Deer Hunter: Giddy Mao! What were they saying?

The VC in the Russian Roulette scene seem to be saying something along the lines of “Giddy Mao!” to De Niro’s and Walken’s character when commanding them to fire the pistol. What does that mean?

Bart Simpson- “What part of Giddy Mao! don’t you understand?”

It means something close to ‘do it quickly’. I think mao means quickly/rapidly.

Then again, I don’t speak the language…

Phonetically, it’s “didi mao” which I’ve heard translated variously as “do it quick” or , based on tone, “that’s enough.”

I always post to the “Deer Hunter” threads.

My parents live in Clairton, PA, where the Deer Hunter was set. Most of my family comes from Clairton, and I grew up very near to this town as a child.

If anything, it looks even more depressing now than it was depicted in the movie.

The signs from the beginning of the movie are still there, though, welcoming you to Clairton, the City of Prayer.

In The Green Berets “didi” is used as “go”. “Let’s didi out of here!” “Mao”, from what I remember from my Vietnamese former co-workers, is an imperitive. So “Didi mao!” would seem to mean “Go now!” or “Do it now!”

“Mau” means “quickly”, “di” means “go” or “move”, so the Vietnam-war-era slang term “didi mau” would literally be “go go quickly”.

If that is indeed the answer, then I feel unfathomably cheated by the responses I received when I asked a similar question some years ago. . . .

Earl…, I don’t speak Vietnamese, but have read quite a bit about the Vietnam war. I always understood “didi mau” to be an emphatic “get moving!”, but just to confirm I checked the web before offering my previous post. This glossary of military and slang terms from the war says:didi mau
slang Vietnamese for "go quickly"Checking an on-line Vietnamese-English dictionary, I see no pejorative meanings for “mau” or “mao” or any of their accented variations.

As someone who spent some time in Vietman through the courtesy of the US military, I can say that the expression would probably be spelled, “diddy mao,” or “ditty mao,” and it was pronounced DID-ee MAH-oh. (Run those last two syllables together.) It is a pidgin-Vietnamese slang expression that meant, to us, “Get the fuck out of here! Now!” or “Move your ass!”

Regardless of the precise translation of the exact words, which is actually all but irrelevant since what everyone wants isn’t really a language lesson but to know what the VC would be saying if he were speaking in English, the answer in a nutshell is he was yelling at them to “hurry! Hurry up! Do it now . . . NOW! HURRY UP! HURRY THE FUCK UP AND DO IT NOW I SAID!”. Right? Right!

Well, at least the translation hasn’t changed in 12 years. Or 60 years, depending on where you start counting.

Moderator Action

Since the new post doesn’t really add any information, I’m going to put this poor zombie back into his grave.

Anyone interested in this topic is free to open a new thread, most likely in Cafe Society (which didn’t exist when the OP was made).

Thread closed.