nana nana na - Are children's taunting songs Universal?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Tabac, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Tabac Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest (USA)
    U. S. - English
    This may be somewhat difficult to ask in writing, but I'll try.

    In US English, there is a phrase ("na-na na-na na-na"), sung to sol-sol mi-la sol-mi. It is used as a sort of ridicule "see, I told you so", "ha ha, I got more ice cream than you did", etc.

    1) Is this common in the English-speaking world?
    2) Is the same phrase/music used in other languages?

  2. kertek

    kertek Senior Member

    UK English
  3. In French, yes. It's nananananère!

    Exactly the same rhythm and can be followed up by something catchy like

    "Nananananère, pouette pouette camembert!"

    Down in Texas our version was "nanny nanny poo poo! Stick your head in doo doo!"

    Classy huh? ;)
  4. Gato_Gordo

    Gato_Gordo Senior Member

    The Western Pearl
    Spanish - México
    Hi Tabac:

    Ha, ha, you actually had me singing the notes and yes!, they are correct!

    In Mexico we know the tune from the USA, but here we use another one:

    Lero lero candilero maybe just sol-la-sol-mi, sol-la-sol-mi

    Sometimes lero lero is enough, sometimes it goes as far as to say lero lero candilero, tienes cara de.... (anything you want to rhyme with -o)

    Saludos ^_^
  5. Krümelmonster Senior Member

    Germany, german
    In Germany you have the same "na-na na-na na-na"-song as in England...
  6. maxiogee Banned

    In Ireland we are obviously more succinct!
    We can convey in five nas what it takes the rest of you six to express.

    We say Na-na na-na nah!
  7. Krümelmonster Senior Member

    Germany, german
    In Germany there's also the version of NA nana na na (so the first two nas which have the same tone are just one)
  8. ewhite

    ewhite Senior Member

    Same here in New York City, although we put a y into int:

    nyah-nyah nyah-nyah-nyah.
  9. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Same in Spain, durations: "na na na naaaaa na"
  10. maxiogee Banned

    So, is this an inherited, genetic taunt - innate in children, or has it spread from some particularly vicious and nasty village somewhere in central Europe?
  11. mytwolangs Senior Member

    English United States
    I remember when those were fighting words!

    From fine grammar points to children's taunts. Learn it all at
    More important that the WORDS, is the annoying chant that they go with.
  12. cyanista

    cyanista законодательница мод

    Russian expresses it differently: "бе бе бе" (beh beh beh). :) It is not sung but it certainly has a teasing intonation.
  13. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    San Francisco
    Am. English
    I have said neener neener neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeener before...
  14. Pivra Senior Member

    Somehow, I don´t remember growing up taunting. Neither do I remember my siblings growing up taunting. Must be something wrong with us.

    alguien me dijo ... "tienes la cara de caca" antes ... jejejeje.... is that part of the taunting song?? (estoy bromeando)
  15. Gato_Gordo

    Gato_Gordo Senior Member

    The Western Pearl
    Spanish - México
    No, because it doesn't rhyme with lero :)

    But it can be lero lero, tienes cara de-e pedo (fart face) :D
  16. Pivra Senior Member

    Yo estraño el español mucho, hace tiempo que no lo hablo. Estoy oxidadísimo.

    ¿y los niños mexicanos dicen eso? lero lero, tienes cara de pedo... lol??
  17. Gato_Gordo

    Gato_Gordo Senior Member

    The Western Pearl
    Spanish - México
    Claro Pivra, lo dicen los chicos de unos seis años para arriba, cara de pedo es aquella persona que hace menos a los demás y los ve con desdén mientras frunce la nariz, como si hubiera olido una flatulencia :)
  18. ukuca

    ukuca Senior Member

    Istanbul - Turkey
    Turkish - Turkey
    I guess you're talking about the "Na-na na-na nah" which is said in Simpsons (the bully kid says)
  19. unefemme1 Senior Member

    English, New Zealand
    1) Yes it's common, but obviously only in the children world, and usually used between children, rather than adults lol.

    The tune is correct, but just with one less sol- in the beginning. I'm not sure if other countries use the same verse, but just know that its derived from USA. There are other versions to this tune as well, depending on where you are.
  20. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Children say it in Portuguese, too. I guess this type of thing spreads quickly around the world.
  21. estrella de mar

    estrella de mar Senior Member

    UK English
    I used this once in an English class to explain to the kids the meaning of "to make fun of"! :D
  22. maxiogee Banned

    In the version of the Simpsons shown here in Ireland and in the UK, Nelson Muntz just says "Ha-ha". This is from a wikipedia site
    The Simpsons has perhaps most entered the public consciousness
    in the form of the numerous catch phrases of its characters.
    Such catch phrases include Homer's famous annoyed grunt "D'oh!",
    Mr. Burns' "Excellent..." and Nelson Muntz's "Ha-ha!"

    Maybe you get a dubbed version.
  23. estrella de mar

    estrella de mar Senior Member

    UK English
    You're all quite right. I apologise. It was the correct version I used! Apologies to all!
  24. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    Na na nana na was definitely used in Corby, central England in the 1960s and so today. We also used to say, "I'm telling, you're smelling". It was a sophisticated and deeply compassionate time.
  25. ewhite

    ewhite Senior Member

    When called an insulting name, or perhaps upon being "nyah nyahed", the children of Queens, New York, would wittily reply, "I'm rubber, you're glue. It bounces off me, sticks to you".

    Ah, we were all poets then.
  26. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    San Francisco
    Am. English
    There was also one with one person being a mirror....I remember that from when I lived in Long kids can be horrible!
  27. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    Children are the masters of cruelty. I love that one about glue and rubber, or as it is known in the TV show "Scrubs":
    "Boing! Fweeep!"

    In Mexico we did say "Lero, lero, candilero, tienes cara de [any insult, doesn't have to rhyme, but it's much cooler if it does]".
    The taunt about the mirror goes like this in Spanish:
    "Soy espejo y te reflejo, tienes cara de... [silencio]"
    "I'm a mirror and I reflect you, you have the face of a... [pause here, to dare the other guy to say any insult]"


Share This Page