September 2, 2013
Korean Slang: 10 More Essential Words
There’s been a massive change in my life lately, and it’s one I haven’t shouted from the rooftops or publicised much. I’m now single. Yes, no more me and Gil Dong. Which makes me feel rather foolish for writing posts like this. I’m not going to go into details, so if you want some, you better come buy me a margarita and loosen my tongue up. Also, for now, I have no plans to go back to South Korea. That’s right, the likes of penis parks, confusing culinary customs and downright bizarre holidays will have to wait a fair while before I next encounter them.
After spending well over three years in Korea, I became more than slightly acquainted with the language, and really enjoyed learning Korean. I’m not letting all that go to waste, no no. Not the textbooks I’ve bought, nor the words my students taught me. So with that in mind, I’m bringing you the sequel to my first Korean slang post – and this sequel is a lot sassier and saucier than the original.
1. 삼분카레 (sam-boon ka-re)
Ever had a man who can’t even last three minutes in bed? That’s what this piece of Korean slang is referring to. 삼분카레 means ‘three-minute curry’ in English. You know, the instant curry you put in the microwave that takes three minutes to cook. Well, if you refer to a guy as this, it means he’s fired his little white tadpoles before the microwave has gone bing. Guys, if you hear a Korean girl – or guy, for that matter – refer to you as this, you need to work on your bedroom skills.
2. 대박 (dae-bak)
A super common word in Korean, 대박 has the meaning of ‘awesome!’, ‘wow!’ or ‘cool!’ If you see something amazing, like a footballer score a goal with a bicycle kick, or a woman setting what must be a world record for twerking on a dance floor, you can exclaim, “대박!” to express your admiration. The meaning can also be altered if you change the tone of your voice – add a hint of disgust, and it changes to, “wow” as in, “oh my god that’s so bad.” Think Miley Cyrus at the VMAs.
3. 술고래 (sool-go-rae)
Know someone who likes to knock back a few too many cups of makkeolli? Well, then the term 술고래 may be apt in describing him or her. The word 술 means ‘alcohol’ and 고래 means ‘whale’, so translated, 술고래 is ‘alcohol whale’. Because if whales could drink, I’d imagine they could sink a few barrels of Jagerbombs.
4. 당근이지 (dang-geun-ee-jee)
A play on words, 당근이지 is another way of saying 당연하지 (dang-yeon-ha-jee), which means ‘of course’. Except 당근 means ‘carrot’, so instead of saying, “of course”, you’re really saying, “it’s a carrot!” But the meaning is still ‘of course’.
5. 된장녀 (dwen-jang-nyeo)
Nobody likes a 된장녀, which has the translation of, ‘soybean woman’. Soybean is a rather cheap condiment in South Korea, and that resonates when calling someone a 된장녀 – a cheap woman, but usually who thinks she’s classy, or is after money. You know the kind. And we all hate her.
If a 된장녀 is a woman that we hate, then a 훈남 is the opposite. A man that everyone loves, a man that can be called a 훈남 is usually charming, smart, handsome, and an all-around nice guy – basically the kind of chap that you want to make cakes, a home and babies with.
7. 땡땡이 치다 (ddaeng-ddaeng-ee chee-da)
Have a mild case of the sniffles but decide to skip work? Can’t be bothered to go to your morning lecture because you’re watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman? I never did either of those things. Ever. My eyes totally aren’t moving shiftily from side to side. You must be imagining things. If I were to have done either of those things (nope, eyes still aren’t shifty), then you could use the phrase 땡땡이 치다, which means ‘to play truant from work or school’.
8. 떡을 치다 (ddeok-eul chee-da)
Now we get to the saucy stuff! The word 떡 means ‘rice cake‘, and the word 치다 means ‘hit’, ‘crash’ or ‘smack’. So 떡을 치다 means something along the lines of two rice cakes slapping together. Do you know what the sound of two rice cakes slapping together is similar to? The noise that two people having sex makes, apparently! You know, that slap-slap-slap sound. Be warned, though – don’t use this when trying to seduce someone. It’s a rather crude piece of Korean slang.
9. 바람둥이 (ba-ram-doong-ee)
With 바람 meaning ‘wind’ and 둥이 loosely meaning ‘boy’, 바람둥이 means ‘windy boy’, or in English, ‘play boy’. A 바람둥이 isn’t the kind of boy who you want to date, but rather just have a bit of fun with – make sure you use a condom, though. You don’t want to know all the places a 바람둥이 has been.
10. 기집애 (게집에) – gee-jee-bay
A 기집에, or 게집에, is basically one hell of a bad-ass lady. If you know your K-Pop, think C.L. from Korean girl group 2NE1 – she even has a song called 기집에. I’ll let this video do the talking.
So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you. What’s your favourite piece of Korean slang on this list? Are there any slang words that you love that aren’t included here or in part one? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.