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I'm reading "Fruits Basket" volume 3. In this scene, Kyo is annoyed by some comments his classmates make, and says:

いっぺんシメんぞ、おまえら。

I assume that this is some kind of a threat, like "I'll get you all for this". But what is the literal meaning? Unfortunately there are several varieties of いっぺん and several しめる. It's written in Kana, so am not sure which ones I should pick. Also, why would they use katakana for the シメ?

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    シメる is a slang which mainly used by tough guys/hoodlums/gangsters. Its meaning is to beat someone (mostly speaker's subordinate(s)) up; to punish (with violence). zokugo-dict.com/12si/simeru.htm – marasai Aug 30 '15 at 21:53
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    @marasai Then why don't you make this an answer? It may be incomplete, but it's a helpful answer. – RealSkeptic Aug 31 '15 at 15:25
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「いっぺん」 = 「[一回]{いっかい}」 = 「[一度]{いちど}」 = "(for) once"

Now, onto 「シメる」. When you see a verb that sounds familiar but its stem part is written out in katakana, the chances are that you are seeing an informal or slangy verb. 「シメる」 is no exception. It comes from 「締める」= "to tighten", "to be strict",etc., but not 「閉める」= "to close".

*Note that this occurs only with the Yamato verbs, not with Sino-loan-verbs that end in 「する」.

(Verbs such as 「アピる」= "to apeal", 「ディスる」= "to disrespect", etc. technically belong in a different category of verbs, obviously, so I am not including them with my statement above regarding Yamato verbs even though they are also written out in the 'katakana + る' format.)

「シメる」, IMHO, has a perfect English counterpart for both meaning and nuance (and even slanginess) -- "to put the screws on (someone)". You do not have to be a gangster to use 「シメる」; We use it jokingly quite often.

「シメぞ」 is just the Kanto colloquial form of 「シメぞ」

いっぺんシメんぞ、おまえら。

therefore, means:

"I'll hafta put the screws on you guys for once!"

  • I didn't know that English idiom! いろいろ勉強になりました。(笑) – Darius Jahandarie Sep 25 '15 at 4:38
  • I like the general explanations in the answer, but I'm not sure about the "put the screws". I looked this idiom up in several dictionaries, e.g. Oxford, and it means "to pressure someone into doing something". It seems unlikely to me that Kyo is saying he is going to force his friends to do something. Your translated sentence, in formal English, would read "I'll have to coerce you to do [it] at least one time". The meaning "to punish" or "to do something violent to" makes more sense in this context. – RealSkeptic Sep 25 '15 at 8:38

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