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At the moment, I am trying to translate かりゆし58's song "アンマー," which has a lot of expressions in it; I would not be surprised if I misinterpreted some of them. However, the focus for this question is on the meaning of "加減." The kanjis read "addition and subtraction," and that is indeed one of the senses (the word generally means "degree," "moderation"); however, it can also be used as a polite 具合, along with many other senses of the word that do not show up in any dictionary I have looked at. Here is how the word is used in the song (in the video, at (2:25):

アンマーよ 私はアナタに言ってはいけない 決して口にしてはいけない言葉を

加減もせずに 投げつけては アナタの心を踏みにじったのに・・・

Notice the expression 言葉を加減する at the transition of the lines. It shows up on Weblio, but I am still confused on what the expression even means, and how 加減 fits in; in fact, the use of 加減 in most expressions listed on Weblio fails to match what is given on Jisho (or atleast is not clear to me how it matches).

What does 加減 even mean, and what does it mean within the lyrics, specifically in 言葉を加減する?

(EDIT: アンマー is Okinawan Dialect for mother. The song is about how [the vocalist?] disrespected his mother growing up, and is now regretting how much he troubled her, and how throughout his mischief she continued to love him.)

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  • You should be able to get some idea from “without even adjusting the words”.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 17, 2023 at 0:11
  • ...Well, yeah. Part of the difficulty for me is that saying that in English is extremely awkward, so I was disinclined from assuming that was what it meant without reference from other people.
    – BigRigz
    Apr 17, 2023 at 0:15

1 Answer 1

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The literal meaning of 加減 is "add and subtract", hence "balance" or "adjustment". But actually this is a word where the 減 part is focused in many cases. In other words, it tends to be used in the context of refraining from overdoing something.

  • 加減しなさい typically means "don't overdo it" or "go easy on it".
  • 加減をせずに usually means "without holding back" or "without restraint", and 加減もせずに is an emphatic version of it.
  • 加減を知らない人 is someone who is too aggressive and overdoes things.

手加減 is a variation of this. It almost always refers to something along the lines of holding back.

In the context of the lyrics in question, 加減もせずに describes that the thrown words were unreserved and harsh.

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  • I see. The image to create in the mind is to balance things, add and subtract, push and pull. To not do it is to create an abundance of something. Thank you.
    – BigRigz
    Apr 17, 2023 at 1:35

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