Saturday, October 26, 2019

nee ねー, ねえ, ねぇ

In Japanese, nee ねえ, also spelled nee, or nee, is the relaxed pronunciation of nai ない, or a longer variant of the ne ね particle, or an interjection used to call people's attention, or the word oneesan お姉さん, "older sister," without honorific affixes.

ねえ、西方。 な、何!?高木さん!? 何してんの? 別に・・・何も・・・ ふーん。
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん (Chapter 1, 消しゴム)

無い

In manga, most of the time nee ねー means nai ない.
  • warukunee
    悪くねえ
    (same as...)
  • warukunai
    悪くない
    Not bad.
  • ore janee
    俺じゃねえ
    (same as...)
  • ore janai
    俺じゃない
    [It] is not me.
  • shiranee
    知らねえ
    (same as...)
  • shiranai
    知らない
    [I] don't know.
  • shindenee
    死んでねえ
    (same as...)
  • shindenai
    死んでない
    (same as...)
  • shinde-inai
    死んでいない
    [He] isn't dead.

女をなめるんじゃねェェェェ!!
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (Chapter 28)
  • onna wo nameru-n-janeeeee!!
    女をなめるんじゃねェェェェ!!
    Don't underestimate women!!

As a matter of fact, nai ない isn't the only word that can end up being pronounced with ee ええ instead. Many i-adjectives can end up being pronounced this way.

For example, sugoi すごい, "amazing," is often pronounced as sugee すげえ, hayai 速い, "fast," as hayee 早え.

右手一本で 天気が変わっちまった!!! すげぇぇぇぇぇ これが…オールマイト!!!
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia, 僕のヒーローアカデミア (Chapter 1)
  • Context: All Might punched a villain so hard it started raining. (seriously.)
  • migite ippon de
    tenki ga kawacchimatta!!!

    右手一本で 天気が変わっちまった!!!
    He changed the weather with just his right arm!!!
    • Literally:
      With one right arm the weather ended up changed!!!
    • ippon 一本
      One cylindrical object. (one arm, in this case.)
  • sugeeeeee
    すげぇぇぇぇぇ
    AWESOOOOOOME
  • kore ga...
    Ooru Maito!!!

    これが…オールマイト!!!
    This [is]... All Might!!!

ね Particle

Sometimes, nee ねえ is a longer form of the ne ね particle, which is generally used to seek agreement.

koroseru to ii desu nee, sotsugyou made ni
Manga: Assassination Classroom, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 暗殺教室 (Chapter 1, 暗殺の時間)
  • Context: a tentacle monster destroys the moon and will destroy the Earth next year unless his class of assassin students manage to kill him before then.
  • koroseru to ii desu nee
    殺せるといいですねぇ
    If able to kill: good, right?
    It would be good if [you] could [manage to] kill me, don't you agree?
  • sotsugyou made ni
    卒業までに
    Until graduation. (i.e. within one year.)

Interjection

Sometimes, the nee ねえ particle is used as an interjection, to call someone's attention.

ねえ、西方。 な、何!?高木さん!? 何してんの? 別に・・・何も・・・ ふーん。
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん (Chapter 1, 消しゴム)
  • Context: Takagi 高木 catches Nishikata 西片 acting suspiciously.
  • nee, Nishikata.
    ねえ、西方。
    Hey, Nishikata.
  • na, nani!? Takagi-san!?
    な、何?!高木さん!?
    W-what [is it]?! Takagi!?
  • nani shite-n-no?
    何してんの?
    What are [you] doing?
  • betsuni... nanimo...
    別に・・・何も・・・
    Nothing... in particular...
  • fuun.
    ふーん。
    *suspicious humming of doubt.*

Sometimes, nee 姉 means oneesan お姉さん, "older sister." Similarly, nii 兄 would be oniisan お兄さん, "older brother."

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