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My current understanding of the grammar あげく is based on this common explanation I gathered online:

spending considerable time and effort doing an action, resulting in an outcome

X + あげくY = “after doing much of X, Y finally/eventually resulted 

「長時間~をした後、結局」

In these sentences, this explanation makes sense to me

いろいろ考えたあげく今年は日本に行くのをやめた。 After thinking and thinking about it, I decided not to go to Japan this year.

考えたあげく = spending a lot of time and effort thinking

何回も喧嘩したあげく、最後に離婚してしまいました。After a long series of arguments, we ended up divorcing.

喧嘩したあげく = spending a lot of time and effort arguing


However, the explanation above sounds weird and unnatural to me in these sentences:

ボールペンをなくしたあげくに、定規もなくした。

なくしたあげく = spending a lot of time and effort lost?

今日は学校に宿題を忘れたあげく、財布もなくした。

忘れたあげく = spending a lot of time and effort forgetting?

I feel that there is another meaning of あげく I'm not aware of. Can someone explain how あげく is used in these instances?

1 Answer 1

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あげく and its emphatic variant あげくの果て roughly have two meanings:

  1. finally; in the end; after all those ~
  2. on top of all that; even; what is worse; not only that

Some dictionaries seem to explain only the first meaning, but the second meaning is not rare. Here are some examples on BCCWJ:

  • 確か、テンにどつかれた挙げ句に川へ落ちたのだ。
  • 他球団のドラフト指名を回避させ、挙げ句に推薦入学を辞退しました。
  • 親子喧嘩がたびたび続く。その挙げ句に新兵衛が何者にか寝込みを襲われて殺された。
  • バイトでへとへとになって帰ってきた挙げ句に睡眠を邪魔された自分が自宅のベッドで眠らないでいられるだろうか?
  • 演歌のCDなどほとんど置いていないではないか。挙げ句の果ては、買い手もいない。

(I personally feel these are natural, but a few people may argue this usage is nonstandard.)

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