What does こまけー mean?

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Does anybody have a clue what こまけー might mean? Below are some sentences for context and the phrase as it's used:

まじめでおカタい感じの女子大生は、やたらとわたしを目を敵にしてきた。わたしが何をやっても文句をつけてくる。「しょうゆの向きは、こうじゃなくてこう!」って こまけー んだよ!

Kristine

Posted 2011-11-17T01:11:11.013

Reputation: 123

3It could be a colloquial way of writing 「細{こま}かいよ!」 maybe? – cypher – 2011-11-17T01:17:54.160

"Komakai" and "komake"... I didn't see that before, now I feel silly. Thank you so much! – Kristine – 2011-11-17T01:21:22.350

Answers

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In Edo-speak (江戸言葉) or rough speak in present Japanese, a sequence of a vowel followed by a high vowel is often contracted to one long vowel. こまけー's original form is [細]{こま}かい 'detailed'. In this case, it is claiming that the other person cares too much about subtle things.

There are other patterns as well:

ai → ee,   [高]{たか}い → たけえ
ei → ee,   [競]{けい}[馬]{ば} → けえば    (Standard pronunciation; written as けいば)
oi → ee,   [面]{おも}[白]{しろ}い → おもしれえ
ui → ii,    [悪]{わる}い → わりい
au → oo,   [買]{かう}た → こおた    (Kansai dialect; written as こうた)
eu → oo,   でせう → でしょお  (Standard pronunciation; written as でしょう)
ou → oo,   [泥]{どろ}[棒]{ぼう} → どろぼお  (Standard pronunciation; written as どろぼう)
iu → uu,   [言]{い}う → ゆう      (Standard pronunciation; written as いう)

All these follow the following phonological rule:

[α high][+ high, β back] → [α high, - low, β back]:

where

+---------------+--------+--------+
|               | - back | + back |
+---------------+--------+--------+
| + high, - low | i      | u      |
| - high, - low | e      | o      |
| - high, + low |        | a      |
+---------------+--------+--------+

Note: As far as I know, this rule was discovered by 窪薗晴夫.

user458

Posted 2011-11-17T01:11:11.013

Reputation:

2Just to avoid possible confusion, “the person” is not the speaker, and こまけーんだよ means “You care too much.” – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-11-17T02:23:21.117

1@TsuyoshiIto Thanks. That is what I meant. You made it clear. – None – 2011-11-17T02:56:24.020

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You can't add table, tr, or td elements to this website as they aren't in the allowed tag list

– cypher – 2011-11-17T03:08:59.943

@Troyen Thanks for fixing the table. Nice alignment. – None – 2011-11-17T03:22:55.287

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@sawa I stumbled across this site while looking for a workaround and used it to generate the table. Looks like it works well enough.

– Troyen – 2011-11-17T03:28:51.077

Wow, cypher's comment already solved my problem, but your answer is super useful beyond my original question! Thank you! – Kristine – 2011-11-17T03:49:34.000

1Thanks for laying out the specifics of the underlying rule here so clearly, sawa. (Also, hey, Kubosono is the guy who wrote アクセントの法則! Great book, that.) – Matt – 2011-11-18T00:57:00.423