9

Another question on my favourite hole. An opportunist has offered to buy the hole and rebuild the shrine for the villagers:

村長が答えるさきに、村の者たちが、
「本当かい。それならもっと村の近くがいい。」
穴のひとつぐらい、あげますよ。
と口々に叫んだので、きまってしまった。
Before the village head man could reply the villagers shouted out "Really? If that's the case, it would be better closer to the village." and "We will give you approximately one of the holes.", and so it was decided.

I can't understand the sentence in bold. My translation seems like nonsense. There is only one hole, and even if there were more it still seems like a weird thing to say.

I thought ぐらい might also be translated as "as many as" giving "We will give you as many as one of the holes", but that is equally ridiculous.

Another thought I had was that it might be "We will give you at least the hole", with the implication that there may be some other kind of payment in addition to the hole. But then my belief that Aのひとつ means "one of the A" breaks down. Surely "one A" would be ひとつのA.

How should I understand のひとつぐらい here?

7

Xのひとつくらい is an idiom which means "just one X" rather than "one of X".

穴のひとつぐらい、あげますよ。
It's just a hole, so we can give it to you.

Xのひとつやふたつ is another similar idiom that means "just one or two X".

失敗のひとつやふたつ、大した問題ではない。
One failure or two is not really a big problem.

They can also mean "at least one (or two) X":

  • 帰国したなら、連絡のひとつくらいしろ。
  • 誰でも趣味のひとつやふたつは持っているでしょう。

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