Japanese Idiom: uchiwa no nori

I was trying to translate one of Mint’s blog posts when I came across the following idiom, “内輪のノリ”. Google translate usually gives amusing translations and this one was no exception: “noli private”. “Noli” should really be “nori”. Nori usually refers to food that is wrapped in nori seaweed – like balls of rice or rolls of sushi. The phrase talks about the private part that is inside the nori, which seems a strange thing to put in a sentence about the organisers of My dictionaries don’t help with idiomatic phrases but I assume that this idiom actually means a clique and is much more colourful than that English word.

3 Responses to “Japanese Idiom: uchiwa no nori”

  1. Tatsuhiko Miyagawa Says:

    ノリ here means “atmosphere”, like 雰囲気 or 空気, and not that food. It’s a variation of the verb のる, which is like “cooking” as in a rock music live.

    So, 内輪のノリ (or 内輪ノリ) literallly means “private atmosphere” and is usually used to criticize small group of people that don’t get along with newcomers or outside people, but I guess Mint here wants to say that lots of attendees are from and know each other very well (as compared to YAPC::NA where lots of people come from outside the host perl mongers).

  2. karen Says:

    That’s fascinating. I did ask some people but they weren’t able to explain the full phrase to me. Oh, they knew what it meant but they have never tried to explain it in English before.

    We got as far as working out that it could be used to describe say a group of school-girls who knew each other really well and weren’t particularly welcoming to newcomers.

  3. Barbie Says:’ers as schoolgirls! What a terrifying thought. Please don’t go giving Stowe ideas 😉