A Japanese sentence particle that is basically a confirmation-seeker. Intonation gives different meanings. See also ka and yo.

Compared to "ne", this particle is traditionally associated with men, or people trying to sound like gangsters or old school samurai. In this modern day, both sexes do use it, sliding it's association over to a more general aggression, straightforwardness, or crudity. I credit this to the general shape of the mouth used when speaking the "eh" sound compared to the "ah" sound. "Eh" requires a more closed position of jaw and throat, making a higher pitched noise. "Ah" can be vocalized more openly and loudly, leading to a lower and growlier pitch.

Not all the samurai were polite, you know.
The Japanese particle na is pronounced like the word "gnaw." It has three different meanings, depending on context:
  1. Asking for or expressing agreement. In this sense, na is similar to the English phrases "right?" or "isn't it?" or "don'tcha think?" Ne is the textbook way to say this in standard Japanese, but na is a more common saying among men in informal situations, and is especially prevalent in the Kansai dialect (where women say it, too). For example:

    bônzu: Kono nôdo, dame ya na.
    dani'i: Na!

    bones: This node sucks, doesn't it?
    dannye: Doesn't it?

    In formal situations, ne is much better.
  2. Modifying a noun with an adnoun. Adnouns are basically nouns that turn into adjectives when followed by na. In other words:

    Kono nôdo wa "hentai" to iu. Hentai na nôdo da.
    This node is called "perversion." It is a perverted node.
  3. Telling someone not to do something. Stick it on the end of a plain form verb, and it means "don't." Shaberu na!, a common phrase among teachers, means "don't talk!" This is a very direct way to give a command, and should only be used toward subordinates or close friends.

Have you ever wondered why your bank's official name has the letters "NA" after it (e.g., "Citibank, NA")? Read on.

NA (generally written with no 'dots',and always allcaps, despite this node's title), is a banking term used since the mid-1800's to designate a bank as a National Association in the United States. This designation is necessary because the United States has a dual banking system, in which both the federal government and individual states may issue charters to new banks. The distinction between state and national banks used to make a bigger difference in regulations than it does today, because the national and state authorities and laws used to regulate financial institutions in much different ways.

Most of the differences between state-chartered and nationally-chartered banks have disappeared now, and banking practices have become increasingly uniform since the Great Depression. So why do the two types of charters (and the "NA" desingation, as a result), persist? Because a few important differences still remain for state-issued bank charters:

  • The regulations involved in state charters are less expensive for a bank to adhere to. Immensely so; in one example I found, that of a bank in Kentucky, the yearly expense to a bank for regulation and oversight would have been five times as much if they had gone with a national charter.

  • The business relationships between financial institution executives and regulators are easier to establish at the state level, partly because of simple geography. National banks are overseen by agencies headquartered in Washington, DC -- a faraway land from the viewpoints of many. Meanwhile, state banks are primarily (but not exclusively) overseen by agencies headquartered in the chartering state. This is not to suggest that there is ever any favoritism or racketeering involved in bank regulation [cough], but it can't hurt to have a good professional relationship with the people who could send you away for honest mistakes.

  • Several states do not require their banks to maintain insurance with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the "FDIC"). That's an important thing to remember when opening an account.

  • It is generally simpler for a national bank to open branches in other states. However, state-chartered banks can open branches in other states too -- there's just a bit more beauracracy involved.

The above differences notwithstanding, every legally-operating state-chartered bank in the United States is overseen and regulated in many ways by the Federal government, even if such bank is not a member of the FDIC. It will not surprise me if the future brings even more uniformity to banking laws across the country, perhaps at the expense of state autonomy.


Na (?), a. & adv.

No, not. See No.

[Obs.] Chaucer.


© Webster 1913.

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