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What is a 'neener'?

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2010-06-08 22:42:01
2010-06-08 22:42:01
Meaning of 'Neener'Neener Neener is an expression that most Americans aged 40 or under are probably familiar with. Following is a typical example of usage:

I can see your point, but I still think you're full of it. Neener neener! :)

In text, especially online text, you'll sometimes see 'neener' written as :neener: or spelled (incorrectly, in my opinion) as neaner. Moreover, you will at times see instances of neener-neener, or strings of neener, neener, neener in your reading. The word is pronounced phonetically as NEE-nuhr.

Urban Dictionary contains entries for 'neener' as well as 'neener-neener.' (Actually there are many, many variants of 'neener' in Urban Dictionary; check 'em out at your leisure and amuse yourself for several minutes.) Here is a single blockquote containing some particularly distinct definitions:

  • An interjection typically used to taunt, ridicule, or boast.
  • Word of jest or teasing. Similar to saying "ha-ha" or sticking a tongue out at someone.
  • A childish taunt or jeer pronounced with a nasal sneer, for lack of a more intelligent retort to someone else's jeer or taunt, usually from a peer. Sometimes sung to the tune of "Ring-Around-the-Rosey" for really driving the point home.

Tracking down an etymology for 'neener neener' has proven to be an almost fruitless task. I defy you (in a kind and loving way, naturally) to undertake this work for yourself and to share your findings with the rest of us in the comments portion of this post. The best result I could find was in Jennifer Larson's archived weblog. Check it out:

  • Reader CarolAnn writes, "Jen�do you have any idea where the children's phrase.....'ne ner ne ner ne ner' came from? Thanks."
  • Wow, that is a tough one. I don't know any original sources for neener-neener or its sister nyah-nyah...but if I were to fabricate an explanation, I'd say it likely comes from Old English ne, which means "no" or "not."

Jennifer's explanation makes a great deal of sense to me. Frankly, I'm too tired at the moment to plunder and blunder through the OED and enumerate the etymological lineage of the noun no (sorry).

From willd2009:

This one's deep, culturally. Around 1985 -- I don't have the exact citation on me -- an anthropologist working in the South Pacific came upon it. In his further travels (Northern China, and somewhere in Peru) he heard it over and over in children's play. His opinion was that, since these children were not in contact with other children in other cultures, this childhood taunt was -- his theory, not mine -- precultural.

I have to laugh at the above answers.. First of all my Mother is in her 70's and this taunt was being used by children long before she ever used it herself. so it is not in any way limited to those under 40 and was most definitely not discovered by some anthropologist in 1985..........

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It is when you taunt someone

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the jerkface shelby in my business class >=[[[[[ neener neener

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I think that the correct answer is technically neener neener neener or Right, Sphix, thanks for the riddle. In other words, there is no right answer to this question. Pounds is a weight measure and gallons is volume measure. Weight != Volume. Its bit like trying to calculate your bank balance using the air pressure in your car tires. They're not really related even though both of them relate to you. Propane can be gas or liquid. Even as a liquid, it can vary widely in density based on the pressure it is under as well as the temprature it is being stored at.

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WHY, INDEED?? No-one will ever know why we exist, or why ANYTHING exists- it's one of life's great unanswerable philosophical questions! If you have spiritual belief, you could argue that we somehow fulfil part of God's plan for the Universe that is beyond our own understanding; if not, you could say that we are just chance by-products of biological evolution, like other animals. But nobody will ever really know why we are here.******* From: IgotAqUestion4u ************* I think...Were all aliens cross breeded to make a super speices or a spices alike who first put us on this planet and then killed off all dinosaurs so we would have a fighting chance after they go the super rich precious metals we had here.They mined the earth and set us here as they did a huge scale experiment on us that they are still doing to this day to see how human kind can kill a planet.As fast as they have a few of theirs and are trying to avoid wrecking more cuz the planets that can support life are so far and few between. *********** How ignorant can we b to think were the only life out there? ***** There has to be advanced worlds and not so advanced worlds...Depending on their evolution and human genome or what ever spices they are and resources on that planet holds.For example they might have a world with huge diamond reserves and not many precious metals to have an advanced technology spices or might be way more than us cuz they have found new better ways.*** There are billions of planets how can we be the only one? ***I just hope when we need them most they all come and save us and teach us better ways! If any to move our population as a whole to a new world. And I think quite a few of them live with us today keeping an eye on us and just have advanced enough to make themselves look like us or that we do look exactly the same or just off a lil. And I hope that they are not letting us mine all our resource reserves just to farm us and start a new experiment which is what I think happened to good old T-Rex and the dinosaur age I dont think even a comet would cause world wide fires...They were not advancing fast enough..NEENER NEENER NEENER lol


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