In rather formal situations, when would you use 頂戴します ?

I use いただきます all the time to express the fact of receiving something, but I just heard a colleague using 頂戴します over the phone.

If I understand well, this page suggests 頂戴します is when receiving material merchandise.

  • 1
    At least some of the comments on the linked page seem to express concern about using 頂戴 for something abstract rather than something specific, not material objects per se. That is to say, 「お約束を頂戴します。」 sounds off-kilter, but 「お約束のお言葉を頂戴します。」 sounds OK. – rdb Sep 14 '11 at 11:02
  • At the end of your question, you could write "良い回答頂戴!" – Axioplase Sep 15 '11 at 2:29

Without much basis, I feel that いただく is used more when the opponent actively gives away or at least permits the thing to be taken away, whereas 頂戴する is used more when the intention on the agent is stronger than that of the opponent.

'take away the life of animals at a slaughter house'

'TV programs that make you cry'

'In case you broke our merchandise, we would be asking for compensation.'

  • Hm, I guess this could get complicated because criminals can say お宝を頂戴する as well as お宝をいただく (perhaps this is an exception? I'm not sure). IMO 頂戴する is a bit archaic (as in ppl over 50 tend to use it more). – Enno Shioji Sep 15 '11 at 1:24
  • お宝を頂戴する straightforwardly expresses that the thief took away some things. お宝をいただく is a bit ironical in that it implies that the person who was stolen of things allowed the thief do it. – user458 Sep 15 '11 at 1:42
  • Could be. Though the origin of 頂戴 is to hold the thing you received in front of you to express honor (actually, same for 頂く). Basically 頂戴 at least used to be ironic, too. I'm not sure whether there is a consensus on this nuance distinction (頂戴 stopped to be ironic, but いただく hasn't yet). Notably, regular dictionaries do not seem to make a clear distinction. At least I think you can't express that your intention is stonger by choosing 頂戴します rather than いただきます。 – Enno Shioji Sep 15 '11 at 2:00
  • I am not saying that the agent's intention is stronger in 頂戴する than in いただく. What I am saying is that, given that the agent's intention is the same in both, the opponent's intention to give away is weaker in 頂戴する than in いただく. – user458 Sep 15 '11 at 2:16
  • @sawa - This has become rather confusing. If the agent is the one who actually chooses between "頂戴" and "いただく", how does the agent know what the opponent's intention is? – rdb Sep 15 '11 at 6:15

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