Situation from a story: 侍A is pursuing 侍B. 侍A meets 町人C and interrogates him:

侍B (some description)、逃げては来なんだかな。

I guess it must mean something like "didn't he come here while running away?"

I cannot quite understand the form 来なんだかな here. The answer to this question suggests 来なん is a phrase expressing a desire. It does not seem to be the case, where 侍A seemingly is wondering.

  • In my original question I also asked about 〜ては form here. This has already been answered here
    – macraf
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


来なんだ = 来なかった. The negative past. You often hear this form in 時代劇 and from old people in fiction (think [波平]{なみへい} in Sazaesan, Dumbledore in Harry Potter...)



Digital Daijisen gives a couple of theories about the development of this form and tells us it was used from the Muromachi era to the late Edo era, after which ~なかった took over. It goes on to say that in the modern era the form remains mainly in Kansai dialects.

Regarding its modern usage in Kansai Japanese, Wikipedia says that ~んかった is becoming more popular than ~なんだ which fits with my impression:


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