I've come across both できんでえ and ~てやんでえ today but I'm not sure what they mean or what their origin is. There's some information relating to ~てやんでえ online which seems to point to it being a question ("what did you say?") in casual speech:

「保護と言えば、いつかこんなこと言っていた者もいたよ。『俺ら、前のことが分っちゃったもんで会社に入っている保険屋から断わらちゃったい。 ほんだもんでガン保険に入ることができんでえ。 そんな馬鹿な話あるけえなあ。 ガンが一番恐いのは俺たちなのになあ』って。 全くだよ」

Is that right?

Edit: The conversation is taking place between two men from 焼津市 and it's a real conversation that took place about 30 years ago if that helps at all.

  • Today... while listening to the radio? ... at the cashier in the supermarket? Please give the context.
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 27, 2020 at 10:13
  • 1
    In a book. It was quoting someone's speech. I've added the full text.
    – NobleGuy
    Dec 27, 2020 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


てやんでえ used to be a Kanto dialect (nowadays it's more of a stereotypical phrase associated with edo-period commoners, and is not actually used in daily contexts). It comes from 言っていやがるんだ and translates to "what the hell are they/you saying". It's NOT a Kansai or Kyushu dialect. For example:

「なんで高利貸しに金返すんだよ!」 「てやんでぇ!約束したものは返さねーとお天道様に申し訳がたたねぇ!」

As for できんでえ, I'm not from that area but I'm pretty sure it means できないので.

  • Enno, given the context, it sounds weird to my ear to finish that sentence with ~ので -- the flow of the whole text makes it seem to me that a straight statement with mild emphasis is more appropriate, with the extended vowel likely arising from ~のだい → ~んでえ. No? Jan 15, 2021 at 18:37
  • I think omitting the rest of the sentence like that isn't uncommon. E.g. one can say こげなこともできんで and it would imply some unspecified accusation like どうするの、本当に6年生なの etc. BUT I don't know the specific dialect so I can't be 100% sure. @EiríkrÚtlendi Jan 15, 2021 at 23:16
  • No argument about the commonality of the pattern. It just sounds off to me in the specific context of this set of sentences. We also have けえ in the very next sentence, which I think is from かい, and we have the slightly-less-くだけた suffix ~ちゃったい in the previous sentence. In the てやんでえ example, the でえ is more likely from だい or だよ rather than just from だ on its own. Here's an example of 焼津弁, where でえ is from both noun 台【だい】 and sentence-ending だよ. Jan 16, 2021 at 1:05

From context, my take on できんでえ here is that it's a dialect version of できないのだ, probably Kansai-ben, further abbreviated and shifted in a casual-speech register.

  • できないのだ → できぬのだい → できんでえ

That said, I'm not that familiar with Kansai-ben, so I hope that those more knowledgeable might comment with any necessary corrections.

  • 1
    These 断らちゃつたい and 馬鹿な話あるけえな lines reminds me of 博多弁. Dec 28, 2020 at 8:43
  • 1
    The people talking are from 焼津市 if that helps at all?
    – NobleGuy
    Dec 28, 2020 at 9:10

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