Learning Korean is a step taken by fans to understand all things Korea. From watching ongoing series without subtitles to being able to communicate with your bias through SNS; at least a bit of knowledge in Korean is needed even if you are a new fan.
Are you new to the world of Korean slang? Read part one to learn the common expressions to build your fangirl vocabulary.
Now that you have the basic expressions down, its time to learn new terms to add to your Korean slang knowledge. Part two is mostly made up of compound words or shortened combinations.
1. 치맥 (chi maek)
This expression is a combination of chi for chicken and maek for 맥주 (maekju meaning beer).
Eating chicken with beer is now a staple combination in Korea’s food scene.
The phenomenon can be traced back to the hit Korean romantic-comedy drama “My Love from the Star,” where actress Jun Ji Hyun of “My Sassy Girl” played a chicken-and-beer-loving character.
2. 원삿 (won shat)
Meaning: Bottoms up!
Literally means one shot, a Konglish (or Korean-style English) term used in drinking culture.
3. 노잼 (no jaem)
Meaning: Not fun/funny or uninteresting
Combination of 노 (no) meaning no and 잼 (jaem) is short for 재미있어요 (jaemi isseoyo), which means ‘interesting’. You may use this when you see something that you don’t think is fun or funny.
Alternatively, you may use 꿀잼 (ggul-jaem) when something is fun or interesting. Literally, 꿀 (ggul) means honey.
4. 배째 (bae jjae)
Meaning: No way! or Over my dead body!
Shortened term for, 배를 째라 (bae reul jjae ra) which literally means, “I’ll cut my stomach”
You say this when you absolutely can’t be convinced to do something.
5. 그냥 (keu nyang)
Meaning: Just because…
Usually used when you don’t want or can’t explain something to someone. In Filipino, this would translate to using the word basta.
Person A: Why are you suddenly angry?
Person B: Keu nyang… (Just because…)
6. 쌩얼 (ssaeng eol)
Meaning: Bare face
Combination of 쌩 (ssaeng) meaning raw/bare and 얼굴 (eol gul) meaning face. Used to describe someone who is not wearing any makeup.
7. 모쏠 (mo ssol)
Meaning: Someone who has never had a boyfriend or girlfriend.
This word is short for for 모태 솔로 (mo tae sol lo), which is a term used to describe someone who has been “solo” their entire life, since being born.
8. 밀당 (mil dang)
This is a combination of the verbs 밀다 (to push) and 당기다 (to pull).
In Korean slang, this term refers to the inconsistent actions shown in romantic relationships. These actions may be sweet first then cold the next which may seem like they’re “playing games”.
9. 만렙 (man reb)
Combination of 만 (man) meaning 10, 000 and 레벨 (level)
This phrase refers to someone who is a master or someone likely to have the maximum level in a game. But don’t worry, you can use this phrase for anything (not only in games).
Alternatively, you may use 쪼렙 (jjo reb) for newbies or noobs. This term is a slightly altered version of 쪼그만한 레벨 (jjo keu man han level), meaning a small or low level.
10. 멘붕 (men boong)
Meaning: Mental breakdown
Shortened form for 멘탈 붕괴 (men-tal boong-gwi) meaning mental breakdown
You can use this when you are in an overwhelming situation and don’t know what to do.
Are the phrases above useful in your fangirling sessions? Follow the next part of this series to learn more.