What does ‘naur’ imply? A information to the place it got here from, how you can say it, and why it has Aussies confused

“Naur” is all over the place, however a latest tweet claimed it had reached a very notable echelon of ubiquity. “Gen Z is not going to like listening to me say this…however ‘naurrrr’ and ‘saurrr good’ is simply the brand new ‘ermahgerd,”’ it mentioned, referring to the 2012 web meme.

Positive, there are particular similarities. Each “r,” with “ermahgerd” stretching your mouth horizontally and “naur” stretching it vertically. And in the identical manner you possibly can “communicate” in ermahgerd (“Twitter is a hellhole,” can be “Twerter is a herrhoe” for instance), you possibly can communicate in “naur”… it is referred to as talking with an Australian accent.

On-line, Individuals have provide you with new spellings of phrases to point they’re being mentioned within the accent, altering a phrase like “koalas are so cute” to “koalarrs ah saurr cute.”

However whereas ermahgerd was born out of the joyous early web as a method to specific nerdy pleasure, “naur” has rather more sophisticated roots and makes use of. We break them down under with the assistance of Australian voice and dialect coach Amy Hume, who teaches Voice on the Victorian Faculty of the Arts on the College of Melbourne.

What does “naur” imply and the way do you utilize it?

“Naur” is “no” spelled in an Australian accent. Extra precisely, it’s “no” spelled in what an Australian accent sounds prefer to Individuals. “While you inform an Australian that there is an ‘r’ in the way in which we pronounce ‘no’ they’re like ‘Mmm… no, there’s not,'” says Hume.

That is as a result of the Australian accent is non-rhotic, so an “r” is not pronounced except it comes earlier than a vowel. The American accent is rhotic, so when a phrase is spelt with an “r,” a “exhausting r” sound is used. When Individuals apply their pronunciation to the Australian “no,” it leads to the phonetic spelling of “naur.” (To an Australian, “naur” appears to be like like it will be pronounced “naw.”)

“Naur” has assorted and versatile use that modifications with capitalization and a, u, and r additions. 

It may be a softer, extra playful “no”:

Sam: My day was going so effectively, however I simply spilled sizzling tea throughout myself on the subway 🙁
Alex: Omg naurrr

It may be used instead of “wait” or “maintain on”: 

@Sam on Twitter: naur as a result of zendaya and tom holland are so cute 

“Naur” exists as a result of “no,” “nope,” and “nah” not reduce it. In simply the previous 4 years, we have witnessed the breakdown of American politics, world warming disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic. There are solely so many occasions you possibly can specific concern or disapproval with “no” earlier than it loses its which means. In a post-no society, “naur” is the following iteration of that feeling.

Sam: So there is a new COVID-19 variant, and it is spreading tremendous shortly in massive cities.
Alex: Naur
Sam: I additionally simply heard they’re making a fourth ‘Unbelievable Beasts and The place to Discover Them’ film
Alex: Naur
Sam: And J.Okay. Rowling is directing

Like “no,” “naur” has an nearly infinite variety of meanings when spoken aloud. It may be chewed by way of shortly or pulled out right into a drawl, increasing to incorporate as much as 4 vowels and three consonants in a single syllable, relying on the pronunciation. The which means of “Naur” shifts with context, which suggests it may imply something you need it to.

How do you pronounce “naur?”

Hume says that, to be taught an accent, you have to grasp that accent’s “oral posture” — the setting of muscle tissues as they’ve toned to an accent.”

“A typical Australian speaker’s setting is more likely to be form of pursed lip corners and the lips do not actually transfer that a lot,” she says, “There’s not that a lot exercise within the cheeks both, and the tongue is fairly low within the mouth. In a common American setting, there’s slightly bit extra carry within the cheeks, extra motion within the high lip, and the tongue sits greater within the mouth.”

To pronounce “naur,” Hume says take it straightforward. “Your tongue has to chill out, decreasing again. Think about placing your tongue on like a deck chair beside a very nice pool. Your tongue is simply so chill-axed. After which you need to kind of shut your lips. [In Australia] we are saying ‘do not let the flies in.'” The Australian pronunciation of the top of “no” ends in a sound extra akin to a “w” than an “r,” like “na-oooo-wuh.”

All that muscularity make it a lot more durable for Individuals to undertake convincing Australian accents than for Australians to do an American one, says Hume. “The Australian tongue is so relaxed that when you begin exercising it, you possibly can carry it and [achieve] numerous American accents. Whereas for Individuals, it is more durable to drop the tongue.” Simply final week, Aussie actor Felix Mallard of Netflix’s Ginny and Georgia addressed his method to switching between his native and American accent, together with tongue placement and problem of hitting the “r” in each phrase good.

Plus, Aussie mimicry abilities perhaps be sharper due to life-long publicity to American tradition. In Australia, “you possibly can’t go an hour with out listening to some kind of American accent due to a TV present or some advert on-line or no matter,” explains Hume, “whereas as an American can pinpoint these key occasions [when they’ve] heard Australian accents.”

Not fairly mastering it? Don’t fret, it takes a while to get used to a complete new sound, says Hume, “and also you’re creating a complete new neural pathway to make that sound.”

The place did “naur” come from?

Although Know Your Meme pegs 2021(Opens in a brand new window) as the start of the “naur” revolution, it doubtless began earlier, round 2018. In September of that 12 months, a tweet studying “Australians be like…..naur” gained greater than 17,000 likes.

That very same 12 months, the worldwide progress in Okay-pop coincided with the debut of Australian idols in main teams, most notably Bang Chan and Felix of Stray Children and later Jake of ENHYPEN, who joined Blackpink’s Rosé as a part of the business’s “Aussie line.” Fan-made YouTube compilations of the road’s English-speaking moments interviews and reside streams have garnered tens of millions of views(Opens in a brand new window), however Bang Chan and Felix’s have proved to be their nation’s most vocal evangelists. They commonly trade “g’day mates,” extol the virtues of Vegemite, and revel of their distinctive pronunciation.

When followers edited movies of “Aussie line” moments, they spelled out every syllable on display because the idol as they heard the idol pronounce it, elongating “good” to “noice,” for instance, and “no” to “naur.” Followers started utilizing “naur” on stan Twitter.

In 2019, clips from the Australian tv present H2O: Simply Add Water that includes the characters saying “Cleo, no!” in wealthy Australian accents grew common on TikTok, as did imitations of these strains.

A fast Google search reveals the phrase actually taking off in Might 2021, when mainstream Twitter obtained ahold of it and customers imagined phrases through which “no” was changed by “naur” and different Aussie-fied phrases like “saur” (for “so”). It is develop into so prevalent that manufacturers have jumped into the fray, with Netflix posting a TikTok rating(Opens in a brand new window) of one of the best “naurs” from H2O: Simply Add Water in November 2022.

Why will we like saying “naur?”

Hume is aware of how a lot non-Aussies like to imitate Aussie accents. “I’ve loads of American buddies and each time I say ‘no,’ they repeat it. So it is a sound that has at all times stood out to their ears. As human beings, we’re to attach [and mimicry] is sort of instinctive.”

It is also a manner of processing the world round us. That is why youngsters throughout the U.S. have picked up Peppa Pig’s British accent(Opens in a brand new window) and speak about consuming “brekky” after watching Australian youngsters’s cartoon Bluey on Disney Plus.

Mimicking an accent can be an enormous consider becoming in, particularly for kids. “If somebody strikes [to another] nation whereas they are a little one, it is fairly doubtless that their accent would change [unconsciously]. Linguistic analysis reveals that after the age of 11, it is extra of a acutely aware alternative.”

In fact, “naur” additionally simply feels good to say.

“There are oral postures that we will tackle for enjoyable,” Hume says. For instance, “ermahgerd.” While you say it out loud, she explains, “you are pulling your lips sideways slightly bit, holding your tongue in a sure place, and making a face. It seems like a reside motion emoji, actually, does not it? It is like ‘I’ve obtained a face and I obtained phrases to place to it. So it does really feel fairly satisfying” and naur, in all of its many varieties, is simply as scrumptious.

What do Australians consider “naur?”

A pal who just lately travelled to Canada and Cincinnati advised Hume how prevalent “naur” has develop into, and he or she says she’s executed about 20 radio interviews up to now 4 weeks concerning the world curiosity within the phrase. “What’s develop into obvious to me is how little Australians learn about how we communicate,” Hume says, noting that the commonest response to the “naur” phenomenon is “inform us extra about our accent!” [Editor’s note: Can confirm. I don’t know what’s funnier or more fascinating: watching Americans nail our accent perfectly, or watching them attempt it and hearing an absolute dog’s brekky of mangled Cockney vowels come tumbling out. The latter is like a child drawing a picture of their family — it’s funny because they’re bad at it, it’s nice because it’s affectionate, and it can also be mortifying because of what features they choose to emphasize. — Caitlin Welsh, Australia Editor]

Total, Hume says, “There’s an awesome group consciousness that is coming to the pronunciation of the phrase.” Australian entertainers have adopted a standardized Australian accent in the identical manner that American celebrities and newscasters adopted the transatlantic accent within the first half of the twentieth century. That has led to some disgrace.

“We have got this factor in Australia referred to as the cultural cringe(Opens in a brand new window); we cringe at how we sound or how we glance,” Hume explains. “There’s discomfort with our personal tradition which, to me, goes again to colonization. It is about aspirations to Britain… If I’m going to the theater, or I see an Australian movie, and individuals are talking [in a standardized Australian accent], then I cringe at myself as a result of I do not communicate like that.”

And Hume says it is nonetheless regular for Australian actors to be requested to do away with their accents completely. “There’s an expectation that if [an American production is] filming [in Australia], you need to go in to the audition sounding American, so I do loads of work teaching Australian actors in American accents.”

However the vowel-laden, non-standardized “no” has by no means really gone away. “Australians have been speaking like that because the nation was colonized. It has been there for 200 years,” says Hume. Now it is thriving as a result of TikTok has given a platform to on a regular basis folks, unaffected by standardization. “Somebody from some distant a part of Australia data their voice, and so they have not had any form of manipulation of their accent.” Take H2O: Simply Add Water, an origin level of the “naur” meme: “That was a youngsters’ TV present the place you had younger individuals who hadn’t been to drama college, so their pure voices are on display. It’s a suburban present, and it was simply placed on regionally.”

After watching the latest rise of “naur,” Hume has modified the subject of her grasp’s analysis to focus to how the Australian accent has been portrayed on stage. “My speculation is that the standardization of accents has been a contributing issue to why [Australians] do not learn about their accent,” she says. “Naur” could also be a phenomenon within the U.S. and on-line, however its greatest impression might be on Australians themselves. “Your accent is part of your identification,” says Hume, and gnawing on “naur” may also help Aussies be taught extra about their very own.

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