maniac / manyak

scriptum

Senior Member
Israel / Hebrew, Russian
*** This discussion was split off from this thread. ***

Ya manyak (maniac, like in English)
The only remark is that the modern Hebrew "manyak" has nothing to do with the English "maniac". Etymologically, it is an Arabic word meaning "f---ed" (Elroy will correct me if I am mistaken).
 
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  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Etymologically, it is an Arabic word meaning "f---ed" (Elroy will correct me if I am mistaken).
    Yes, that's about right. It literally means someone who is often f***ed; the closest English equivalent is probably "f***er." In Arabic, it is frequently used as a vulgar, derogatory term for homosexual males (like "faggot" in English).
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    "Maniac" is not a correct translation of the Hebrew/Arabic word. In English, a maniac is someone who is mentally insane - "crazy," pretty much. It is not a vulgar word.

    I thought Americans or British use it as curse too.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I thought Americans or British use it as curse too.
    Nope ... not that I know of, anyway. :)

    Of course, you could call someone a maniac, if they did something particularly whacky, but that wouldn't be considered a vulgarity.
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Maniac works in (US) English as jerk or a mild insult, as in "you maniac !" which might come close to "ya manyak". Phonetically you and ya sound similar (a coincidence). I guess the ya is of Arabic origin (like ya habibi maybe ?).
     

    papillon

    Senior Member
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Maniac works in (US) English as jerk or a mild insult, as in "you maniac !" ...
    I have never heard it used as an insult. I agree with Elroy, it can be used for someone who has done something crazy, or for someone who is obsessive about something. More often, in my experience, it serves as a term of mild endearment or amusement :
    Can you imagine, after working until 3 am, he went to a club and was dancing all night!
    Yeah, I know, that dude's a maniac!
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Maniac works in (US) English as jerk or a mild insult, as in "you maniac !" which might come close to "ya manyak".
    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. Besides phonetical similarity, there is hardly anything in common between the two words.
    Phonetically you and ya sound similar (a coincidence).
    Yes, just like "maniac" and "ma**ak." ;)
    I guess the ya is of Arabic origin (like ya habibi maybe ?).
    That's correct.
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    Besides phonetical similarity, there is hardly anything in common between the two words.
    I wonder whether this phonetical similarity is not actually merging these two words into one. As far as I remember, many years ago the question of the Greek word (maniac) vs. the Arabic one (manyak) was discussed in the Knesset. It happened when a MP called his colleague a manyak. On the next day the Chairman stood up holding a big dictionary and explained that, with reference to a MP, the word means “somebody maniacally devoted to a political idea”, or something to the same effect. People laughed their heads off, but the subject was closed.
     

    StoneEd

    New Member
    U.S.A. English
    As far as the usage of "Maniac" in the U.S. Aoyama and Papillon are both correct. I.E. If i were driving and someone cut me off or was darting through traffic I'd probably call them a maniac, but i could also see it being used as a term of endearment because often times mild insults are exchanged that way in jest.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I.E. If i were driving and someone cut me off or was darting through traffic I'd probably call them a maniac, [...]
    Sure, but you would not be delivering an insult similar to "ya ma**ak" in Hebrew/Arabic. That's the point that Papillon and I (and others) have been trying to make.
     

    Clara_

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Can you always say "ya+slang word" in Hebrew and Arabic to call someone names/insult the person, as an equivalent to the English you+slang? (not that I want to insult anyone, only curious).
     

    ahshav

    Senior Member
    English, Hebrew
    Wow, this is an old thread.

    In Hebrew - yes. "Ya" is used almost exclusively for insults/name calling (whether seriously or tongue-in-cheek).

    In Arabic (someone correct me if I'm wrong) it is used as a vocative in general.
     

    origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    In Hebrew - yes. "Ya" is used almost exclusively for insults/name calling (whether seriously or tongue-in-cheek).
    As a productive preposition - this statement seems to be correct. But in expressions borrowed wholly from Arabic, like יא חביבי ya khabibi or יא אללה ya allah, the original (Arabic) neutral or positive meaning is maintained.

    Back to the previous discussion (two years old) - I suspect that a confusion was made here between "manyak" (maniac), borrowed from European languages, and "manyuk" / "mnayek", borrowed from Arabic. Similar yet different.

    In any case - manyak, manyuk and many other very dirty borrowed words lost their original meaning when making `alliya. Most of these arrived from either Arabic or Russian (via Jewish immigrants I guess). Israelis know that they carry negative meaning - but not much more - and therefore have no problem using them.

    Note also that in Hebrew slang (and I guess not only Hebrew) a very bad word can have very positive meaning between close friends. It wouldn't be surprising to see old friends meet and one asks the other "Wass'up ya manyak / manyakon / naknik / naknikon" and so on.
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    "Manyak" seems to be used in Turkish, but also in ... Tagalog.
    I even wonder if the root "ma" (as in "ma ra" but also "ma nya" giving "ma la" -evil- in Indo-European) meaning "sex", "evil", "magic" in Sanskrit (hence also in Chinese, Korean and Japanese) has some link here ...
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Arabic (someone correct me if I'm wrong) it is used as a vocative in general.
    In theory, yes. In practice (at least in Palestinian Arabic), there are specific situations in which it is used, and others in which it is not (i.e. it's not used in every situation in which a vocative might be used in other languages). But I won't go into detail as that would be off-topic.

    Back to the previous discussion (two years old) - I suspect that a confusion was made here between "manyak" (maniac), borrowed from European languages, and "manyuk" / "mnayek", borrowed from Arabic. Similar yet different.
    Wait a minute, it's pronounced "manyuk" or "manyek"? That's weird, because in Arabic it's pronounced "manyak." "Manyuuk" (with a long "u") exists as a variant, and perhaps that form was borrowed too, but I thought that "manyak" was used as well. "Manyek" does not exist in Arabic, so if it exists in Hebrew then the pronunciation has been modified.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I even wonder if the root "ma" (as in "ma ra" but also "ma nya" giving "ma la" -evil- in Indo-European) meaning "sex", "evil", "magic" in Sanskrit (hence also in Chinese, Korean and Japanese) has some link here ...
    Doubtful.

    In Arabic, the pattern maxxax can refer to someone to whom something is (frequently) done. The verb "naak" (past tense) / "yniik" (present tense) means "to f**k," so a "manyak" is someone who is (frequently) "f**ked."
     

    origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    Wait a minute, it's pronounced "manyuk" or "manyek"? That's weird, because in Arabic it's pronounced "manyak." "Manyuuk" (with a long "u") exists as a variant, and perhaps that form was borrowed too, but I thought that "manyak" was used as well. "Manyek" does not exist in Arabic, so if it exists in Hebrew then the pronunciation has been modified.
    There are three different words: manyak, manyuk, and mnayek (the latter is pronounced maybe "menayek" or "manayek"). I think that mnayek is supposed to be the plural of manyuk, but it may be fictive: not exist in Arabic yet constructed according to the pattern of other plurals.

    Regarding meaning:
    * Manyak is usually "crazy", "mean", "one with bad attitude".
    * Manyuk is someone you detest for whatever reason.
    * Mnayek is harsh period. Soldiers may say "another two years of mnayek" עוד שנתיים למנאייק and mean that they have two more years of military service.
     

    ahshav

    Senior Member
    English, Hebrew
    * Mnayek is harsh period. Soldiers may say "another two years of mnayek" עוד שנתיים למנאייק and mean that they have two more years of military service.
    It can have another meaning, also from military slang - a mnayek is a pejorative term for a military police-officer.

    I don't know if they're related, but I'm guessing the harsh period connotation might have come about because of the MP meaning - X amount of time until the MPs have no authority over them anymore...
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Regarding meaning:
    * Manyak is usually "crazy", "mean", "one with bad attitude".
    * Manyuk is someone you detest for whatever reason.
    * Mnayek is harsh period. Soldiers may say "another two years of mnayek" עוד שנתיים למנאייק and mean that they have two more years of military service.
    Interesting.

    In Arabic, "manyak" and "manyuuk" have the same meaning. "Manaayek" is indeed the plural form of "manyak."

    (I hadn't noticed that it was "mnayek" and not "manyek" in Hebrew.)
     

    origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    Actually, the Hebrew translation of manyuuk is used in a somehow different meaning. When a soldier goes to military jail for discipline reasons, the jail period is not counted and therefore is added to the time he needs to serve the army. This additional time is called dafook דפוק, used as noun although gramatically a passive verb.

    For example: אבולעפיה ישב שלושים יום, עכשיו יש לו דפוק

    Seems that this dafook is simply Hebrew for manyuuk - this is one of its meanings (the sexual act) in slang.
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    * Manyak is usually "crazy", "mean", "one with bad attitude".
    * Manyuk is someone you detest for whatever reason.
    Hmmm. I must say that in my experience manyak is definitely pejorative, while manyuk may sound benevolently familiar.
    Manyak is a very mean person. Manyuk is a smart fellow.
     
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