February 24, 2009

Iikagennishiro!

I've been trying to figure out this phrase for a long time, and tonight I bagged it: ii kagen nishiro

I think that's how the word boundaries land. It's written like this: いい加減にしろ and it's the imperative of ii kagen nisuru which means "to quit something one has been engaged in too long". In its imperative form it means is "Knock it off, already!" or "That's quite enough!"

I've heard it in a lot of places, but in particular one of the aliens says it in the third episode of Shingu and it's been bothering me for a long time.

I'm still having trouble parsing the phrase. I know that ii means "good" and I think that 加減 kagen means "degree, extent" (it has a bunch of meanings). But that's where I get lost, because I can't figure out what nisuru means. (Is it a variant of suru "to do"?)

I'm thinking that the literal meaning (in the imperative form) is something along the lines of "a sufficient amount has been done".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 01:51 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 Particle ni + suru.

Posted by: J Greely at February 24, 2009 06:28 AM (2XtN5)

2 I wrote all that really late last night, then went to bed. And laying there I realized that it couldn't possible be an imperative; it wouldn't make sense. I also wondered if ni was a particle.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2009 08:40 AM (+rSRq)

3 And now I look it up, and shiro is indeed an imperative after all. Ah, well...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2009 08:43 AM (+rSRq)

4 Lucky Star uses the "ikagen ni shinasai" version right at the start, if I remember right. You can bend it in various ways depending on the level of formality and/or politeness required.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 24, 2009 11:45 AM (/ppBw)

5

It appears to be an idiom. ("a fixed, distinctive, and often colorful expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the combined meanings of its individual words".)

Because it has a verb ending, part of the idiomatic usage is to conjugate the entire phrase as if it were a verb, e.g. forming an imperative by changing the ending to shiro, or in other ways to satisfy the demands of keigo.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2009 11:55 AM (+rSRq)

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