Korean Slang

Hey guys! Today I thought I’d talk to you about Korean slang, commonly used compound words, and pet names/ teasing names you can call your friends!

It’s hard to keep up with the world of Korean slang, because it’s constantly changing! Furthermore, the Koreans who travel to Canada, U.S.A or the Philippines to study English usually end up throwing a lot of English words into their Korean speech, second generation Koreans tend to use Konglish, and then in South Korea itself some slang is even regional! It also depends on the age of the person, as new slang words are always sprouting up, but don’t seem to reach some “older” generations.

Sometimes it’s easy to understand the slang being spoken, and other times it’s really difficult. Here are some examples of common, everyday slang words you may hear while speaking with your Korean friends:

1)   어케/어떠케 – 어떻게 – how?

2)   이케/이러케 – 이렇게 – like this

3)   열공 – 열심히 공부해 – study hard!

4)   고고싱 – go!go!

5)   8282 (팔이팔이) – 빨리빨리 (8282 – 다비치! ㅋㅋ)

6)   날라리 – player (for men)

7)   그랬음/ 그랬으면 – 그랬으면 좋겠다 – If only that were the case

8)   그렇길 – 그렇길 바래요 – I hope so

9)   그니까 – 그러니까 – lit. so

10) 암것도 – 아무것도 – nothing

11) 암것도 안함 – 아무것도 안한다 – not doing anything

12) 여친/남친 – 여자 친구/ 남자 친구 – girlfriend/ boyfriend

13) 먄 – 미안/ 미안해 – Sorry!

14) 너두 말놔 – 너도 말 놓아 – you can lower your words, too


In the case of throwing random English words into Korean conversation or speaking “Konglish”, some examples are:

1)   치트 못해! –  I can’t CHEAT

2)   빌 좀 주세요 – Please give me the BILL

3)   오늘 women’s sexuality in the media에 대해서 배웠거든 – Today we learned about women’s sexuality in the media

4)   아이 러브 유 – I love you

5)   미쓔 – Miss you

6)   오늘 못 만나겠네. 라이드 못 받아 – I don’t think I can meet you today. I can’t get a RIDE

7)   남친이랑 커뮤니케이션 잘 안돼서 큰일이야 – I don’t have good communication with my boyfriend so it’s a big problem


And then there are cute and funny names you can call your friends (or even yourself!) when joking around.

For example:

1)   똥쟁이 – poopy/ poophead

2)   게으름뱅이 – lazybones

3)   잠꾸러기 – sleepyhead

4)   멍청/바보 – stupid/fool/idiot

5)   고집쟁이 – stubborn/ hard-headed

6)   욕심쟁이 – a hog/ greedy person

7)   몸치 – person who can’t dance

8)   길치 – person who always gets lost/ loses their way on the street

And finally, there are compound words, created by joining syllables of many words into one word to create a new meaning based on the words that were used to create it.

For example:

1)   꽃미남 – 꽃 (flower); 미 (beauty); 남 (male) – flowerboy (boy who’s pretty like a flower)

2)   꽃미녀 – 꽃 (flower); 미 (beauty); 녀 (female) – flowerlady (woman who’s pretty like a flower)

3)   엘프녀 – 엘프 (elf); 녀 (female) – elf-lady (a girl who has all the beauty traits of an elf from sci-fi movies/video games)

4)   베이글녀 – 베이비 얼굴 (baby face); 글래모레스한 몸 (glamorous body); 녀 (female) – a girl who has a baby face and a nice/glamorous body

5)   몸짱 – 몸 (body); 짱 (great/awesome) – perfect body/awesome body

6)   얼짱 – 얼굴 (face); 짱 (great/awesome) – perfect face/ awesome face

The last thing I want to mention is something that may confuse you guys if you see it on Facebook or something when your Korean friends write a status or write to their close friends, and that is I guess what could be called “acronyms”. Koreans sometimes don’t write the whole sentence or phrase and instead write something like “ㅁㅊㄱㄷ”. What the heck is that, right?

ㅁ – 미

ㅊ – 치

ㄱ – 겠

ㄷ- 다


Some Koreans use this for a wide variety of terms and phrases, but it can get very confusing, even to Koreans, I think. But anyway, here are some common ones:

1)   ㅈㄱㄷ/ㅈㄱㄴ – 죽겠다/ 주겠네 –  I think I’m gonna die

2)   ㅈㅅ – 죄송 – Sorry!

3)   ㄳ – 감사 – Thanks!

4)   ㅁㅊㄱㄴ – 미치겠네 – I think I’m going crazy!

5)   ㅅㅅㅎㅁㅊㄱㄷ – 심심해 미치겠다 – I’m going crazy from being so bored

Try it, it’s fun! You can do it with virtually any phrase, just make sure the person with whom you’re speaking knows the context in which you’re speaking, otherwise they may look at you like this: o.0


Hope this is useful to you guys! See you next week :)

Categories: 2013

2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s