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I have been in the market for some good synonyms for ときどき, and I encountered one today that I wanted to share, and also ask for some opinions, since I can not find a correct definition online. The specific use I encountered is:

俺実はここんとこずっと同じ夢を見るの subtitle: "Lately I keep having the same dream"

Context: http://www.crunchyroll.com/a-dark-rabbit-has-seven-lives/episode-1-900-seconds-of-after-school-part-one-580756 (4 minute 6 second mark)

The entry in the Jim Breen dictionary is:

此処ん所; ここん所 【ここんとこ】 (n) this place; here

And I think this is wrong, I think it is of the same general variety as ときどき, ときに, and たまに. However, I think it probably has a bit of a different nuance as well. I think that the use here, as well as uses I find in Googling for it, are showing that ここんとこ is good for showing that a phenomena has started happening and is currently still happening on and off. I should qualify that observation by noting that I just totally made that up myself. I also see some uses that might be referring to something physical, simply as a replacement for このところ, but I'm not entirely sure. Oh, and ここんところ seems to substitute without any real difference in meaning.

Obviously I want to ask if anyone can give a definition with confidence. I would also like to know how this word would fit into your arsenal of words to express occasional occurrences, which is something I'm always wanting more precise words for. If I had to express the idea in my example I might have said 最近ときどき, which sounds kind of clumsy now.

Thanks in advance! I'm new here, and I'll be taking a stop by meta soon to ask some more questions about how to use Japanese SE effectively.

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"Lately" does not mean the same thing as "every now and then". –  LaC Aug 1 '11 at 4:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It is a contracted form of ここの所. typically means place, but has other uses such as heading a relative clause or, as in this case, refering to a time instead of a place. ここ is also referring to recent times rather than nearby places. The translation is 'these days', 'recently'. You are right that the dictionary you cited is wrong. It is misinterpreting . The reason it cannot mean 'here' is because that would make the expression redundant. ここ already means place, and adding an extra construct would not be motivated unless it changes the meaning.

Interestingly, そこの所 or そこん所 also departs from meaning a place. In this case, it means 'what was just mentioned'.

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It is interesting that ここのところ rarely refers to a physical place despite the fact that the primary meanings of ここ (here) and ところ (place) have everything to do with places. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 1 '11 at 18:14

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