Nod in different languages

Nod in Different Languages

Discover 'Nod' in 134 Languages: Dive into Translations, Hear Pronunciations, and Uncover Cultural Insights.

Updated on March 6, 2024

The word 'nod' is a simple and universal gesture that carries significant meaning across different cultures. A nod typically represents agreement, understanding, or acknowledgment, and it is a natural way for humans to communicate non-verbally. The significance of a nod extends beyond mere head movement, as it often serves as a social cue that helps build connections and foster mutual respect.

Throughout history, the nod has played a vital role in various cultural contexts. For instance, in ancient Rome, nodding was a formal way of greeting someone of higher status. Today, the gesture remains an essential part of our daily interactions, transcending linguistic barriers.

Given the cultural importance of the nod, it's no surprise that people worldwide might be interested in learning its translation in different languages. By understanding how to nod in various cultures, we can enhance our cross-cultural communication skills and show respect to those around us.

Here are a few sample translations of the word 'nod' in various languages to pique your curiosity:

  • French: Nod: Faire un signe de tête
  • Spanish: Nod: Asentir con la cabeza
  • German: Nod: Kopf nicken
  • Mandarin: Nod: 点头 (diǎntóu)
  • Japanese: Nod: 頷ける (hokoreru)


Nod in Sub-Saharan African Languages

The word "knik" in Afrikaans, meaning "nod," also refers to a sharp bend or crease in a material.
In addition to meaning "nod," ነቀነቀ can also mean "shake" or "stir" depending on the context.
Hausagyada kai
"Gyada kai" is derived from the Hausa words "gyada" (peanut) and "kai" (head), and can also mean "peanut head" (a colloquial term for a person with a small head).
Igbokwee n’isi
The word "kwee n’isi" in Igbo can also mean "to agree" or "to approve".
Its alternate meaning is 'to make a sign with the head or hand'.
Nyanja (Chichewa)kugwedeza mutu
'Kugwedeza mutu' is also used to describe the motion of a bird flapping its wings.
The word "kugutsurira" can also mean "to agree" or "to consent" in Shona.
Somalimadaxa u fuulay
The word "madaxa u fuulay" in Somali can also be used to refer to a sudden feeling of surprise or shock.
In Sesotho, "nod" can also refer to the act of greeting someone or agreeing with them.
In Swahili, 'nod' can also mean 'to agree' or 'to greet someone'.
"Wanqwala" is also a word for falling from excessive exhaustion.
The Yoruba word "ariwo" is also used to refer to commotion or noise, derived from the root word "ri" meaning "to make a sound or noise".
Zuluavume ngekhanda
The Zulu word "avume ngekhanda" can also mean "to agree" or "to consent".
Bambaraa kunkolo wuli
Eweʋuʋu ta
Lingalakopesa motó
Lugandaokunyeenya omutwe
Sepedigo šišinya hlogo
Twi (Akan)de ne ti to fam

Nod in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

The Arabic word "إيماءة" (nod) also means "innuendo" or "hint".
Hebrewמָנוֹד רֹאשׁ
The Hebrew word "מָנוֹד רֹאשׁ" can also mean "to shake one's head" or "to gesture with one's head".
The word 'سر' also means a 'secret' in Pashto.
The Arabic word "إيماءة" (nod) also means "innuendo" or "hint".

Nod in Western European Languages

Although its most common meaning in Albanian is "nod," "dremitje" can also mean "nap" or "doze".
Basquekeinua egin
The verb
Catalanassentir amb el cap
The phrase "assentir amb el cap" also signifies "agreeing or showing consent" without nodding physically.
Croatianklimati glavom
The word "klimati glavom" is derived from "klimati", meaning "to beckon" or "to nod" with one's head.
In the old danish language the word “nikke” meant to bob, shake, or sway.
Knikken is used colloquially to mean "to smoke some weed" in Dutch, likely derived from the act of passing a joint as a group of people form a line and nod their heads in sequence.
"Nod" can also refer to a unit denoting the quantity or duration of something.
The word "hochement" originally meant a shaking of the head, but nowadays is used more commonly to refer to a nod of the head.
"Knikke" in Frisian can also refer to a sharp bend or fold in something, similar to the English "kink".
The Galician word "aceno" (nod) comes from the Latin "ad cenum" (to the chin), referring to the movement of the head when nodding.
The verb "nicken" in German is derived from the Old High German word "hnigon", meaning "to bow down" or "to make a gesture of respect."
Icelandickinka kolli
The Icelandic word "kinka kolli" is derived from "kinka", meaning "bend", and "kolli", meaning "head".
The word "nod" also means "to fall asleep" in Irish.
The word "cenno" comes from the Latin word "signum" which also means "sign, gesture, signal, symbol, mark, token, indication, indication, notice, omen, portent, constellation, star."
The word "wénken" in Luxembourgish is derived from the Latin word "venire" meaning "to come" and can also mean "to beckon" or "to wave".
The Maltese word "xejn" can also mean "nothing".
The word "nikke" in Norwegian can also refer to a nod of approval or acknowledgment.
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)aceno com a cabeça
In Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), "acenar com a cabeça" also means to wave your head to signify assent.
Scots Gaelicnod
In Scots Gaelic, the word "nod" also means "a signal made by bending the head".
The word "cabecear" can also mean "to head" or "to bump heads" in Spanish.
Nicka, also known as 'hacka' or 'nycka', is derived from the Old Swedish word 'knacka' and the Old Norse word 'nikkr'.
The Welsh word "nod" also means "to bob or dance", or "a knot in wood"

Nod in Eastern European Languages

The Belarusian word "ківаць" (nod) originally meant "to call someone (with a nod of the head)."
Bosnianklimnuti glavom
The verb 'klimnuti glavom' comes from the Proto-Slavic word '*klьmati', meaning 'to bend, to shake'.
"Кимвам" is also used to mean "respond in kind", "consent", and "affirm".
Kývnutí in Czech can refer to the act of nodding, a sign of assent, a concession, or a brief greeting.
"Noogutada" also means "to agree" in the sense of nodding in agreement.
The word "nyökkäys" can also mean "a sign of approval or encouragement" or "to nod in agreement".
The word "bólint" is derived from the Proto-Slavic word *bolnati, meaning "to shake", and is related to the Czech word "bolat", meaning "to nod".
Piekrist is cognate with the Lithuanian word "piktas" (malevolent)
"Linktelėti" is derived from "linkoti," meaning to swing or sway, and figuratively refers to the quick movement of the head.
Macedonianклимање со главата
In other Slavic languages, this verb commonly means 'to sleep' or 'to doze'.
The word "ukłon" can also mean a "bow" or a "courtesy".
Romanianda din cap
The phrase "da din cap" originally meant "shake one's head".
"Кивок" comes from the word "кивать," which means "to bob the head."
Serbianклимнути главом
The Serbian word "климнути главом" can also mean "to agree" or "to assent".
Kývnutie is also used metaphorically to indicate agreement or approval.
Cognate with the Slavic word for 'to beckon'
The word "кивати" can also mean "to bob" or "to oscillate" in Ukrainian.

Nod in South Asian Languages

The root of "হাঁ" is the same as that of "হাত": both derive from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰen- meaning "strike".
The word 'હકાર' can also mean 'consent', 'confirmation', 'agreement', or 'approval'.
Hindiसिर का इशारा
"सिर का इशारा" also means a gesture, signal or hint.
"ನೋಡ್" (nod) can also mean "a knot in a cloth" or "a piece of cloth tied around a person's head".
The word 'തലയാട്ടുക' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'talai' meaning 'head' and is an alternate form of the word 'thalaa'.
"होकार" can also refer to an agreement, consent, or acceptance.
The word 'hokaar' is derived from the Maithili word 'hokara', which means 'to approve' or 'to accept'.
The word 'ਹਿਲਾਓ' ('nod') in Punjabi can also refer to the movement of a limb or object, or to a shake or tremor.
Sinhala (Sinhalese)නෝඩ්
"නෝඩ්" can also mean "to shake" or "a jerk" in Sinhala.
The Tamil word "இல்லை" can also mean "no", "not", or "it is not".
"ఆమోదం" is also the name of a raga in carnatic music.
Urduسر ہلا
The word "سر ہلا" can also mean "to shake one's head" in Urdu.

Nod in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)点头
The first character in "点头" means "head" and the second means "head to", indicating the bowing motion of the head.
Chinese (Traditional)點頭
"點頭" can mean "agree" or "nod" in Mandarin Chinese, "dian tou".
The word "うなずく" (nod) originally meant "to follow the sound of the bell" in ancient Japanese.
The word "목례" can also refer to a wooden cup or bowl used in traditional Korean rituals and ceremonies.
Mongolianтолгой дохих
The Mongolian verb "толгой дохих" can also mean "to agree" or "to understand".
Myanmar (Burmese)ညိတ်
"ညိတ်" is a term that signifies an affirmative response and can also refer to a small hole or cavity.

Nod in South East Asian Languages

"Anggukan" is derived from the Proto-Austronesian word *aŋo, which means "open the mouth" or "speak".
The word "manthuk-manthuk" in Javanese is also used figuratively to describe the bobbing motion of a boat on the waves or the swaying of a tree in the wind.
The word "ងក់ក្បាល" can also mean to shake one's head from side to side as a negative gesture.
The Lao word 'ດັງຫົວ' can also refer to the sound made by a bird, such as the sound made by a pigeon.
Angguk is cognate to other terms for nodding in Southeast Asian languages like Thai (พยัก phayak) and Javanese (angguk-angguk), suggesting a shared cultural or linguistic root.
The word "พยักหน้า" can also mean to agree or to acknowledge.
Vietnamesegật đầu
"Gật đầu" shares its root with "gật gù," which means "to nod continuously" or "to agree enthusiastically," signifying a stronger affirmation than a single nod.
Filipino (Tagalog)tumango

Nod in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijanibaş əymək
The word "baş əymək" in Azerbaijani can also mean "to submit" or "to give in".
Kazakhбас изеу
The word "бас изеу" can also mean "to sway" or "to swing".
Kyrgyzбаш ийкөө
The word "баш ийкөө" in Kyrgyz is related to the word "баш" which means "head" and "ийкөө" which means "to bend".
Tajikсар ҷунбонед
The phrase "сар ҷунбонед" also means "to agree or consent" in Tajik.
Turkmenbaş atdy
Uzbekbosh irg'ash
The word "bosh irg'ash" (nod) in Uzbek can also be used to mean "yes" or "agree".
Uyghurبېشىنى لىڭشىتتى

Nod in Pacific Languages

Kunou can also denote a slight breeze.
In some contexts "tiango" can refer to falling, leaning, or descending.
Samoanluelue le ulu
The word "luelue le ulu" in Samoan also means "to agree".
Tagalog (Filipino)tumango
The Tagalog word "tumango" is derived from the proto-Austronesian word *taŋguq, which also means "to nod" or "to agree".

Nod in American Indigenous Languages

Aymarap’iqip ch’allxtayi

Nod in International Languages

Esperanto's "kapjesas" ("nod") also means "to agree" in German and "to understand" in Yiddish.
The Latin word "nodus" also means "knot" or "joint".

Nod in Others Languages

In addition to its primary meaning of "nod," "νεύμα" can also mean "sign" or "gesture".
The word "nod" in Hmong can also refer to a type of dance or a small hill.
The word "serhejîn" also means "to be willing" in Kurdish.
Turkishbaşını sallamak
In Turkish, the expression "başını sallamak" ("nod") can also refer to shaking one's head in denial or disapproval.
"Wanqwala" is also a word for falling from excessive exhaustion.
The word "יאָ" can refer to a "yes" nod or a "no" shake of the head depending on context.
Zuluavume ngekhanda
The Zulu word "avume ngekhanda" can also mean "to agree" or "to consent".
Assameseমাত দিলে
Aymarap’iqip ch’allxtayi
Bhojpuriमुड़ी हिला के कहले
Dogriमुड़ी हिला दे
Filipino (Tagalog)tumango
Krionɔd in ed
Kurdish (Sorani)سەری لە سەری خۆی دادەنێت
Maithiliमुड़ी डोलाबैत अछि
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯅꯣꯀꯄꯥ꯫
Mizoa lu a bu nghat a
Oromomataa ol qabadhaa
Odia (Oriya)ମୁଣ୍ଡ ନୁଆଁଇ |
Quechuaumanwan rimaspa
Sanskritशिरः न्यस्य
Tatarбашын кага
Tigrinyaርእሱ እናነቕነቐ
Tsongaku pfumela hi nhloko

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