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I was watching the show Aggretsuko (アグレッシブ烈子) and when the main character [烈子]{れつこ} is invited to go work at her friend's shop, she gets really happy and excited at the prospect of leaving her current terrible job and starts yelling 何それ、何それ over and over again. When I looked it up, the only translation I could find was something like 'What? That.' That doesn't make any sense to me in the context.

I am pretty sure it is slang. Is this some sort of idiom or abbreviation of a longer phrase?

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You are going way too literal with the phrase.

If 「なにそれ」 were uttered repeatedly by an excited person, it would mean:

・"Too good to be true!"

・"Way too cool!"

・"Pure awesomeness!"

・"Gotta calm down here!"

・"Is this really happening?"

Feel free to combine a couple of those; Translation is an art.

  • 1
    I’d add “no WAY!” – mamster Apr 29 '18 at 17:51
  • 4
    The more literal translation is "What's that?", which I guess also relates to options like "What the hell?" or "Say what?" – ConMan Apr 30 '18 at 7:12

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