From the Japanese onomatopoeia にゃお (nyao, “meow, miaow”).
- (chiefly anime and manga fandom) The cry of a cat.
1994 December 13, Mark Maestas, “Dream Tournament 3: Round 1 Results, Part 2”, in rec.games.video.arcade, Usenet:
- Scorpion's body dropped to the ground as Felicia turned back into a cat. With a barely audible "nyao," she then began to lick and clean herself off.
1997 August 16, Terra, “[XOver] [FanFic] Star98 - Episode 2: The Lost Senshi”, in rec.arts.anime.fandom, Usenet:
- Luna looked at me with a very skeptical face, "Nyao?!"
It must have been a cat's way of saying, 'You've got to be kidding!'
2001 March 25, Aylakitty [username], “Re: If AFD was a family...”, in alt.fan.digimon, Usenet:
- I'd Be The Family Kitty Cat! Nyao! Heehee! :::lies down on a rug and purrs:::
- For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:nyao.