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I'm studying grammar, and one of the new forms that I'm learning uses the word まだしも. I looked it up and I found:

類語:

まだいいが / まだ何とかなるが

Based on how the word is used in the following examples:

1人や2人ならまだしも,10人も事務所へ押し掛けて来て参った

I could have handled [coped with] one or two of them, but I was flabbergasted when ten people pushed their way into my office.

寒いだけならまだしも,おなかがすいてきた

I was not only cold but also hungry./I would not have minded the cold so much, but I also began to feel hungry.

I'm wondering if まだしも can be broken into multiple parts まだ, し, and も. Where まだ would indicate "as yet; hitherto; still; not yet". If this is possible, what role does しand も play in the context of this word? I'm wondering why し and も constitute to the "いいが" or "何とかなるが" portion. Specifically が.

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1  
しも can be further broken into 副助詞 し and 係助詞 も. –  sawa May 31 '12 at 2:11
    
That is great, and I expected as much. I will edit the post. –  Chris Harris May 31 '12 at 2:15
2  
My guess is that there is elision involved between まだ and しも: 1人や2人ならまだ[・・・]しも、・・・。 I think it is the elided part that correspond to the いいか or なんとかなるが portion you mentioned. –  Flaw May 31 '12 at 2:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, it can be broken down into multiple parts like sawa explains.

Together しも intensifies the meaning of the word it is attached to (強意を表す) and comes from classical Japanese ([古典]{こてん}) (reference).

Here are some examples of しも in use (however, in modern Japanese, only these set phrases are used):

しも悪役を演じなければいけない時がある。

希望は無きにしもあらずだ。

必ずしもそうとはいえない。

初桜折りしも今日は良き日なり

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If I were to attempt to make a rough translation of the first example you gave, would it be something like "EVERYONE has to be the bad guy at some point"? (where everyone is capitalized or italicized to show emphasis). –  Chris Harris Jun 1 '12 at 1:57
    
@Chris: Yes, I think that would be acceptable. –  Jesse Good Jun 1 '12 at 2:09

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