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乞うご期待 is a set expression that means "Don't miss it!"

What's up with the weird word order? If I interpret this to really mean ご期待を乞う, then I can't think of any other circumstance in Japanese where the object of a main verb can follow the verb.

  • 1
    プログレッシブ和英中辞典(第3版) gives it as 乞う,ご期待 so I don't think your theory works – Igor Skochinsky Oct 1 at 14:09
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    I think my question still stands. Verb-fronting, especially in the register implied by ご- is not expected. – jogloran Oct 1 at 20:48
  • English has similar examples. – naruto Oct 2 at 1:23
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From today's perspective, it might as well be called a sample of anastrophe. However, not many words other than 乞う use this type of formula.

Etymologically, it comes from a specific practice in the 漢文訓読 tradition. There is a Chinese verb 請 "treat" that is also used as if English "please". This "interjectory" 請 is often read out at the original place instead of brought after the object.

請息交以絕游
請【こ】う 交【まじ】わりを息【や】めて 以【もっ】て游【ゆう】を絶【た】たん(帰去来辞

請君爲我傾耳聽
請【こ】う君【きみ】 我【わ】が為【ため】に耳【みみ】を傾【かたむ】けて聴【き】け(将進酒

The 乞う~ expression is the remnant of this construction, normally with homonymous 乞 instead of correct 請.

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    そうそう・・漢文調かな~と思ってたのよ。。 – Chocolate Oct 2 at 9:53
  • This is it! I'm glad you're on the site @broccoli! – jogloran Oct 2 at 22:30
  • Wow that makes a lot of sense. So just as Chinese starts a request with 請 (qǐng), used similarly to the way English speakers start a request with 'Please', this is also directly translated into Japanese by putting '請う' first. Interesting! Wow, Kanbun is really tricky... – rjh Oct 3 at 11:11
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I think the headline is used 「倒置法」 and 「体言止め」「喚体句」 i.e.「ご期待を乞う」→ 「乞うご期待」.

The author using the figure of speech to emphasize the author's "wish": 「乞う」 and the reverberation of 「体言止め」 is actually sustaining "anticipation" : 「御期待」.

「乞うご期待」seems to have started to be expressed as 「乞御期待」 in the advertisement of the movie currently showing at the theater.

「乞うご期待」: I very wish you guys really look forward to for the next time

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