows where one of the characters uses the expression badabing to imply that a specific task was easily completed or should be simple to accomplish. It also implies that certain bits of information have been omitted because they are matter-of-course parts of the story.

James Caan’s character Sonny says it to Al Pacino’s character Michael in the 1972 movie, “The Godfather” and as such, it’s thought of as being a stereotypical Italian-American expression.

Whatcha gonna do? Nice college boy, eh? Don’t wanna get mixed up in the family business? Now you wanna gun down a police captain because he slapped you in the face a little bit, huh? Whataya think this is … the Army, where you shoot ’em a mile away? You gotta get up close like this … badaBING! You blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. C’mere … you’re taking this very personal.

But the fact of the matter is, while the expression was embraced by many of Italian-American ancestry, it isn’t from that culture at all. The expression actually hails back to the days of vaudeville and music halls, and morphed from its original version of bada ching.

Back in the day, the ba represented the tom, the da represented the kick, and the ching represented the cymbal crash. In many ways, the bada ching was the equivalent of the modern-day laugh track, and indicated that the punch line had been delivered.  No matter how good or bad the joke was, everyone in the audience knew the joke had been told when they heard bada ching.

So whether you say badabing, or you say badabing badaboom or say badaboom badabing, in the end, it means the same thing. But isn’t it interesting to know where it came from originally?

Posted in Idioms from the 19th Century, Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fait Accompli

Posted by Admin on September 20, 2010

A “fait accompli” is an irreversible action that has happened before those affected by it know of its existence and even once the change is found out, the change cannot be undone.  In other words, it’s a done deal. 

One might think that the expression “fait accomplijumped from France to England centuries ago during one of the many royal marriages or battles but it would seem that the jump had nothing to do with France at all.

In “The History of Lloyd’s and of Marine Insurance in Great Britain” by Frederick Martin, author of the “Statesman’s Yearbook” and published in 1876, the following passage is found on page 120:

This notice is continued till October 2, 1770, after which it appears slightly varied.  Instead of “have been so kind to promise to continue the Ship News,” the alteration, which evidently refers to a fait accompli, appearing for the first time on the 5th of October, 1770.

But 31 years earlier, in 1845, Richard Ford published “A Handbook For Travellers in Spain” which, to this day, is considered to be a classic of travel writing. Ford wrote:  “This is now a fait accompli.”

The use of the phrase “fait accompli” in its current sense was used in this way in French as far back as 1222.  The Société d’histoire de la Suisse Romande has in its possession a document that states:

Le partage de ses seigneuries entre ses fils laïques, fait par Ebal (IV) de Grandson, était ainsi un fait accompli dans l’année 1222, du moins quant à ses deux fils aînés, puisque nous venons de voir Henri, sire de Champbent, prêter présence lors de l’hommage de Richard de Belmont.

Translated this reads:

The division of his seigniories by Ebal (IV) of Grandson between his sons, was thus a fait accompli in the year 1222, at least with regards to his two oldest sons, as observed by Henri, Lord de Champbent lending his presence to pay homage to Richard de Belmont.

Posted in Idioms from the 13th Century, Idioms from the 19th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »