3

As something I've come across and always wondered about, what is the meaning of "なんてこったいこりゃいったい"?

I assume that it's like, to show disbelief or surprise but I'm not quite sure.

Also, is this something actually used? (and if it is, in what context?)

6

なんてこったいこりゃいったい

is a colloquial, slurred pronunciation of 「なんてことだい、これはいったい」

which is a reversed version (倒置) of 「これはいったい、なんてことだい?」

To break it down...

なんて -- pronoun [何]{なん} + case particle (っ)て; ≂「なんという」
こったい -- noun こと (事) + copula だ + sentence ending particle い (≂よ)
こりゃ -- pronoun これ + particle は
いったい -- noun 一体 (used for emphasis in questions; "on earth")

So it literally means... "What kind of thing on earth is this?" "What on earth is the matter?" -- used as an exclamation, like "What the hell is this?"

  • 1
    By the way the phrase sounds a bit funny to me cos こったい is rhyming with いったい ... なんか冗談みたいで滑稽な感じ? – Chocolate Oct 2 '17 at 2:17
0

Yes it is, but there your text has two parts:

なんてこった (い)

which is an exclamation that roughly translates to "oh no", and

こりゃいったい

which means "just what (is this)...".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.