In my flashcard studying of JLPT1 vocabulary I've across お負け with three English definitions (from JMdict):

  1. freebie,
  2. price reduction,
  3. exaggeration.

Now my question is how adding an honorific prefix to 負け (loss, defeat) has come to mean something positive (well, at least for the receiver). Is it because someone concedes something to someone else? E.g. a salesperson conceding a customer a reduction in price.

And what about the third definition, exaggeration, which seems unrelated the first two? As JMdict does not provide a sample sentence for this definition I'd be grateful if someone could provide one.


N.B. I am unfamiliar with the tags of the site, so moderators are free to add additional ones.

  • Nice question! I've also pondered this one. My guess would be that the "seller" is taking a "loss" in the transaction. – Leo Jun 30 '16 at 6:06

Leo's guess is actually right. For reference, it is enough to go on the wikipedia page of お負け.

The meaning originally comes indeed from the fact that the seller is losing something in the bargaining process (from wiki):


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  • Simple as that. Cheers! – matshell Jun 30 '16 at 7:45

I can't think of any straightforward uses for お負け as "exaggeration", but it could be used like this:


"There's always a little something more to his stories" 

This might imply an exaggeration...

Sidenote: おまけ can also mean menstrual cycle

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  • おまけ can also mean menstrual cycle ← 初耳です。最近の新しい俗語的な用法でしょうか。 – Chocolate Jun 30 '16 at 7:10
  • 女房詞だそうです。。。weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%8A%E3%81%BE%E3%81%91 – sazarando Jun 30 '16 at 7:19
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    室町時代(500年以上前)の俗語…w – naruto Jun 30 '16 at 8:16
  • 時代劇に出てくることはあるかな? – sazarando Jun 30 '16 at 8:18
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    いやー、出てこないと思います。たぶんほとんど誰も知らないので… – naruto Jun 30 '16 at 10:31

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