690 - とばかり(に)

JLPT N1: とばかり(に)

If you're studying your JLPT grammar in order, then you'll already know that ~たばかり can be used when saying that you "just VERB-ed."

We already had an N4 lesson on this: [NDL #316] - JLPT N4: たばかりだ.

The ばかり in this lesson is a bit different.

When you say とばかり (に), it means something like "as if," "like," or "as if to say."

You use it when someone's attitude or feeling is not conveyed verbally, but you can guess what they're really thinking.

It's easiest to just see it in an example:


わたしたちの笑い声が迷惑だとばかりに、露骨に嫌な顔をされた。
わたしたち の わらいごえ が めいわく だ とばかりに、 ろこつ に いやな かお を された。
He gave us a blatant dirty look, like our laughing was bothering him.
Literally: “we + の + laughter + が + annoyance / bothersome + だ + とばかりに, + blunt / frank + に + disagreeable / unpleasant + face + を + was done (to us).”

So we have:


わたしたちの笑い声が迷惑だ
わたしたち の わらいごえ が めいわく だ
our laughter [laughing] is bothersome [annoying]
Literally: “we + の + laughter + が + annoyance / bothersome + だ”

↓ ↓ ↓

わたしたちの笑い声が迷惑だとばかりに
わたしたち の わらいごえ が めいわく だ とばかりに
like our laughing was bothering him // as if (to say that) our laughter was annoying
Literally: “we + の + laughter + が + annoyance / bothersome + だ + とばかりに”

You do hear people say とばかりに from time to time, although it's a little stiff-sounding.

You see it quite a bit in written Japanese, too.


The thing that's cool about とばかりに is that you can put pretty much whatever you want in front of it.

For example, in this lesson we have:

Plain Formとばかり
Polite Formとばかり
Command Formとばかり

All of this makes sense because you can generally put a wide variety of words before the particle と, which sometimes acts as a "spoken quotation mark," if you will.


Another example:


早く帰れとばかりにすぐに伝票を持って来るレストランは好きじゃない。
はやく かえれ とばかりに すぐ に でんぴょう を もってくる レストラン は すきじゃない。
I don’t like restaurants that bring you the check right away, as if to say “get out of here already.”
Literally: “quickly + go home (=[command]) + とばかりに + right away + に + check / bill + を + bring (=carry [and] + come) + restaurant + は + liked + じゃない.”


↑ After having lived in Asia, this is something that bothers me a lot in the U.S. In Japan, you can typically sit and eat for as long as you want. Then you ask for the check or walk up to the checkout counter whenever you're finished.

There are exceptions, of course, like when you pay for a 2-hour course at an izakaya. But in that case, it's part of the deal from the beginning.

When I used to work in a restaurant in California, I remember that bringing the check as soon as people finished eating or whatever was encouraged. Gotta turn those tables faster! "No rush, I'll just leave this here for whenever you're ready," they say.

But it kind of feels like 早く帰れとばかりに to me now.

I think the heart of this problem is that I'm at a restaurant in the U.S., when really I just want to be at an izakaya in Japan...



今日子さんは、彼の話は全然おもしろくないとばかりにあくびばかりしている。
きょうこさん は、 かれ の はなし は ぜんぜん おもしろくない とばかりに あくび ばかり している。
Kyoko-san just keeps yawning, like what he’s talking about isn’t interesting at all.
Literally: “Kyoko-san + は, + he + の + talk + は + not at all + not interesting + とばかりに + yawning + only + is doing.”


I wonder if girls named 今日子 liked being named "Today-Girl." Or I suppose it's technically "Today-Child."

Sometimes I mix up あくび, "yawning," and いびき, "snoring."

And I also mix up いびき, "snoring," with ニキビ, "pimple; zit; acne."

All these び 's and き 's―they confuse me!



うちの猫は暖炉に火をつけると、待っていましたとばかりに近寄ってくる。
うち の ねこ は だんろ に ひ を つける と、 まっていました とばかりに ちかよって くる。
Our cat comes up to the fireplace right after we light a fire, like he’d been waiting for us to do so.
Literally: “our family + の + cat + は + fireplace + に + light a fire (=flame + を + affix) + と, + had been waiting + とばかりに + approaches / comes up to.”



Another lesson for the books.

お疲れ様です!(おつかれさまです!