I'm completely stumped here. The following passage is from a book, but I just cannot make sense of what 軽んじる and 舐める are supposed to mean in this context -

Person A:


Person B:


Even after looking at a dictionary, the translation I thought of in my head doesn't make too much sense. I think they both refer to 'underestimating' so perhaps person A saying Akimoto underestimates his abilities and person B saying he isn't? Or is 軽んじる and 舐める used differently? Especially considering 放題 follows 舐められ and I've never really seen 放題 much so far in the time I have been learning Japanese.

Please help me understand this dialogue! Thank you!

  • Does the original really say ですぁ, not ですぁ?
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 9:03

2 Answers 2


軽んじる is a rather "neutral/objective" word which is usable in a serious article. 軽視する is a synonym. 舐める (lit. "to lick") here is a slangy/colloquial word and the meaning is closer to ばかにする and あなどる. Person A just rephrased what he has said using a more colloquial and catchy phrase. This 放題 means you are always being "licked" but does nothing about that. See this question.

僕があの方にナメられないわけないじゃないですかぁ is a triple negative sentence. ナメられないわけない means "There is no way I won't be despised = I will certainly be despised," and じゃないですかあ means "...isn't that so? / ...don't you think so?". So the sentence basically means "Of course that person will make light of me! Why not?". The sentence implies Person B is well aware of such fact but he does not care.

  • OPの文は「ですぁ」になってるんですけど、やっぱり「ですぁ」のタイポですかね。。。
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 9:02

So you already searched in a dictionary and understood that they can both mean "to underestimate". I am sure you realize that having 2 words with similar meanings is not such an odd concept. They both can mean :

To make light of, to underestimate, to look down on, to put down, etc.

If you are a perfectionist and are worried about which feels more natural to a native Japanese for every single cases then you will have to gain a lot of Japanese experience and learn all those cases.

Some slight nuances might be that 舐める feels more like a deliberate insult to someone, while 軽んじる might feel more like making light of something.

As for 放題, it means "as much as you like". It is mostly in expressions like 食べ放題、飲み放題 which is "all you can drink/eat" service in restaurants.

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