We had our second annual pre-Christmas dinner at the home of José and Juliette. Teré and Miguel very kindly share their friends with us. The foursome invited another of their warm and charming friends, Enrique, who speaks excellent English. The first thing he did was teach us two “…most important Andalusian expressions that everyone must know.”
1) No Ni Ná
I’ve heard this expression used, but never had any idea what it meant (except for “no” which I figured meant “no,” and it turns out I was correct). No ni ná is what you say in response to a question or statement that is obvious.
Does Mitchell like chocolate? No ni ná!
Mitchell isn’t very good in the kitchen. No ni ná.
Is San Geraldo a bit of a hypochondriac? No ni ná.
I know a few American versions of “no ni ná” used when someone states or asks the obvious. Those are: Is the pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods? Does Howdy Doody have a wooden ass?*
|SAY KIDS, WHAT TIME IS IT? IT’S HOWDY DOODY TIME!
(WISH WE STILL HAD THAT ORANGE VINYL DEN SOFA!)
*For those of you not in the know: Howdy Doody was a wooden marionette who had his own American TV show from 1947 to 1960. His sidekick was known as Buffalo Bob. It has always been assumed that Howdy Doody had a wooden ass, although said wooden ass was never shown on American television.
2) Hee Hee Arrow Arrow
That’s exactly how the second expression sounds. I asked Enrique how it’s spelled and he instructed me that, “No one would ever write it the way it’s said. It wouldn’t be proper Spanish!”
The expression is used when you want to strongly agree with something someone says. “Hee hee” for some reason in this case is said instead of “sí sí” (yes yes). I think the Spanish spelling would be more like “ji ji.”Arrow Arrow is really “aro aro,” which is short for claro claro (clearly clearly). So, “Ji Ji Aro Aro” means “Yes, Yes, Clearly, Clearly”! I asked Enrique what was so short about “aro” as opposed to “claro” and he said, “Two less letters!”
So there you have it. My Spanish language education for the week. These I easily remember! San Geraldo has already forgotten them. But no one has forgotten pre-Christmas dinner and dessert!
|TERÉ’S FIRST-EVER POTATO TORTILLA. DELICIOSO!|
|SAN GERALDO’S 2ND ANNUAL SHORTBREAD LEMON AND RASPBERRY. COMMAND PERFORMANCE.|
|ENRIQUE’S SPECIAL TIRAMISU. THE BEST WE’VE EVER HAD.|
|JOSE’S MANTECADO (SPANISH CHRISTMAS COOKIES). THEY MELT IN YOUR MOUTH.|