おもむろに

Pavel Bond

Senior Member
高校の時、教卓の前の席に座っていた友人が授業開始とともに、おもむろに弁当箱を取り出した。
As I see in the dictionary, おもむろに is a strange word that can mean either slowly; gradually, or, on the contrary, suddenly; abruptly.
How can you tell what does it mean, for example, in this sentence?
 
  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    誤用が多い「おもむろに」の意味と使い方、例文、類語、反対語、英語表現

    徐に(おもむろに)の意味 - goo国語辞書

    I think it means "abruptly or suddenly" in that context, although the true meaning of the word is "slowly, gradually."
    Because many Japanese people including myself mistakenly use it as "suddenly or abruptly."

    A language is alive like a living creature.
    The meaning of a word or expression may change even to the opposite from time to time.
    For example:
    ありがたい: less likely ---- > thank you

    ヤバい: dangerous, bad, awful --- > awesome

    (いと)おかし(い): awesome ---> funny

    ”A rolling stone gathers no moss” : negative meaning ---- > positive meaning.

    computer mice ---> computer mouses

    What was wrong may become correct in the future.
    I think おもむろに is one of those, maybe.
     
    Last edited:

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    The original sense of the word is "slowly" and "quietly," but it has recently gained the "suddenly" and "abruptly" senses. If something takes place quietly, people often take a long time to notice it. By the time they finally realise it, the action will have been so developed that its outcomes catch them by surprise. I think this is the scenario by which the word has gained two seemingly contradictory meanings.

    It is the fate of another word, too. In Classical Japanese, やをら only means "quietly," but in Modern Japanese, now spelt やおら, it can also mean "suddenly." The dictionary does not include the "suddenly" sense but some of the use examples listed are clearly "suddenly." E.g., しばらくして、やおら御質問。「君は、佐渡の生れかね。」 太宰治「佐渡」
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top