I'm reading a scene here, and I find a line whose meaning is very unclear to me.

A: 「最後の最後で両方って可能性は……? 敵軍で道の出口を塞いだ上で、後続に矢の雨とか」

B: 「その可能性もあるわ。ただ、この段階でひと当てふた当てしておいた方が、こちらの消耗的には都合がいいと思うのだけれどね……」

A: 「警戒するだけでも消耗するもんな……」

I'm having a devil of a time figuring out character B's reply. I 'm pretty sure ひと当てふた当て likely stands for 一当て二当て; usually when I see a phrase I can't figure out, I google it. Google finds hits where this is used, but no actual definition in any of the usual online dictionaries.

I've been puzzling over this line for more than half an hour, and here's my best guess:

B: That's also a possibility. But I think we should consider these handful of possibilities as exhaustive.

But I'm not sure whether it means that, or (since the following line uses 'exhausted') it's some kind of pun, something like this (I'm pretty sure this specific one is wrong, but it might be something similar):

B: That's also a possibility. But given how exhausted our men are, we should focus on only one of those possibilities.


I don’t have enough context but my guess would be something like this.

B: We cannot rule out that possibility. But I think we should "take a hit or two" (on our enemies) at this stage. It would be beneficial from the viewpoint of our men’s exhaustion (or energy consumption).

A: Indeed. Just staying alert would exhaust them.

The quoted part above is my very literal translation of ひと当てふた当てする as 当てる means “to hit” or “to strike”. I suppose the speaker is referring to some kind of attack.


I later found that "make a strike or two" would make much more sense in this context and be still literal enough.

  • Actually, the surrounding context of the scene more generally makes your first interpretation much more sensible. (I'm not going to post like half a paragraph of context, that's unreasonable to expect anyone to go through :) – Anonymoose May 15 at 22:38
  • @Anonymoose: If you don't mind me asking, "hit" in what sense then? I'm just curious, Actually, I wasn't very sure how "take a hit" would be understood by native speakers of English. – aguijonazo May 16 at 5:14
  • They're in a strategically unfavorable position, and concerned about the possibility of being ambushed. They just concluded it won't be coming from one direction, so B says "so, at the end of the trail", leading to A's first line, then B's reply. Later on in the scene, their enemies say 'They're too wary of us. We got them to wear themselves out for us without even lifting a finger.' So the meaning is 'rather than continue wearing ourselves out actively defending against every possibility, we should just take a hit'. Hit; strike, blow, bad outcome - you used it more or less right. – Anonymoose May 17 at 19:07

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