What Does And All That Jazz Mean?

And All That Jazz Meaning

Definition: And other similar things.

This idiom is used at the end of a sentence to imply a continuation of a list of similar things. It is similar to saying et cetera. A store might sell televisions, radios, and all that jazz, meaning that televisions, radios, and other items similar to televisions and radios—perhaps wires, cables, phones, etc.—are sold in the store.

Origin of And All That Jazz

All that and jazzJazz, of course, is a type of music, but it can also refer to nonsense or lies. In 1918, in fact, while jazz music existed, the word jazz also meaningless or empty talk, nonsense, rot, rubbish. Jazz was even a slang term for sexual intercourse, illustrating that it hasn’t always had the strict music-related definition we think of today.

Since one of its alternate meanings was nonsense, rubbish, it easily follows that and all that nonsense could be represented by the phrase and all that jazz.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of this phrase is in Fred Astaire’s 1956 autobiography. It was assumed at the time that the reader would be familiar with the phrase. In point of fact, it was probably used for decades before this is jazz clubs and cocktail lounges in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Example of And All That Jazz

Talking all that jazzIn modern day, this idiom can be used in a list.

For example,

  • I need boots, gloves, a hat, a scarf, and all that jazz.

It can be used as a more positive way to describe unpleasant things you have to do.

You can say,

  • Today I have to do my homework, clean my room, take out the garbage—all that jazz.

In this example, the listener understands the speaker is not thrilled about having to do those things.

There is also a popular Broadway song called “All that Jazz” from the 1975 musical Chicago.

More Examples

  • “Now, people know that parlors are not about ‘make-up and all that jazz you see in the movies’, but it has also to do with developing confidence in their looks.” –The New Indian Express

Summary

Saying and all that jazz at the end of a list means you don’t want to carry on listing everything, but you want to imply that there are additional things.