The Chabacano Nuay Nada

The Chabacano nuay nada no doubt comes from the Spanish no hay nada. No hay nada however in Spanish means there is nothing. In Chabacano, this means that something is not good or no good.

Here are some sentences using the Chabacano nuay nada.

Chabacano: Nuay nada man el mall alla.
English: That mall over there was not very nice/good.


Chabacano: Nuay nada gayod este computer de mio.
English: This computer is not worth anything/ not nice.

Among some people (especially old people), nuay nada has more or less retained its original Spanish meaning. Here is how I heard our former house maid use the Chabacano nuay nada: Nuay nada ya gayod sila (when she was talking about our neighbor). What she meant by this was what they (our neighbors) didn’t have anything anymore (in terms of material and/or financial possessions).

I doubt if there are still young Chabacano speakers today who know this other meaning of the Chabacano nuay nada. What I’m sure of is that the meaning of the Spanish hay is already lost on all Chabacano speakers. While there are people who would still spell the word nuay as no hay (which was the original Spanish spelling), they would not know the grammar behind this word.

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