I came across this paragraph in クリスマス・カロル:


  1. And I am not sure how to read 引括めて云えば.

When I searched in dictionaries I came across 引っ括る (ひっくくる). So I thought that maybe I could read it as ひっくくめて云えば。coming from the verb 引っ括める (I have not been able to find such verb in dictionaries). Would that be right?

  1. Also I am not sure about な. Is it working as an emphaziser since it is the narrator who is describing the woman?:

彼女は 「気を揉ませるな」とでも云いたい = I want to say that she made worry, you know?

  1. And about 気を揉む. The definition for this verb is: to worry; to fret; to get anxious​. Idiomatic expression

The version in English for the sentence:



「Although she was what you would have called provoking, you know, but satisfactory, too. Oh, perfectly satisfactory.」

So when I analyse the sentence, I think that the translator decided to use 気を揉ませる to say that this woman made you worry when you saw (she was provoking, in the english version).

Would my assumptions be right in the three things I am asking about?


  • 2
    「ひっくるめる」って辞書に dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/…
    – chocolate
    Nov 18, 2020 at 16:59
  • I don't agree with that translation. Given the context you've provided, it seems to completely miss the mark. "provoking"??? "satisfactory"??? I'm not good at translating but 気を揉ませるなとでも云いたいような女 expresses something more like "a woman you don't have to let yourself worry about" Now that English pretty much ignores the actual grammar of the Japanese, which is why i'm saying i'm not good at translating things like this. perhaps that's enough of a nudge to help you understand what's being said there. a dictionary search reveals that 世話女房 is no where near a description of being "satisfactory".
    – A.Ellett
    Nov 19, 2020 at 2:58
  • @A.Ellett, I don't agree with that translation... これ、ディケンズの「クリスマスキャロル」なので原文は英語ですから、森田草平さんの和訳がおかしい(良くない)、ってことですよね?
    – chocolate
    Nov 19, 2020 at 3:25
  • @Chocolate Hmmm. Interesting point, which i missed. well either way, the Japanese and the English on this particular point seem to be saying something completely different. Though when i wrote my comment, i wasn't being mindful that this is victorian english. so maybe i should cut 森田草平 some slack.
    – A.Ellett
    Nov 19, 2020 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


First of all, the original English text written by Dickens is this (obtained from this page in Project Gutenberg):

Altogether she was what you would have called provoking, you know; but satisfactory, too. Oh, perfectly satisfactory.

The first word is not although but altogether.

引っ括める is ひっくるめる. ひっくるめて言えば means "in a nutshell", "all in all", "after all", etc.

We don't usually write this verb as 引っ括める today. Kanji usage was not very standardized in the past. It's still possible to guess the reading if you know the verb, though.

As for the remaining part... just looking at the Japanese version, it roughly means "She was a kind of person who might say 'Do not bother me'. But at the same time, she was a kind of person who loves to take care of her family." Modern speakers might call something like this tsundere :) (I don't know if this is a good translation of provoking-yet-satisfactory, but it may not be that far-fetched.)

More literally:

  • 気を揉む to worry
  • 気を揉ませる to make someone worry
  • 気を揉ませるな Don't make me worry
  • 気を揉ませるなと言いたい to want to say "Don't make me worry"
  • 気を揉ませるなと言いたいような女 a woman who appears as if she wants to say "don't make me worry"
  • 1
    +1 You always make this seem so easy. I am humbled. Clearly i need to push myself a bit more when reading and not be happy with a なんとなく approach.
    – A.Ellett
    Nov 19, 2020 at 3:50
  • 1
    「気を揉ませるなと言いたい」の主語は女なんでしょうか、私(見ている方)なんでしょうか🤔まあ訳も英語も古いのであまり意味が取りづらいですが… Nov 19, 2020 at 6:51
  • @broccolifacemask-cloth ああ確かに後者の解釈も可能ですか…現代なら普通は「気を揉ませるなと言いたくなるような女」となりそうですが。…まあ目を細めるとどっちでもprovokingの訳語として解釈はできそう…w
    – naruto
    Nov 19, 2020 at 8:10
  • 2
    – By137
    Nov 19, 2020 at 16:08
  • @By137 気を揉むのが主人公だとすると、「お騒がせな女」「トラブルメーカー」みたいな意味になると思うのですが、provokingってそういう意味があるのでしょうか…
    – naruto
    Nov 24, 2020 at 9:09

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