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Renge usually greets people with "Nyanpasu". The sub says "Meowning" which probably comes from "Morning" as a greeting. But "Morning" as a greeting in Japanese is Ohayo which is quite different than "Nyanpasu".

here's a YouTube video of how Renge said it

I don't really understand Japanese, maybe it comes from another word?

  • Ohayou gozaimasu? – Hakase Aug 26 '14 at 13:11
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I think it's just her random, meaningless word for "Good morning".

I found an interview with the producer of Non Non Biyori.

 --主要キャラクターの宮内れんげのせりふ「にゃんぱすー」はどういう意味があるのですか?

 小学1年生が考えた「おはこんばんちわ」的な(笑い)、いろいろなときに対応できるあいさつです。また、れんげというキャラクターは1年生ですが、いろんな意味でませています。知識も多彩で通知表もオール5です。

What's the meaning of "Nyanpasu" from main character Renge Miyauchi?

It's "Ohakonbanchiwa"-like. (laughing) A greeting phrase created by a grade 1 elementary school student. It fits many situations. Renge is grade 1, but she is too grown-up in many ways, and has lots of knowledge and a straight-A report card.

"Ohakonbanchiwa" is a greeting used in the old anime Dr.Slump, created by Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragonball. "Ohakonbanchiwa" is a combination of "Ohayou" (Good morning), "Konnichiwa" (Hello) and "Konbanwa" (Good evening).

  • 1
    In addition to what you said which is totally correct (it's an interview with the producer after all), it's good to add for those who don't have a little of knowledge about Japanese that "nyan" is the sound a cat makes in Japanese and "ohayou gozaimasu" is the standard way to say good morning, so "nyanpasu" is a way to mix both words (and "meowning" comes from the most accurate translation that could have) – Shinra tensei Feb 16 '18 at 9:24
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I have looked this up before and found this:

But have you considered why “Nyanpasu” is a creative coinage of a new term in Japanese?

Japanese people and linguists may disagree on the exact etymology of the greeting “Osu!” This greeting is often used by people who are exerting themselves physically, such as karate students. (“Osu” is customarily used by men, and it is customarily used to greet people who are not older than the speaker. Thus it is a little funky when we see Renge, who is female, using it to address people who are older than she is.)

If we wanted to combine the cat-like meowing sound of “NYAN” to “OSU,” why wouldn’t we just say, “NYAN-OSU”?

Think about the way we say “senpai.” The “p” sound is a voiceless bilabial stop. The “n” sound is a nasal. When the nasal precedes the stop, it is very easy to slur “senpai” into “sempai.”

When using the nasal sound “n” before a word boundary, it is very easy to slur the sounds, and in the case of “nyanpasu” the voiceless bilabial stop replaces the conventional word boundary.

That could be considered funky.

Saying it's a combination of nyan and osu, but one that rolls off the tongue a lot more smoothly.

It seems like a decent explanation to start with.

  • 7
    Instead of just providing a link, quote some relevant parts, in case something happens to the link source, not all is lost. – кяαzєя Jul 8 '15 at 7:58

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