I've come across the phrase:


in my reading. I understand most of it, but I am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be functioning as something like an adverb in this case. My best guess would be to translate it as something like "〜, one might call it".

Can anyone explain the function of the word here? Thanks.

1 Answer 1


「~~ + と + でも + Verb Phrase using [言]{い}う/[呼]{よ}ぶ/[表現]{ひょうげん}する, etc.」

The 「と」 here is a quotative particle. There is something you want to call, describe, etc. as "~~".

By using 「でも」, you are opting to give an "example" or "tentative" name, description, etc. instead of giving a "final" or "definitive" one.

In English, it means along the lines of "Let's call it ~~ for now.", "~~ would be one way to describe it.", etc. Thus your translation "~~, one might call it" is spot-on.

「でも」 consists of 「で」,the [連用形]{れんようけい} of the affirmation auxiliary verb 「だ」, and the particle 「も」 if you are into grammar.

This 「でも」 is quite often attached to another particle.

「このスイカは[山田]{やまだ}さんにでもあげよう。」 = "Let's give this watermelon to Mr. Yamada, perhaps?"

「[日本]{にほん}は[寒]{さむ}いのでハワイへでも[行]{い}きたいのだが、お[金]{かね}がない。」 = "I would love to go somewhere like Hawaii because it's too freaking cold here in Japan, but I don't have enough money."

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