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TTFN is an initialism for a colloquial valediction, 'ta ta for now', based on 'ta ta', an informal 'goodbye', approximately equivalent to 'bye bye' but in an easier meaning it means 'goodbye for now'. The expression came to prominence, in the UK, during the Second World War. Used by the military, it was frequently heard by the British public.
"Ta-ta for now" was brought into popular use in the UK in 1940 in the weekly radio comedy It's That Man Again by the character Mrs Mopp, who ended every scene with it. During the second series, the show's name was shortened to ITMA, to satirize the abundance of abbreviations that were becoming common knowledge due to the ongoing war.
In the 1966 Batman television episode "Better Luck Next Time", Catwoman (played by the actress Julie Newmar) states "TTFN" in a microphone to Batman (Adam West) while he is high upon a wall while being stalked by her tiger, Tinkerbell, and then she has to further explain the meaning of the acronym to the puzzled Batman.
In Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, a 1968 Disney featurette, the voice of Tigger was performed by Paul Winchell, whose wife Jean Freeman suggested that he ad-lib the line. It was further used by Tigger in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988–1991), often followed by a "hoo hoo hoo hoo!" as he bounces away on his tail. However, the phrase does not appear in the original books by A. A. Milne.
'Ta ta for now' caught on with the British public so much that it was often uttered by dying people as their last words. It has been the catchphrase of radio personalities such as Jimmy Young, who modified it to BFN: 'Bye for now'.
- Cryer, Max. (2010). Who said that first? : The Curious Origins of Common Words and Phrases. Auckland, N.Z.: Exisle Pub. pp. 281–282. ISBN 978-0-908988-91-4.
- Ferguson, Rosalind (1994), "Origin of TTFN", in ., Shorter Dictionary of Catch Phrases, London: Routledge, p. 125, ISBN 0-415-10051-8
- Street, Seán (2002). A Concise History of British Radio, 1922-2002. Kelly Publications. pp. 74–75. ISBN 9781903053140.
- Harper, Douglas. "ttfn". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- Daniels, Morgan (September 2011). "The Effects Of 'Antiestablishment' BBC Comedy On Politicians, The Public And Broadcasting Values C.1939-73" (doc). University of London.
The new, abbreviated title, for example, was a nod to the flurry of acronymous (and anonymous) bodies disseminating orders at will.
- Memorable quotes for Batman, "Better Luck Next Time" (1966) on Internet Movie Database
- Salamon, Julie (2005-06-27). "Paul Winchell, 82, TV Host and Film Voice of Pooh's Tigger, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Bernstein, Adam (27 June 2005). "TV Ventriloquist, Cartoon Voice And Inventor Paul Winchell Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- Tim Horton on Find A Grave
- How radio comedy changed a nation BBC News Magazine, 17 October 2008
- "In Depth - Newsmakers - Jimmy Young: Too old?". BBC News. 2 November 2001. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "ttfn" in The Interactive Linguistics Databases Project for Lower-division Instruction and Student Research, University of Oregon
- talk mode in the Jargon File v.2.9.11, 1 January 1993