It is a situation about bringing 2 troubled teenagers into a reform school. The following dialogue was said by 2 officers who brought those kids.

A: おい とんでもない ばかがはいってきたものだぜ。

B:こういうところはかえっていくじのないほうが 安全だということを知らんらしい。

I'm not sure if it would mean 'would be better'. However, I try to translate the dialogue B as following:

"It would be better if coward guys coming to the place, I think there is no one informing other people (in the place) about the safety".

Extra question: Does it lose the meaning as much if I omit the 「もの」in the dialogue A?


2 Answers 2


You should parse the sentence this way:

『(こういうところは)(かえって)いくじのないほうが安全だ。』ということを知らんらしい。 Literally: They don't seem to know that in a place like this, on the contrary, it would be safer to be timid/a coward.

The subject of 「知らんらしい」 is the two teenagers (=「とんでもないばか」) who just entered the place.

「~ほうが安全だ」 means "It is safer to ~~" "It is safer if ~~".

The かえって means "on the contrary", implying "on the contrary to what these two kids actually are / the way they behave".

おい とんでもない ばかがはいってきたものだぜ

The もの is #㊃-② in 大辞林 第三版:

(「…ものだ」の形で)感動・詠嘆を表す。…なあ。 「あの難関をよくくぐり抜けたものだ」 「故郷とはいいものだ」 「あの男にも困ったものだ」

It's used to indicate/emphasize the speaker's amazement, surprise, admiration, etc. The practical meaning of your sentence wouldn't change without the ものだ, but the nuance would be different. The もの(だ) here indicates the speaker's amazement at how とんでもないバカ these kids are, since the sentence wouldn't make sense if you replaced the phrase とんでもないバカ with something like:

*おい 少年が二人 入ってきたものだぜ (← sounds strange)


こういうところはかえっていくじのないほうが 安全だということを知らんらしい。


こういうところは (As for this kind of places,)

かえって (against our intuition)

いくじのないほうが安全だ (the cowarder the safer)

ということを知らんらしい。 (It seems that they do not know that)

In general, "ほう" has several meanings, and the most basic idea is a direction: あっちのほう (that direction). In this case, ほう means one/ones. There are two or more things/categories, and ほう is one of them: 赤いほう (the red one/s).

So, there is at least one thing / category in contrast. In this sentence, it compares いくじのないほう with the others. As a result, いくじのないほうが安全だ means "comparing those who are coward and those who are not, the former is safer."

おい とんでもない ばかがはいってきたものだぜ。

おい とんでもない ばかがはいってきたぜ。

The meaning is not that different. But, the former has emphasis on はいってきた. I think this is similar to "It was Tom that killed Bob." emphasizing Tom.

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