Can someone tell me what "お戯れを" means? I came across this in a Japanese drama. I can't quite figure out if this is almost like a formal and polite request to make somebody stop 'kidding around' or if it's something else completely. In what context can this be used?

1 Answer 1


お[戯]{たわむ}れを is mainly heard in samurai dramas. Typically, a samurai or a maid says this to their master in the sense of "You must be joking" or "You're not serious, are you?" In dramas set in modern Japan, an old butler- or detective-like character may say this, too.

A more common equivalent in modern Japanese is ご冗談を.

EDIT: You may be wondering which verb is omitted after を, but there are no "long" versions of these expressions.

  • 1
    Suggest changing 'owner' to 'master'.
    – BJCUAI
    Mar 6, 2019 at 21:46
  • Even if there’s no actual longer expression, isn’t the verb implicitly 言う? (Although it’d be unclear how to conjugate it.) Mar 7, 2019 at 14:16
  • Is this pronounced as おじゃれ or おたわむれ?
    – istrasci
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:16
  • 1
    @DariusJahandarie I'm not sure,.. We say 嘘を言え, but 嘘を makes no sense. We say ご冗談を, but ご冗談を言え makes no sense to me.
    – naruto
    Mar 8, 2019 at 2:26
  • @istrasci Chocolate added the reading :)
    – naruto
    Mar 8, 2019 at 2:27

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