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Came across this.

いい年して屁理屈をこねないように

I found out that 屁理屈 and こねる means "to argue for argument's sake" (while one is noun and the latter is verb.)

My question here is can 屁理屈 be dropped entirely and still have the same meaning?

Oh and just in case, am I correct in assuming the meaning is something along the lines of "I'm old enough not to argue for argument's sake."

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    Where did you find out that こねる all by itself could mean "to argue for argument's sake"? – l'électeur Sep 7 at 13:05
  • Please post the entire sentence. – JACK Sep 7 at 13:17
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    ^ I think 「いい年して屁理屈をこねないように。」 is the entire sentence. – Chocolate Sep 7 at 14:16
  • The meaning of "屁理屈をこねる" is closer to "to chop logic" than "to argue for argument's sake". – goldbrick Sep 8 at 3:59
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屁理屈{へりくつ}をこねる is almost a set phrase. 「屁理屈{へりくつ}を並{なら}べる」,「屁理屈{へりくつ}を言{い}う」,「屁理屈{へりくつ}をこく」 are similar set phrase as "to argue for argument's sake" . You can't omit 屁理屈{へりくつ} to mean it, but you might replace it into "駄々をこねる" for the children to imply similar things.

こねる itself is normally used in making Bread, Hamburger patty, etc.

こねる: to mix, to manipulate like kneading, etc. + しない : do not + ように : the request, somewhat imperative way.

So,

いい年して屁理屈をこねないように

You are old enough. So, try not to argue/advise you stop arguing for argument's sake.

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