I've got a copy of "オ・ヤサシ巨人BFG", Taeko Nakamura's translation of the famous children's book by Roald Dahl, The BFG.

The story concerns a friendship between a little girl named Sophie and a friendly giant (the titular BFG). In one chapter, the BFG introduces Sophie to a delicious fizzy beverage, called "frobscottle". This drink has bubbles which flow down instead of up, and make the drinker fart in a way that propels them around the room (yep, it's a pretty silly story).

In the original, this action is called a whizzpopper (a made-up word), and in Nakamura's translation, it is ゴナラ.

My question: Where does this "ゴナラ" come from? There are no results for it in http://jisho.org/, and various google search terms fail to turn up anything relevant for me.

I would suspect that it is simply a made-up word, except that Nakamura's translations of Dahl's other made-up words all have some structure / come from existing words, e.g.:

  • "Frobscottle" (the fizzy beverage) is 泡立ちエキス, "bubbles extract".
  • "Snozzcumbers" (unpleasant tasting vegetables eaten by giants) are お化けキュウリ, "ghost cucumber".

So, is ゴナラ pure onomatopoeia / a fabrication just for this story, or does it have some external meaning that I am missing?

  • 2
    +1 for reading The BFG in Japanese! What does the (Japanese) BFG say about people from Greece tasting greasy?
    – Earthliŋ
    Sep 23 '12 at 0:56
  • He says "グリシアのニンゲンマメは脂っこすぎる", with furigana over both グリシア and 脂っこ saying "グリース". That quote also shows how the BFG calls people ニンゲンマメ, which took me a little while to get, until I realized it's 人間豆 = human beans!
    – alcas
    Sep 23 '12 at 7:24

I'd guess it's just a play on おなら (fart).

  • And THAT's what I was missing. Thank you :)
    – alcas
    Sep 22 '12 at 23:59
  • Where does the ゴ come from? Sep 23 '12 at 0:22
  • @phoenixheart6 Maybe a play on words by replacing the お by ご (as 御 can be read both お and ご)...?
    – Earthliŋ
    Sep 23 '12 at 0:54
  • @user1205935 maybe...but the お isn't the polite 御 but the entire reading of the kanji 屁 (indicated by both jisho and tangorin). Sep 23 '12 at 1:45
  • @phoenixheart6 That may be so, but there are no rules for plays on words... I figure it was 屁 -> おなら -> 御なら -> ごなら -> ゴナラ, although this reasoning is probably too explicit to be taken seriously.
    – Earthliŋ
    Sep 23 '12 at 2:14

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