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According to jisho.org and the yahoo japanese dictionary, the phrase 「いい加減【か・げん】」means roughly either 'half-baked' or 'quite-well'.

I know that 「[目覚]{め・ざ}めなさい」means "wake up" or "open your eyes".

I can understand that 「いい加減【か・げん】」is often used when trying to knock someone back to his senses.

But this doesn't jive quite well with the translations given above by the dictionaries.

It seems that 加減【か・げん】 means "extent, degree", so we can sort of see that 「いい加減【か・げん】」can mean "to a good degree" if we translate it literally.

If we go with the literal translation, I can see that the entire phrase can be understood as "open your eyes really well!".

But given the dictionary translation of 「いい加減【か・げん】」, it seems like the phrase might as well mean "open your eyes in a half-baked way".

I need some help deciphering this.

The only analogy I can think of is when in English people use "really bad" to mean "to a high degree"; as in: "I need this really bad!"

Is this kind of a similar nuance?

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If you check the example sentences with orders, you may get a better grasp of this expression:

  • いい加減にしろ That's enough!; cut it out!; get a life!.
  • いい加減にしなさい Shape up!; act properly!

Basically, in colloquial speech いい加減(に) is usually used in one of two ways:

1) Stop acting irresponsibly/carelessly/slacking off. Usually it's followed by しろ / しなさい/やめて/etc, but sometimes works on its own.
2) Do smth. properly/promptly/right away. Usually followed by the more concrete order.

So in your case the translation would be something like "Stop dreaming and wake up already!" (change to fit the context).

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