2

I was reading a manga called Rengoku ni Warau and Kaishin said:

  • ったく、人をこき使いやがって

    あのジジィほっつき歩いてやがる

Jisho says that こき使い means pushing someone around or to work someone hard but it doesn't seem to fit with the context. Kaishin said that to Goemon, a fellow ninja that was trying to convince him to desert the battlefield and who has been by Tanba's (ジジィ's) side for many years, so I don't think "pushing someone around" would be a good translation.

Moreover, I would like to know the origin of こき使い's こき.

2
  • By any chance, isn't どこ(を) missing before ほっつき歩いて? – naruto Jun 17 '20 at 22:58
  • Just a note that the entry on Jisho does show what こき comes from. – Leebo Jun 17 '20 at 23:47
4

こき使う is a compound verb made of 扱く and 使う. 扱く can be read both as こく and しごく (こく is less common), but they originally mean roughly the same thing, "to rub/scrub", and by extension, "to work someone hard". From Compound Verb Lexicon:

screenshot

I don't know the story, but こき使う only means "to work someone hard". Do you understand 人 in this context probably refers to "me", the speaker? 人をこき使いやがって means "[Someone] is driving me like a horse".

1
  • Oh, that makes sense! I initially thought he was referring to Goemon. Thanks! – Elizabeth Middleford Jun 18 '20 at 10:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.