de numa-numa

margareta9

New Member
English - UK
How would you express "de numa-numa" in English?
I came across it in a blog post in which the author talks about her anxiety about returning to Romania for a visit:
Oare mișună la fel de mulți câini vagabonzi? Mi-a fost dintotdeauna frică de ei de numa-numa...
După ani și ani, mă voi întoarce (?)
I also found it in two headlines in online articles:
The Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps, de numa-numa!
The Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps, de numa-numa! - Resboiu
And with a different spelling:
SEXY de NUMA' NUMA'! VICA BLOCHINA, cu FUSTA cât o BATISTĂ!
SEXY de NUMA' NUMA'! VICA BLOCHINA, cu FUSTA cât o BATISTĂ! | Libertatea.ro
I'm puzzled as to what it might mean in English.

Sub-question: is it a contraction or short for something?
 
  • Zareza

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hello, margareta9!

    Some meanings:
    -to be about to / to stop short of
    -I missed being... / I nearly... / I came very near being... / I almost...
    -ready to

    Syn. cât pe ce să (nu)...
    încât îmi vine să... (aprox. my fingers itch to... but a sort of negative meaning)
     

    margareta9

    New Member
    English - UK
    Hello Zareza,

    Thank you for your help. Please forgive me: I don't see how "to be about to/I almost" works with an exclamation such as "sexy de numa-numa!". Or is something additional implied with the phrase in such a context, such as "so sexy that I almost couldn't believe it/that I almost fell off my chair (with astonishment/shock)"?

    Please excuse my confusion!
     

    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Hopefuly this will help a bit with the numa-numa topic. Have a read here :)

    "Numa Numa is an Internet phenomenon based on a video by American vlogger Gary Brolsma made after the song "Dragostea din tei" as performed by O-Zone. Brolsma's video, entitled Numa Numa Song, was released on December 6, 2004 on the website Newgrounds.com and shows Brolsma lip-synching the hit song and lively gesticulating on it. The video title is derived from the Romanian words "nu mă nu mă" that occur in the refrain of O-Zone's song."

    Best,
    f.
     

    Zareza

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Regionalisme din Maramureș:
    Regionalisme din Maramureș III

    Copilu′ se cânta de numa, numa că l-o pițigat un bânzoi. = Copilul „plângea” de numa, numa din cauză că l-„a înțepat” o „insectă”.

    It could be : The kid was crying... he almost fainted/choked from/with crying... because an insect bit him.
     
    Last edited:

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    This is a very interesting question about a beautiful Maramureşan word, viz Zareza's post.
    What I'd like to add is that numa, which is not academic, btw, comes from the restrictive adverb "numai". The repetitive form numa-numa has several stylistic values like, exclusiveness or of rendering unique qualities ('frumoasă de numa-numa' = 'extremely beautiful' - superlative) or actions (What the kid only did was to cry.), as already explained in the above posts.

    But more about this, you can find on: www.diacronia.ro

    The Adverb "Numai"
     
    Last edited:

    margareta9

    New Member
    English - UK
    Big thank you to everyone who has commented and sorry for the late acknowledgement. Especially warm thanks to irinet for the very clear explanation.
    Thanks also to AdellaRaluca. Your suggestion would work well with phrases like: "I was running/speaking/working like there's no tomorrow."
     
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