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

Tabac

Senior Member
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?

Thanks!!
 
  • Gato_Gordo

    Senior Member
    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 ^_^
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    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!
     

    ewhite

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    maxiogee said:
    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!
    Same here in New York City, although we put a y into int:

    nyah-nyah nyah-nyah-nyah.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    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?
     

    mytwolangs

    Senior Member
    English United States
    badgrammar said:
    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? ;)
    I remember when those were fighting words!

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

    cyanista

    законодательница мод
    NRW
    Belarusian/Russian
    Tabac said:
    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?

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

    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.

    Gato_Gordo said:
    Hi Tabac:

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

    Gato_Gordo

    Senior Member
    Spanish - México
    Pivra said:
    alguien me dijo ... "tienes la cara de caca" antes ... jejejeje.... is that part of the taunting song?? (estoy bromeando)
    No, because it doesn't rhyme with lero :)

    But it can be lero lero, tienes cara de-e pedo (fart face) :D
     

    Pivra

    Senior Member
    ...
    Gato_Gordo said:
    No, because it doesn't rhyme with lero :)

    But it can be lero lero, tienes cara de-e pedo (fart face) :D
    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??
     

    Gato_Gordo

    Senior Member
    Spanish - México
    Pivra said:
    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??
    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 :)
     

    ukuca

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

    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.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Tabac said:
    2) Is the same phrase/music used in other languages?
    Children say it in Portuguese, too. I guess this type of thing spreads quickly around the world.
     

    estrella de mar

    Senior Member
    UK English
    ukuca said:
    I guess you're talking about the "Na-na na-na nah" which is said in Simpsons (the bully kid says)
    I used this once in an English class to explain to the kids the meaning of "to make fun of"! :D
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    ukuca said:
    I guess you're talking about the "Na-na na-na nah" which is said in Simpsons (the bully kid says)
    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.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    ewhite

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    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.
     

    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]"

    HAA-ha...
     
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