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Maruko's grandad just agreed to do something but then discovered that it might be unpleasant. The narrator says:

まる子の手前、調子よく、へのかっぱなどと言ってしまったものの、キモチ悪いときいたとたん、(本当はいやじゃよォォ。そんなキモチ悪いモンを見るのは、わしだってごめんじゃ~~。...)という気持ちになっていた。
From Maruko's viewpoint ??? even though he'd said it was a piece of cake, as soon as he heard that it was gross he gave the feeling of "...sorry but even I don't want to look at such gross things ...etc).

I can't understand the meaning of 調子よく here. I tried to translate the start as "From Maruko's viewpoint his condition was good and ...", but that seems to contradict the rest of the sentence.

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まる子の手前 means "because Maruko is in front of me.". 調子よい(調子いい) has the meaning of "unctuous". So 彼は、まる子の手前、調子よく、へのかっぱと言った is translated as "He unctuously said it was a piece of cake because Maruko was in front of him."

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  • Thanks. How does the meaning of 'because' get into 手前? Is there a particle omitted or is it implicit? Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 8:40
  • I think ~(人)の手前 implys "because I am in front of someone". If it is まる子の前で, it means only "in front of Marucko". Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 9:30

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