In the Ghibli film The Castle of Cagliostro, there is a scene where Lupin, a male character who mainly makes use of stereotypical-masculine language throughout the whole movie, utters the following line:

それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いてよ 逃げちゃった

I have seen uses of ね as an interjection in the middle of utterances, so I thought that this use of よ was a similar case, but while doing research for a school assignment, I encountered readings on the "teyo-dawa speech (てよだわ言葉)" (https://content.ucpress.edu/chapters/10494.ch01.pdf, https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E8%AA%9E, etc), which made me wonder if the above utterance should be counted as an example of "teyo-dawa speech."

Since it is my first time seeing よ following a non-request -て form, I am confused whether or not this interjecting よ should be considered a deliberate use of "teyo-dawa speech" by the character to exaggerate his speech for the purpose of mocking himself for running away. If this should not be considered "teyo-dawa speech," what is the function of よ in the utterance, and what are other examples of よ being used this way?

1 Answer 1


According to Jisho.org here, よ in the given sentece is defined as "3 used to catch one's breath or get someone's attention ​in mid-sentence".


  1. indicates certainty, emphasis, contempt, request, etc.​at sentence-end
    1000円かそこらで買えますよ。You can buy it for a thousand yen or so.

  2. used when calling out to someone​after a noun
    恋人よ、我に帰れ。Lover, come back to me.

  3. used to catch one's breath or get someone's attention​ in mid-sentence

  4. yo!​

     Wikipedia definition

  5. Yo (kana)​よ, in hiragana, or ヨ in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represents one mora....

Apart from "teyo-dawa speech", the よ in this given sentence is called one of a "ねさよ言葉{ことば} ne-sa-yo speech".

ね and さ are used as the same function as よ in the given sentence as:

(A) それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いて 逃げちゃった (女性的、子供 female, child)
(B) それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いて 逃げちゃった (関東弁 Kantou dialect)
(C) それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いて 逃げちゃった (男性的 male)

Anyway, the basic form of the given sentece is:
(D) それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いて逃げちゃった


(E) 俺が道を歩いていたら昔の友達に会った。 When I was walking the streets I met my old friend.
(F) 俺が、道を、歩いていたら、昔の、友達に、会った
Though the last ぜ does not belong to the group of nesayo-speech, it is usually used at the last of the sentence like (F) by a man.
It is better not to imitate (F), because it is a poorly behaved way of saying.


(D) それがコテンコテン しっぽ巻いて逃げちゃった
If you rewrite (D) plainly, it will be like (G).
(G) 彼がどうなったかと言うと、それが、彼は誰かにコテンパンにやられ、負け犬のように尻尾{しっぽ}を巻いて逃げたよ。
The interpretation of (G) in English will be like:
As for him, he was beaten black and blue and turned tail and ran.

  • "コテンパンにやられる" is a passive form of "コテンパンにやる". "コテンパンにやる" is also said "コテンパンにやっつける" in the same meaning. They both mean "to beat a person black and blue".
  • "尻尾{しっぽ}を巻{ま}いて逃{に}げる" is an idiomatic phrase in Japanese that expresses figuratively how a person behaves when he loses the fight by quoting how a dog sneaks away or runs off with its tail between its legs when the dog loses the fight.

Since I learned that they use "to turn tail and run" to describe the same situation in English, it is very interesting that these expressions are very similar in both languages.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .