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  • A new word ... ANU

    I recently discovered this word. Anu (slang variations I have heard: anua, anuna, anunya).

    The dictionary translates it as ... Whatchamacallit.

    It's one of those words, that once you realise it exists you start hearing it everywhere. Some people seem to use it in almost every sentence. Certainly more often than Whatchamacallit, which I probably haven't heard for 10 years or more.

    It ties in with that Indonesian habit of using a filler word to play for time while they try to search for the word they are looking for. Whether this is from poor vocabulary, memory loss or just a social habit, I'm not sure.

    Other words that I have heard fulfilling this role include:

    "apa ya" eg Kemarin saya beli apa ya, [pause] meja baru
    "itu" eg Dia kasih saya itu, [pause] HP itu, [pause] HP Apple yang baru
    "siapa ya" eg Saya baru lihat siapa ya [pause] teman Bambang itu

    Is anyone else fascinated with this little word, anu?

  • #2
    Dunno about fascinated but certainly some individuals use it frequently. One speaker with whom I'm very familiar, seems to use it as a filler whilst he's formulating the best way to phrase a concept for the particular audience. In his case he's not just looking for a word/the right word.

    Pick a similarly used word used in English (not watchamacallit) and like, you'll surely notice the same phenomenon, like.

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    • #3
      yes I've always thought that being able to use filler words correctly is the key to reaching advanced level in a language (only managed it once before)

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      • #4
        The word 'anu' is sometimes used as substitute for genitalia. You can say 'anunya' like you say 'his/her tool'. It's a staple of Warkop's humor back in the 80's.

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        • #5
          OK, i'll have to analyse a bit more closely what my mother-in-law is actually saying

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Berlarutlarut View Post
            OK, i'll have to analyse a bit more closely what my mother-in-law is actually saying
            It would indeed be awkward if your MIL was talking about your 'equipment'.

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            • #7
              As far as I know, Anu literally means "that". Genitalia is often referred to as "anu" since it is a polite way to refer it as "that thing". But literally it could mean almost anything. Used as an opener in a sentence it is similar to "itu" or "that" and approximately means "you know that..." or "that thing...". But use it as a subject like in "Pak Wombat gede lho anu nya" then it definitely means genitalia
              Last edited by wombat; 29-03-14, 07:09.

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              • #8
                anumu anu banget

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Berlarutlarut View Post
                  I recently discovered this word. Anu (slang variations I have heard: anua, anuna, anunya).

                  The dictionary translates it as ... Whatchamacallit.

                  It's one of those words, that once you realise it exists you start hearing it everywhere. Some people seem to use it in almost every sentence. Certainly more often than Whatchamacallit, which I probably haven't heard for 10 years or more.

                  It ties in with that Indonesian habit of using a filler word to play for time while they try to search for the word they are looking for. Whether this is from poor vocabulary, memory loss or just a social habit, I'm not sure.

                  Other words that I have heard fulfilling this role include:

                  "apa ya" eg Kemarin saya beli apa ya, [pause] meja baru
                  "itu" eg Dia kasih saya itu, [pause] HP itu, [pause] HP Apple yang baru
                  "siapa ya" eg Saya baru lihat siapa ya [pause] teman Bambang itu

                  Is anyone else fascinated with this little word, anu?
                  Yes, my wife uses it sometimes in conversation with me, and it has vaguely caught my attention. Clearly from the context (and when not used in the other way mentioned here), this is indeed a "filler" word, as when one wants to refer to something but can't think of the name or right word to express it ... the basic equivalent in Mandarin is pronounced something like "nEE-guh", which caused me some degree of consternation when my students in China were using it in every sentence, until I learned its meaning.

                  Gitu lho deh...
                  [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Warden: "What we got here ... is failure to communicate."

                  The Dude: "Oh yeah? Well that's just, like, your opinion, man."[/FONT]

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wombat View Post
                    As far as I know, Anu literally means "that". Genitalia is often referred to as "anu" since it is a polite way to refer it as "that thing". But literally it could mean almost anything. Used as an opener in a sentence it is similar to "itu" or "that" and approximately means "you know that..." or "that thing...". But use it as a subject like in "Pak Wombat gede lho anu nya" then it definitely means genitalia
                    Hahahahahaha pak, pak, lucu banget deh.

                    Well as for me, I rarely say anu, I use hmmm, ini, itu (with or without lho), apa namanya, or apa ya (used when one forgets a word or in a tip-of-the-tongue situation).

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                    • #11
                      Anu is so yesterday ..
                      Words can inspire, thoughts can provoke, but only action can get you closer to your dreams.

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                      • #12
                        Wombat is correct about euphemism. In our family, "sesuatu" is sometimes used to refer to "something" that is an intimate act. Alia may be correct in terms of how "keren" some of these are. I recall an ad on Indonesian TV 10+ years ago where a guy innocently asked his wife "kenapa gatal?" (double entendre for horny) and another that referred to the "manliness medicine" product as a birthday gift for the guy's middle-aged wife ("kado mama"). Not sure of the extent to which these reflect slang usage or create new slang dreamed up by marketing departments.

                        Anu sounds a lot like the Japanese "ano" which is an "uh" start-of-a-sentence filler: "ano ne.." (similar to "e to ne..."). Could be a borrowing?

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                        • #13
                          In case anyone is wondering, before we got cable (actually satellite) via Indovision and later Telkom Vision, I used to watch western movies in English with Bahasa subtitles on "regular" network TV, which ran them after 10 pm with tons of commercials -- actually more running time than the movie itself.

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                          • #14
                            It is used very commonly in Lombok especially amongst village people. It can mean anything, and is used when the speaker cannot think of a word, or of the correct word, to use. Some people use it in just about every sentence, and this makes them very hard to understand because they know what they mean, but you don't.
                            Asam di gunung, garam di laut bertemu dalam satu belanga. https://linuxcounter.net/cert/352656.png

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mrtessster View Post
                              It is used very commonly in Lombok especially amongst village people. It can mean anything, and is used when the speaker cannot think of a word, or of the correct word, to use. Some people use it in just about every sentence, and this makes them very hard to understand because they know what they mean, but you don't.
                              Yes exactly. That's what I was trying to get across in my post. I find it very frustrating. It's almost like a neural problem or disability that causes people to be unable to formulate full sentences. It's a bit like, anu, well you know what I mean

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