Hee Hee Arrow Arrow

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?*


*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!





Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “Hee Hee Arrow Arrow”

  1. You had an orange Naugahyde couch? We had an avocado green one. It was great with kids around since dirt and spills rolled right off of it. There's a good reason you don't see much of that stuff anymore. It would split and then you'd have to repair it with duct tape and put a cover over it. Those goodies you are tantalizing us with today look wonderful.

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Orange Naugahyde with black wrought iron arms and legs. It was very trendy and my parents sold it with the house, I think, in 1964 before it ever had to be duct-taped. It was downstairs in the den with the "Calypso" curtains. Wish I still had those, too.

      Teré's tortilla was exceptional and the desserts… !!!

  2. Looking at that shortbread makes me wonder… if I'd made it, the reason I'd put the fruit at the corners is because Bill would have eaten those corner pieces before I was ready to serve it 😉 Really, I'm just joking… all that food looks wonderful!

  3. We had a cream-colored naugahyde recliner chair (and, yes, it split). My parents used to hide colored eggs for us for Easter morning, and one year, one got hidden inside the cavity of the good old naugahyde chair– and we didn't find it until months later. Yucky smell. 🙂

    Great treats to look at here!

  4. Now cut that out!! What are you trying to do here, make us all die of hunger! lol
    Does 'Timber Tom' and 'Clarabell' ring a bell Mitch? They were on Howdy Doody too I think. No ni na?

    1. Jim:
      I remember Clarabell (played by Bob Keishan, the future Captain Kangaroo), but Timber Tom must have been an addition when they made the Canadian version of Howdy Doody (or else I simply don't remember him). Did you have Phineas T. Bluster and Flub-A-Dub?

  5. That tortilla looks just like the one I remember being served in Madrid. As for Howdy Doody, I remember watching the last episode which was the only one where Claribel the Clown spoke, saying So long kids!"

    1. Spo:
      But another example of why you shouldn't learn from me: I shared my two latest "local" expressions last night with two friends (one originally from Barcelona and one from right here in Sevilla). They had never heard of the "hee hee" part of "hee hee arrow arrow"!

  6. I wasn't allowed on the settee when I was a child. If we had posh guests then I was allowed under it, provided that I kept quiet and didn't bite people's ankles. Old habits die hard.

  7. wonderful Christmas fare by all those great chefs. I have never heard of Howdy Doody so needed your explanation. Great food, good company and another time to put into the memory bank.

  8. I want the recipe for those Spanish christmas cookies! It all looks wonderful – and you must always remember – life is short – eat dessert first!


    1. Rosalinda:
      Jerry has never made these, but I found a recipe online that sounds very traditional (http://www.spanish-food.org/desserts-mantecados-polvorones.html). The key ingredient is lard! That's why they melt in one's mouth. Unfortunately, the preceding recipe is from a UK site, so you'll have to convert measurements.

      You can make them with butter (an American version: http://www.spanish-food.org/desserts-mantecados-polvorones.html), but it will definitely not be like the originals.

      We each ate one cookie at José and Juliette's, so I don't see a big problem with the lard!

  9. I know exactly what you are going through. Right now, Savannah and my mother are interfacing and my mom keeps telling her "cucha" and I tell her that she is going to learn to say "escucha" wrong…and like that many others.
    But what is fun is watching the learning process…today, I asked her in French "what does the butterfly do?" and she put both hands together and began to flutter them.
    The holidays here are a good excuse to overindulge and the only time of the year we can find turrón.

    1. Raulito:
      Savannah is very lucky to be growing up in a multi-lingual home. Your mother can teach her dialect and you can teach her proper Spanish and French.

      We're hosting a late holiday dinner at which time Jerry hopes to cook some kind of traditional American Christmas meal. Teré and Miguel are planning to bring an assortment of turrónes!

Please share your thoughts...

%d bloggers like this: