From a dictionary definition for なんて (デジタル大辞泉):

なんて の解説
1 ある事物を例示して、それを軽んじたり、婉曲 (えんきょく) に言ったりする意を表す。なんか。…などということは。「手伝いなんてできるか」「本気にするなんてばかね」

Question (for the bolded portion): Why is this phrase encapsulated in a いう? Suppose we said for example:


and then contrasted it with


What's the difference in nuance between these two things? Is the first one like putting something like dismissive airquotes around "apples":

As for the so-called "apples and things"... (dismissive tone).

while the second one is just

As for apples, etc (not as judgmental, and no element of hearsay of what society or other people have forced into the conversation)


In general, I feel like という frequently encapsulates things in Japanese, and I never have a good grip as to why (unless it's the easy case, when someone is literally being quoted).

  • It's not a sentence just like なんか before it isn't. They are given as alternative ways to say the entry word なんて. And りんごなどことは isn't grammatical.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 27, 2023 at 20:59
  • If you want to remove という from りんごなどということは, you should remove こと, too.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 27, 2023 at 21:08
  • @aguijonazo Thanks for the clarification. I edited my question.
    – George
    Apr 28, 2023 at 1:28
  • 1
    I think usually などということ is preceded by a clause, not a noun like リンゴ. In a sense, ということなどは may be more logical, but much less idiomatic.
    – sundowner
    Apr 29, 2023 at 0:26
  • 2
    For tangible things like りんご, you use もの, as in りんごなどというものは. こと can probably be used like... eg 「[饑死]{うえじに}などと云う事は、ほとんど、考える事さえ出来ないほど、意識の外に追い出されていた。」(from 『羅生門』)
    – chocolate
    Apr 29, 2023 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


The 「…などということは」 phrase is encapsulated in a いう because it means to emphasize the things or anything before as noun, meaning "... [some subject or noun] which is".

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