Call me Queen Ishmael

Japan's love affair with televised necks in scarves continues with 『CAとお呼びっ!』 (CA to o-yobi!, "Call me [a] C[abin] A[ttendant] [, not a 'stewardess,' etc.]!", based on the manga by HANATSU Hanayo). That o-yobi!, while related to modern keigo forms like o-yobi shimasu (humble) and o-yobi ni naru (respectful), evolved in a different direction and is now used more or less exclusively to signify that the speaker is a woman not to be underestimated, whose orders the speakee would do well to obey. At once.

For example, joō-sama to o-yobi! (literally, "Call me 'queen'!") is the stereotypical thing for a dominatrix to say to her bottom/s. A more directly blunt form like joō-sama to yobe! might equally convey her contempt, but it would not reinforce her right to feel and express that contempt the way that the traditionally +refined +female "unnecessary o-" form does. (People in less extreme situations sometimes abuse regular keigo for a cold, aloof effect, too; just like in English, too much politeness can be rude.)

Since my mother knows about this blog now, I should probably mention that I have no idea if real dominatrices actually say this or if it is just a cliché -- perhaps itself rooted in some other memorable work of popular entertainment -- but it's as closely associated with them in popular culture as leather goods are.

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Hi Mrs. No-Sword.

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