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Ну и денек выдался в минувшую субботу!

I'm assuming it literally means "my/our little day stood out from others. It was special somehow", but its precise meaning eludes me.

It's been an eventful day. [in a positive sense]

or: It's been a rough day. [with a negative connotation of struggling]

or: It's been a long day. [feeling as if several days have passed in a single day]


On a side note: Is it just as acceptable to say "день выдался"?

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  • "день выдался" - would sound quite weird and ambiguous. However for positive estimation there can be "День удался" (after the day or towards an evening" or "день задался" in the morning or noon, within the very heart of the day.
    – Arioch
    Apr 8 '18 at 13:50
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A rough day is the closest equivalent.

"Денек выдался" must be:

  • Stressful
  • Somewhat unexpected (if you went to the dentist to have a root canal, that doesn't count, but if you went to the dentist for a check up and ended up having a root canal, that's the thing)
  • Not tragically bad. Either day's efforts may have somehow improved the outcome, or the day was a string of essentially small mishaps (if your flight got cancelled and you just went home, that doesn't count, but if you spent a day at the airport, finally getting on another flight, that's the thing)
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    Hi. "У кого-то выдались жаркие деньки." -- Does this expression have a similar, if not the same, meaning? -- "Someone had an especially intense/heated days". I assume this has nothing to do with the actual hot temperature; figuratively intense, right? Apr 15 '18 at 22:26
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    @Alone-zee Yes, that's right.
    – Alexander
    Apr 16 '18 at 2:14
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    @Alone-zee hectic days would be an accurate translation Apr 16 '18 at 10:49
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It's either outright negative or bitter-sweet but in the latter case the phrase refers to the bitter part.

The diminutive form is meant to show that either there was some positive aspect or that you're not too upset or angry about the day having been shitty.

It's totally acceptable to not use the diminutive form of день however in this case the phrase most likely expresses negative attitude towards the experience.

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  • Excellent! By the way, I'm wondering what is the function of the phrase "Ну и" at the start of conversation. I assume these two words are not to be interpreted separately. Apr 8 '18 at 13:32
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    compare with "Ну и ну". It stresses how outstanding, confusing, puzzling something was. One may say specifically "Хороший денёк выдался", "плохой выдался день", "дождливая выдалась неделя", etc. "Ну и" just stresses the day was outstanding, without saying details, which are supposedly either obvious or hard to explain in brief. I agree that unspecific "ну и день" is more often with negative connotations, a day that surprised you in some bitter way. Maybe a nervous day, or exhausting, something.
    – Arioch
    Apr 8 '18 at 13:48
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    @Alone-zee ну и is an emphatic compound interjection in exclamations expressing negative emotions or attitude, it functions as the English what a...; such a...; so... but only in a negative context, e.g. ну и погодка сегодня! - what a terrible weather we have today; ну и дурак же ты!/ну ты и дурак! - you're such a fool!; ну ты и загнул!/ну и загнул же ты! - you're so exaggerating!; ну и видок у тебя, Шарапов! - you have such a terrible look, Sharapov! Apr 8 '18 at 17:17
  • Hi. Could it be that this "и" is a particle for emphasis that often precedes a verb? Or should I consider it to be something slightly different? en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%B8#Russian Apr 9 '18 at 5:49
  • @Alone-zee i doubt that as the emphatic ну и goes not only with verbs and rather to a lesser extent with verbs, and it doesn't follow some previous statement for confirmation or reinforcement, it is perfectly autonomous and self-contained Apr 9 '18 at 7:02
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If it's денёк, it's very likely something negative is implied (but it can also be something funny, unusual).

Compare: The happiest day in my life - Самый счастливый день в моей жизни (денёк is not used here, cos it's an important day).

You can't say it's LONG (length of the day is irrelevant here, it just means the day is unusual for some reason)

I'm not sure there's a source which proscribes the use of Ну и ДЕНЬ выдался в минувшую субботу! - it sounds OK, but not so emphatic, i.e. день could be just as well used in a neutral situation. Ну и денёк is very emphatic.

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