I'm having trouble understanding this sentence from a soccer manga I like to read. There is not much context to the sentence, and further, the character often uses slang.

The whole sentence is this:


It is said by a player who is about to kick a ball. People in the stands are cheering him because he's really good at kicking from far away, and he's somewhat irritated that they put pressure on him.

Someone suggested to me that it might be related to "棚から牡丹餅" but it doesn't seem to me to make sense.


1 Answer 1


まああんなのは棚からなんとやらだ in this context means "Well, it's just that I was lucky" or "Well, that was only a godsend (goal)." The player is not confident of his own kicking skill although he have made a great kick before this.

As you have correctly guessed, 棚からなんとやら refers to a well-known idiom 棚からぼたもち. See this answer by @goldbrick for the explanation of なんとやら here. It's kind of like saying "when in Rome" without saying the last half.

  • 1
    "a player who is about to kick a ball" vs. "Well, it's just that I was lucky" / "Well, that was only a godsend (goal)." - these translations do not fit the described situation. Shouldn't it be like... "maybe I'll be lucky", "if luck permits..."?
    – macraf
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 7:07
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    @macraf No, it appears to me that the speaker is somewhat irritated because his skill is overestimated by others owing to his previous lucky long-range goal. The use of あんなの instead of こんなの implies he is referring to something that happened quite a while ago, not the shot he is about to make.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 7:32

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