This word 「決着」 (settlement/conclusion) is read as けっちゃく. Though lately, I've been digging into some more comics and noticed that there's another reading being used: ケリ.

For example:

  • これが最後【さいご】だ。決着【ケリ】を付けよう【つけよう】じゃねぇか。
  • いくぞ。ここで決着【ケリ】を付けて【つけて】やる。

Is this a new reading because I don't see it in any JAP to ENG dictionary I reference

1 Answer 1


It's 当て字. 決着{けっちゃく} does not have that reading and you won't find it in dictionaries. However, けりをつける is a saying in Japanese which does have an almost identical meaning.

Why do they use [当]{あ}て[字]{じ}?

This study divides the reason into 7 forms:


I would say けりをつける is a 口語 form※, i.e. you hear is used when speaking but not in writing. However, manga often depict colloquial conversations, which is why you see it's use here.

※You could also consider けりをつける to be 言い換え表現.

What is happening here, is by blending the spoken and written forms, you get full understanding, but also the reading portrays a real spoken conversation, so the manga doesn't feel very "stiff" like reading a long non-fiction novel.

Here is another study for people who want to read further about Ateji.

  • 3
    According to the paper you cited, it should fall under #6. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 6:23
  • @broccoliforest: Can you explain why? #6 usually is when 読みと語に語義関係などなく,全くの他語であって,本来は関係がない語同士である例, so it seems unrelated.
    – Jesse Good
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 6:31
  • No, the whole sentence is 文脈依存の当て字では,読みと語に語義関係などなく,全くの他語であって,本来は関係がない語同士である例が多く見られた。 so it only says "in many cases" the kanji and furigana are unrelated such as 大財閥{ケタチガイ}. If you look at the examples, some are closely related. #1 is more like cuz or wanna, those collapsed or dialectal pronunciations. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 8:18
  • @broccoliforest: However it also says 専門用語の場合 ,読みと語は同義だが, like the example 目撃情報{タレコミ}. I wouldn't consider` けりをつける` 専門用語, would you?
    – Jesse Good
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:57
  • @broccoliforest: Ok, after reading the whole thing again, I can see how you might think #6 is closer than #1, but the author also mentions that this classification has some problems also, so I updated my post.
    – Jesse Good
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 10:06

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