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I've recently been reading a novel in which there happens to be some pretty crazy wordplays, which I can't really grasp the meaning of. Maybe one of you has a clue or can give me a suggestion on how to understand these, or where the joke lies from a Japanese perspective...appreciate your help! And merry Christmas to y'all, soon ;)

This is the sentence:

でも、人生とはクジャクの求愛みたいなものよ?」
「どういう意味?」
「いるのよ、ヒントはね」
「品と羽か。相変わらずかしこい」と私を褒めてくれました。

The character always makes comparisons about life, just like Forrest Gump kinda, and in here she says its like the mating behavior of a peacock, cos it has beautiful feathers I guess and the most beautiful male peacock might get chosen from the female? Is that the connection here? Cause what does 品と羽 imply, like there is a certain "elegance" 品 and "feathers" 羽, which also sounds like "ヒントは" - sorry, maybe some of you can better understand that! Would help me a lot! Thanks!

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「でも、人生{じんせい}とはクジャクの求愛{きゅうあい}みたいなものよ?」

「どういう意味{いみ}?」

「いるのよ、ヒントはね」

「品{ひん}と羽{はね}か。相変{あいか}わらずかしこい」と私を褒{ほ}めてくれました。

This, to me, looks like a cross between puns and なぞかけ, the latter of which is explained in this Q&A.

I also had to watch this video about the mating behavior of a male peacock to really appreciate the 「品」 ("class and elegance") and 「羽」 ("feathers") parts of the wordplay in question.

Some things might get lost in translation, but the following is what I personally take this wordplay to mean.

"But life is like the mating behavior of a peacock, you know?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean you need hints in life." ← 「要{い}るのよ、ヒン[ト]{and}はね。」

"Ah, 品{ひん} [と]{and} 羽{はね}, I see! You're clever as ever!", s/he complimented me.

The two distinguished features in peacock mating...

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  • I only made this account today and now I just read that comments are not supposed to say "Thank you" BUT even if I might act against these terms now - your answer helped me tons! Even that you (as I did as well) also watched the crazy peacocks mating behavior, awesome :) Really appreciate that and thanks again for helping me on that question. Have a great christmas! – Ghost_Dog47 Dec 20 '19 at 18:44

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