I am curious as to what is the origin of the expression "nu" as "ja", as it is quite a strange divergence from the original word.


  • 1
    Never heard it in this way. I know "nu" in "im Nu" (after a short time) or as an colloquial abbreviation of "nun" in "Und nu?" (And now?).
    – hellcode
    Jan 24 '15 at 12:24
  • 1
    Where do they say that?
    – Em1
    Jan 24 '15 at 14:32
  • 3
    Sachsen. Klingt manchmal wie "no" und macht es noch verwirrender.
    – Robert
    Jan 24 '15 at 17:07
  • 1
    – Carsten S
    Jan 24 '15 at 20:05
  • 4
    Taken from morgenpost.de/kolumne/philipp/article828702/…: Der Dresden-Sachse gebraucht das "Nu" zuerst, um ja zu sagen oder sein Einverständnis zu erklären. Es beruht auf dem sprachlichen Ursprung des Landes, nämlich dem Slawischen. Noch heute sagen die Nachbarn in Tschechien "Ano" für "Ja", verkürzen aber meistens auf "No". Beim Sachsen heißt das "Nu".
    – hellcode
    Jan 25 '15 at 10:51

"Nu" is a word which is used regionally to express agreement or encouragement and then only in spoken language.

My grandmother was from Sudetenland which is now Czech Republic she used it. Also friends of mine from an area South of Leipzig in Saxonia are using it.

They usually say "Nu, nu" - I almost always heard them saying it twice in a row.

For example:


"Kann ich noch eine Tasse Kaffee haben?"


"Nu, nu ..."

Then the person would pour you a cup of coffee.

  • 3
    This is a nice start, because it gives an idea of the region where it is used, but I do not think that it attempts to answer the question of the origin of the word.
    – Carsten S
    Jan 26 '15 at 21:10
  • Right, I missed that. Jan 26 '15 at 22:12

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