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平民が、貴族にそんな口[利]{き}いていいと思ってるの.

Above is the full sentence from a book I'm reading. I get いいとおもっている part = think its nice (roughly), and already looked up 貴族に, そんな口利き, but the sentence as a whole makes no sense at all to me. Please help, and thank you.

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  • I would guess there's a typo and 口利きいて should be (口利き)(いって)
    – HAL
    Aug 21, 2014 at 15:50
  • Since Im the one asking I cant say but it was copy-pasted from a kindle light novel so not sure about the typo part.
    – Kronpas
    Aug 21, 2014 at 17:14
  • I fixed the typo (口利きいて→口[利]{き}いて).
    – user1016
    Aug 21, 2014 at 17:42
  • @Kronpas Probably what happened is the copy-and-paste didn't have any way to represent き as furigana, so it unfortunately got turned into a regular character.
    – user1478
    Aug 21, 2014 at 18:18
  • I just looked at the book, it was indeed the case. Remind me to be more careful next time. Mark Choko's as answered and thank you all.
    – Kronpas
    Aug 22, 2014 at 1:30

1 Answer 1

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You can parse it like this:

(平民が、貴族にそんな[口]{くち}()[利]{き}いて(も)いい)と、思って(い)るの?

I think it's like "Do you think that 平民 is allowed to talk to 貴族 that way?"

そんな modifies 口(≒way of talking).
口を利く means "to speak, to talk".

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  • Sound about right! I didnt notice "way of speaking" was listed as a possible meaning for 口利き, tagged as 'archaism' though.
    – Kronpas
    Aug 21, 2014 at 17:21
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    @Kronpas If you look up the phrase 口を利く, I bet it won't be listed as archaic.
    – user1478
    Aug 21, 2014 at 22:33
  • Am I right in my impression that 口を利く has a somewhat negative connotation (as in 'speaking, but not respectfully enough')?
    – Sjiveru
    Aug 22, 2014 at 3:16
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    @Sjiveru 「口を利く」自体に否定的なニュアンスはないと思いますが、否定的な語句を伴って否定的な文脈で使われることが多いと思います。例えば、eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=%E5%8F%A3%E3%82%92%E5%88%A9%E3%81%8F を見ても、「ため口をきく、生意気な口をきく、えらそうな口をきく」...
    – user1016
    Aug 22, 2014 at 4:08
  • @Choko そういうわけでしたか。ありがとうございます!
    – Sjiveru
    Aug 22, 2014 at 15:37

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