[2014 Edition] 5 Korean Slang that will instantly make you sound more native

Hi, this is Tina. I previously wrote a blog post about 10 Korean Slang, and received lots of great comments. So, here I’m back again with more Korean slang words that they don’t teach you in the textbooks, but nevertheless, very useful in really understanding vernacular Korean!

Here we go.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 오후 7.04.03

TLDR definition: are a frustrating/nonsense person.

Explanation: This word comes from the combination of고구마 & 답답해.
고구마 [Go-gu-ma] is sweet potato in Korean and 답답해 is used to describe someone who is frustrating or slow to catch on with the conversation. Merging the two words together, you get 고답이. You know how your mouth gets dried up and your throat chokes up when you eat steamed sweet potato? Korean people call this stuffy sensation 답답해, hence you get this expression.

In a sentence:
고구마100개를 먹은거처럼 답답한사람을 고답이라고 합니다.
[You call one Go-Dab-I if they’re stuffy/frustrating as someone who ate 100 sweet potatoes]

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 오후 7.05.33

Example of a 웃픈 photo


TLDR Definition: LOL + OTL; funny but sad situations

Explanation: This phrase is to a combination of two words 웃기다 which means funny and 슬프다 which means sad. Another form of this expression is 큐큐 which is a combination of ㅋㅋ or lol and ㅠㅠ which is tears emoji in hangul.

In a sentence:
리모콘이 핸드폰인줄알고 그거 들고 통화할려고 했어 ㅠ 완전 웃프다.
I thought the remote control was my cell phone, so I tried using it to call someone. Don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 오후 7.05.15


TLDR Definition: Used to refer to people who got hotter after plastic surgery but result is so natural, you would’ve never guess they had surgery.

Explanation: 감쪽 comes from the word 감쪽같다 which means barely noticeable. Add 녀/남 which is simply a gender signifier [female/male] to the first two letters 감쪽 and you get the word 감쪽녀/감쪽남.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 오후 7.08.53


TLDR Definition: People that fish for confirmation/ compliments

Explanation: This phrase is a shorten abbreviation of ‘답은 정해져 있고 넌 대답만 하면 되’ which loosely translates into “the answer is already set in stone, all you have to do is give me that answer.” People that asks questions like “Don’t you think I’m fat? Am I ugly?” are often considered people that are 답정너. What they’re seeking for is your approval and compliments.

Example [of a guy not giving into a typical 답정너]:
A: Omg, a guy from my class just told me I looked like Taeyeon from SNSD.

B: Are you sure they didn’t say Taeyang from BigBang?

A: No.. – _- he said Taeyeon. But I don’t’ like Taeyeon T-T She’s not even that pretty. Wtf…Seriously, do I look like Taeyeon????

B: I’m sure he said Taeyang.

In a sentence:
무시하는게 답정너를 피하는최고의 방법.
Ignoring is the best way to deal with people that fish for compliments.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 오후 7.12.07

Headline of the news 삼춘팬 심쿵 loosely translates into: Irene from Red velvet is giving her uncle fans heartthrobs.


TLDR Definition: Heartthrob

Explanation: This expression is a shortened combination of the word 심장 [Sim-Jang] which means heart and 쿵쾅쿵쾅 [Kung-kuang Kung-kuang] which is an onomatopoeia that imitates the sound your heart makes when it’s pulsing rapidly. Combined, you get the word 심쿵 which is used to describe anything that makes your pulse race. Usually, it’s used to refer anything that gives you a heartthrob.

In a sentence:
조인성의 심쿵사진 모음
[Compilation of Jo-In Sung’s Heartthrob photos]
제나 강아지사진 봤는데 완전 심쿵<3
[Just saw photos of Jenna’s puppy – what a heartthrob <3]

Hope that was helpful!

Comment below and let me know if you have any questions. Follow me on twitter @tinasyhsu for more updates on Korean language and lifestyle!

Categories: 2014

7 replies »

  1. How about dollyeo/tollyeo in kdrama which they used when they melting over a guy/girl i guess..(it has a similar meaning to simkung but different) still can’t find the right spell and meaning.. can you help me? Plss

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