Senior Member
Hello, I do not speak Rumanian at all, I was watching a documentary about Ceausescu and they were talking about his first name which could have been misspelled as something like niciola(e)?? That should mean something vulgar but the lady could not or did not want to translate it. What is that word and what does it mean? Thanks.
  • danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    I confirm there is something vulgar in that word, a vulgarity that you may not find in Romanian dictionaries and only a native speaker can detect it.
    As I understood, the rules of this forum forbids discussions on such matters.


    mod-errare humanum est
    Took some time to read and ask around, but all I could find confirms what I knew (doesn't mean there aren't other, more obscure and poorly documented meanings).

    Nici-o-la(I)e or nicio-la(I)e is a play on words: the name Nicolae is distorted to resemble "nicio laie".

    The meaning I know and supported by dictionaries is No/not even (nicio) nothing (laie).

    As a whole it doesn't mean much, but for a native speaker it's a humorous transformation.


    mod-errare humanum est
    You mean "olae" is the bad word? :confused: If you don't mind please send me a PM with details.

    I always thought the play on words was in reference to "o laie" where laie, in this context means nothing.



    Senior Member

    Keeping the light meaning from dictionary of word laie = nothing , the documentary suggested that Ceaușescu didn't give almost anything (food and so on...) to Romanian people.

    The etymology of the word laie: Ukrainian лая (laja), Polish laja = pack of dogs from Slavonic lajati = to bark.

    Then the meaning transferred to: group of nomad gypsy; bunch of noisy children, people

    The word laie is used by Romanian writers in XIX-XX century with this significance.

    There is also the adjective/noun lainic (laie + nic) = loafer, vagabond, slacker - a person who walks from one place to another for no purpose, who is lazy and avoids work

    A avea o laie = to have nothing // A nu avea nicio laie = to have not even nothing

    A face o laie = to fail, to suffer a failure, to succeed nothing

    These above are now slang expressions, with offensive and obscene meaning. Not used but in frustration.