I’ve started to become a regular guest at the Playground café in Hongdae. (If you look through their facebook pics, you’ll see proof that I was there.) This café is an awesome place where Koreans and foreigners can get together and exchange languages. This week, I went there on Tuesday and met a couple of girls who thought my Korean skills needed to be lifted by learning some more Korean slang.

As most Korean learners/speakers know, Korean slang is usually constructed by shortening other words and putting them together such as saying 남친 as slang for 구 meaning boyfriend, much like we can also just use the term BF in English.

Slang is usually used in casual/intimate speech except for the more widely used words such as 비번 (호 meaning password)  자소서 ( meaning application or cover letter).

So, which slang expressions did I learn on Tuesday? One of the girls complemented my skin tone and asked me if I was going 생얼 (slang for not wearing makeup), to which I laughingly said no – I was wearing makeup. They thought it hilarious that I knew that term and made a point of adding a few more to my vocabulary. One of them was 낄끼빠빠 which is an expression made of 질 때 져, meaning something similar to the line from The Gambler “know when to walk away and know when to run”. Another expression I learned was 창렬, which is used about food that is over-priced and not very good. Usually Koreans will use the word as in “헐, 이게 진짜 창렬이다”. 창렬 is actually the name of a Korean singer 김창럴, who was once promoting food sold in convenience stores across Korea. Apparently the food got such a bad reputation that his name is now used as a slang expression. Hilarious!

I’ve also realized that as my Korean skills expand every day, I can more easily guess the meaning of slang I haven’t heard before. Last week my Korean best friend sent me a text around lunchtime simply saying “맛점해~!” I had never seen that word before, but I could easily decompose it into 있게 해 (enjoy your lunch). On a different occasion I also recently received one where he asked me “왜 읽씹해?!” which is a slang way of asking why I didn’t respond to his text message. This term is a super-slang term in the sense that it’s constructed of the regular word 다 (to read), 다 (literal meaning: to chew, slang meaning: to ignore someone’s words), and 다 (meaning to do). In other words, this slang expression means “why did you read my message without replying”.

Do you know any cool Korean slang? Please share in the comments!


  1. 푸하하. this is so funny that you’ve learned a lot of slangs. I’ll let you know a bit harder one. ‘빼박캔트’ is also used among young undergrad students.. ‘빼박’ is from ‘빼도 박도 못하다’, which means ‘now you can’t push or pull anymore’. so it’s like you’re stuck. and people translated ‘못하다’ into English, ‘can’t(캔트)’. so ‘빼박캔트’ means you are in a situation where you can’t deny to do something. for example, when you’ve made a check mate at a chess game, you say ‘이건 빼박캔트 내가 이겼네’. got it? lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember hearing 속도위반 used for when a girl gets pregnant before marriage, I thought that was pretty funny.

    Also, not technically slang but calling someone a spy if they don’t know something obvious is funny; 그것을 모르면 간첩

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello Sofie! I came over here from youtube and this is brilliant and amazing. I also love to learn Language and have many thoughts on it. I also have a lofty goal of obtaining 10 languages in my lifetime. I strongly believe that it’s possible for me to attain it and it’s not impossible for anybody. I wish I can also help you learn Korean. I’m glad I’ve found this blog and have a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi 경택! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!!! How lovely to meet a fellow language learner! I absolutely agree with you. If you really want something and give it all you have, anything is attainable. Keep pushing 🙂


  4. 떡본김에 제사””엎어진 김에 쉬어가자” 우연히 누군가에게 등산복을 선물 받앗다면 남편에게 “떡본김에 제사라고하니 등산이나 갑시다
    “라고 사용하시면 됩니다.영어로 답하셔도 됨니다.


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