na-na na-na boo-boo

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Apparently from the longer childish playground taunt sung to a tune particular to the taunt:

I'm better than you,
na-na, na-na, boo-boo,
stick your head in doo-doo.

Na-na and boo-boo may be imitations of sounds a baby or young toddler might make. Boo-boo may also indicate boo-boo, a minor injury which leaves a mark on a child such as a scraped knee.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈnæːnəˌnæːnə ˈbuːˌbuː/
(file)

PhraseEdit

na-na na-na boo-boo

  1. (North America, idiomatic, colloquial, childish, pejorative, taunt, often humorous) [c. mid 20th century?] A taunt or putdown, typically used to indicate that the speaker believes he or she has beaten the listener in a competition or is better in some other way or in a general sense; or an expression of satisfaction that the listener has received some supposedly deserved minor punishment or misfortune (a schadenfreude).
    • 1992, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Second Congress, first session, Oversight on the status of special education in Iowa: hearing before the Subcommittee on Disability Policy of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Second Congress, first session, examining the major issues facing students, parents, teachers, related ...[1], ISBN 0160446279, 9780160446276, page 82:
      ... is that the educators out there aren't aware of this, they don't know it or what?
      Ms. Bolinger. It's like na na na na boo boo, make me do it.
      [Laughter.] ...
    • 1998, Aeschylus, David R. Slavitt and Palmar Bovie editor, Aeschylus, 2: The Persians. Seven against Thebes. The Suppliants. Prometheus bound‎[2], ISBN 0812216717, 9780812216714, page 5:
      [Translator's note by David R. Slavitt] ...here is to make clear that this is a display of Schadenfreude, an elegant cocking of the snooks, a protracted "Na-na, na-na, boo-boo," a symphonic Bronx cheer!

Usage notesEdit

  • Usually a playground or schoolyard taunt used by younger children.
  • Usually sung to a tune particular to the phrase.
Last modified on 29 March 2014, at 02:39