could you explain what the phrase「ここぞとばかり」means (and the grammar behind it, if possible)? I've seen it a few times but I can't seem to figure it out even after reading translations
It seems to be used to talk about someone doing something out of character, or in contrast to their normal behaviour. It also seems to mean to take the opportunity to do something. ここぞ means ‘to do something at the critical moment’ according to jisho.org
Ex. ここぞとばかりに写真を一杯撮った。= kokozo to bakari ni shashin wo ippai totta.= I took a lot of pictures taking advantage of the opportunity.
When I asked a native speaker to give an example he said:
which seems quite different in tone. The nuance is that because Tanaka is being watched by the boss, or something terrible will happen if he doesn’t try hard (getting fired, for example), or something especially good will happen if he tried hard (getting promoted, for instance), this time, in contrast to his typical behaviour, he changed his behavoiur and made the effort.