TiL that this word has a fascinating history. Obviously, it’s a French word for Dutch footwear that came to Japan via English due to a French railway strike in 1910. Not sure why I didn’t intuit this immediately.
I’d heard the word before but it never dawned on me that “sabotage” and “slipshod” were at all related, much less “ciabatta”!
I’m so happy that people seem to be enjoying these as much as I am.
It’s not making it any easier to pick a winner, though, especially with the number that have even accomplished 5-7-5 in English recently!
I’m still going to try to select just a single translation every morning. I think it’s worth it for future readers of the complete list. Maintaining the links to each day’s discussion with all the entries makes me feel better about this decision.
Hopefully, I can just count the likes when there are two excellent submissions like this (so far).
That’s close but slightly different to my understanding (which likely means we are both wrong, of course ).
Here’s how I parse it:
帰りぎわ - on the brink of returning home / as I was about to leave
とらなきゃ - equivalent to 取らないといけない = I must pick up
よかったこの - I think this means “(something) I was happy for” here. The の is important.
Future me: No it’s not, you idiot. It’s just the second half of the word この. Somehow my eyes just completely glossed over the こ. You were exactly right: 取らなきゃよかった means “I wish I hadn’t picked up” or, more precisely, “it would have been better if I hadn’t picked up.”
電話 - telephone call (in this case, the “something” above).
So I think it means something like “Fortunately, I received a phone call I had to take just I was about to return home.”
That is, I think the implication is he wasn’t looking forward to returning home.
Case in point: I’m pretty confident that よかったの電話 indicates they were pleased to receive the call [Edit: that’s not what’s written! It’s 〜よかったこの電話, so I’m sticking with my interpretation unless someone can explain how I’m wrong. I’ve certainly been victim to misplaced confidence before, though!