How would you translate 「腰掛で仕事をする」in this sentence.




「腰掛{こしかけ}で」 in this phrase has an idiomatic meaning of "temporarily" even though the original meaning of 「腰掛」is "a chair", "a bench", etc.

Thus, the phrase in question means "(many women) just work temporarily (until they get married)."

FYI: This might surprise some, but 「椅子{いす}」 is a Sino-loanword while 「腰掛」 is an originally Japanese word.

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  • I may be wrong, but I think 腰掛【こしかけ】 also includes a meaning like "the act of sitting". When I first parsed this question, that's the sense I had in mind: 腰掛で as roughly equivalent to 腰を掛けて, with the image in my head being one of somebody sitting down temporarily to get something done. – Eiríkr Útlendi Jan 14 at 22:40
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    腰掛{こしか}ける is certainly an existing verb meaning "to sit down". To mean "to work sitting down", we usually say 座って仕事(を)する. Still, this provides plenty of punning opportunities which I originally thought of mentioning but decided against fearing it might confuse some users. For instance, 「腰掛でテーブルを作ってます。」 can mean two entirely different things -- 1) "I am making tables out of chairs. " and 2) "I am making tables temporarily (until I get a better and possibly permanent job)." Change it to 腰掛けてテーブルを作ってます。 and it will have a third meaning of "I make tables sitting down." – l'électeur Jan 14 at 23:02
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    Eiríkr, I think 腰掛 also includes a meaning like "the act of sitting" ううん… 「腰掛ける」「腰掛け 」とか動詞じゃなくて、「腰掛+  」みたいな名詞の「腰掛」には、"act of sitting" の意味はないです。この辞書にも載ってないですし。普通は、「椅子」のことか、「とりあえず就く職業」って意味で使います。明鏡も、こし‐かけ【腰掛け】〘名〙❶ 腰をおろすための台。いす。❷ 本来望んでいる職や地位につくまでの間、とりあえずある職や地位に身を置くこと。また、その職や地位。 – Chocolate Jan 15 at 12:29

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