Sunday, February 17, 2019

ii ko いい子

In Japanese, ii ko いい子, also spelled ii ko 良い子, means "good child," or "good kid." It can also be used toward adults, animals, etc. depending on context to say they're a "good," ii いい, person, animal, etc. See ko for details.

The phrase yoi ko よい is a synonymous variant.

あ・・・ありがとうございました!! せんせーさようなら さようなら おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
Manga: Usagi Drop, うさぎドロップ (Chapter 2)


The basic usage of ii ko いい子 is, obviously, toward children. It implies they're well-behaved, don't do much mischief, respect their parents, do their homework, brush their teeth before bed, etc. etc..

  • ii ko da
    [He's] a good child.
    [He's] a good kid.
    [He's] a good [boy].
    [She's] a good [girl].

The opposite would be a warui ko 悪い子, "bad child," since warui 悪い is the antonym of ii いい.

The phrase ii ko is sometimes repeated when used to comfort children:

  • yoshi yoshi, ii ko ii ko
    There, there, good [boy], good [boy].
    There, there, good [girl], good [girl].


The phrase ii ko ni shiteta いい子にしてた means "has been a good kid." Grammatically, it's ii ko followed by a contraction of ni suru にする conjugated to the past form of the te-iru form. Basically:

  • ii ko ni suru
    To make it so it's an ii ko.
    To make [someone] a good kid.
  • ii ko ni shite-iru
    To be making [someone] a good kid.
    To be making [oneself] a good kid.
    To be being a good kid.
    • ii ko ni shiteru
      (same meaning, contraction.)
  • ii ko ni shite-ita
    To have made [someone] a good kid.
    To have made [oneself] a good kid.
    To have been a good kid.
    • ii ko ni shiteta
      (same meaning, contraction.)
あ・・・ありがとうございました!! せんせーさようなら さようなら おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
Manga: Usagi Drop, うさぎドロップ (Chapter 2)
  • Context: guy comes take his child from a "nursery school," hoikuen 保育園.
  • a... arigatou gozaimashita!!
    T... thank you [for everything]!!
    • Past tense of arigatou gozaimasu.
  • sensee sayounara
    Good bye, teacher.
  • sayounara
    Good bye.
  • otonashii kara chotto dake shinpai datta kedo
    [She's] quiet so [I] was a bit worried, but
  • Rin-chan tottemo ii ko ni shitemashita yo
    Rin-chan was a very good [girl], [you see]!!
私去年は良い子じゃなかったみたいでサンタさん来てくれなかったんです だから今年は良い子になろうと思って!
Manga: Hitorigurashi no Shougakusei ひとり暮らしの小学生 (Chapter 11)
  • Context: it's Christmas and a grade school student is cleaning the school windows. But why?
  • watashi kyonen wa ii ko
    mitai de Santa-san

    It seems last year I wasn't a good child so Santa-san didn't come [for me].
  • dakara kotoshi wa
    ii ko ni narou to

    As such, [I] thought: this year [I] will become a good kid!


The phrase ii ko ni suru can also be conjugated to an imperative te-form like this:

  • ii ko ni shite-ite ne
    Be a good kid, [ok]?
  • ii ko ni shitete ne
    (same meaning.)
    • Contraction of the te-form of the te-iru-form of suru. I.e.
    • suru. (dictionary form.)
    • shi. (nominal.)
    • shi-te. (te-form.)
    • shi-te-i-ru. (te-iru-form.)
    • shi-te-i-te. (te-form of te-iru-form.)
    • shi-te-te. (contraction.)

Similar phrases include:

  • ii ko ni shinasai
    Be a good kid.
    (nasai form.)
  • ii ko ni shitetara
    If [you're] a good kid...
    (conditional, tara-form, of te-iru-form.)
ガツガツ ポンポン 良い子にしてろよ、ナポレオン ブヒ?
Manga: School Rumble, スクールランブル (Chapter 81)
  • Context: Harima Kenji feeds Napoleon.
  • gatsu gatsu
    *eating noise* (onomatopoeia.)
  • ponpon
    *tap tap* (mimetic word.)
  • ii ko ni shitero yo,

    Be a good [pig], Napoleon.
  • Harima Kenji leaves Napoleon behind.
  • buhi?
    *concerned pig noise*

Malicious Usage

The phrase ii ko いい子 isn't always used to sincerely say "good kid." Sometimes, it's used maliciously, by evil, nasty characters.

When this happens, ii ko いい子 has the nuance of "obedient," "submissive." That is, the evil character is saying: "be a good kid and do as I say."

This, obviously, comes from the fact that "good kids" behave well and obey their parents.

In general, there are two ways ii ko is used in an impurely:

  1. A figure of authority, usually an old, corrupt villain, tells an young, just subordinate to not meddle in his corrupt affairs.
  2. A character is blackmailing another, and uses ii ko to humiliate them by comparing them to a child.

Fortunately, you can easily tell, in manga, whether the speaker is impure or not:

そう いい子だね ロゼ
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 1)
  • sou
    [That's right.]
  • ii ko da ne
    [You're] a good [girl], [aren't you]?
  • Roze
    Rosé. (her name.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.