I noticed some sentences in monolingual dictionaries end with a verb in the て-form and「いう言葉」. For example, from the goo.ne.jp's definition of 惚れた腫れた,


Does it mean the same thing as「~という言葉」? Or it means "word that means... and say."?

1 Answer 1


This doesn't mean ~という言葉.

強めて is acting adverbially. It's expressing the idea of "strengthening ..."

Similarly with からかって, it expresses the idea of "teasing" or "in jest".

I'm finding it hard to render this in English in a manner that bears some resemblance to the grammar of the Japanese.

Words that express a strong sense of being absorbed in love, or that are spoken in jest.

This might lead you to think you could shorten this to


But this loses the idea of "expression" and results in a rather strange definition, a definition that would somehow being claiming that the phrase 惚れた腫れた itself makes one more infatuated with someone. But that doesn't make sense.

By adding ていう, the editor of the dictionary is saying the phrase 惚れた腫れた expresses a strong sense of being caught up and lost in love.

  • 2
    I don't get the「いう」part. What does it do? Does「強めていう」mean something like "say empathetically/with increasing strength"?
    – Jimmy Yang
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 5:30
  • @Jimmy Yang: Yes, it just means 'to say', so "say empathetically" is correct. Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 8:46
  • @JimmyYang the「いう」part is what I'm translating as "express". いう has very broad meaning and usage in Japanese.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 13:12
  • @A.Ellett It might be helpful to include the original quote from the question and highlight the fact that it's 「強めて・いう」and not「強め・ていう」 Commented Mar 13, 2021 at 10:17

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