Grammar Info
N1 Lesson 10: 7/22

と言(い)おうか
how to put it, how shall I put it, how should I put it, or perhaps, or maybe, call it … or

It is advisable to use というか・というか pattern instead since it is much more common and interchangeable

Structure
AといおうかBといおうか + (Phrase)

where A and B can be Noun
い [Adjective]
な [Adjective] or Verb
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
  • (A) といおうか(B) といおうか is a phrase used when the speaker is troubled over how to call something. It is often followed by a more detailed description or words indicating that matter cannot be easily expressed. It can be also used when the speaker wants to make something vaguer to avoid using strong words, especially when saying something negative. The following clause is often omitted.
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この前(まえ)電車(でんしゃ)を乗(の)り違(ちが)えてしまったんだ。僕(ぼく)そのとき、自分(じぶん)でもこんなドジをして、面白(おもしろ)いといおうか、困(こま)っているといおうか…とにかく忘(わす)れられない思(おも)い出(で)になった
I took the wrong train the other day. I made such a blunder at that time, how shall I put it, it was funny? or perhaps troubling?... Anyway, it turned into an unforgettable memory.
the filler words like とにかく、うーん are often used with といおうか
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A「プチチーズってなんですか。」
B「クラッカーといおうか、チーズとのスナックといおうか…(うーん、的確(てきかく)な言葉(ことば)が思(おも)い浮(う)かばないなぁ。)」
A What is 「プチチーズ」?
B "How shall I put it, a cracker, or perhaps a snack with cheese..." (well, I can't think of the right word.)
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彼女(かのじょ)誰(だれ)ですか?」
彼(かれ)の元(もと)カノといおうか友達(ともだち)といおうか複雑(ふくざつ)です。」
"Who is she?"
"How shall I put it, his ex-girlfriend, or perhaps his friend, it's complicated."
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