Korean Slang: 80+ Everyday Words and Phrases That Sound Like a Native (2023)

Korean Slang: 80+ Everyday Words and Phrases That Sound Like a Native (1)

written by
Caitlin Sacasas

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Here's something Korean textbooks don't teach you: Korean slang.

Learning colloquial Korean is essential for understanding everyday Korean speech and casual conversation, but it is difficult to learn and master.Especiallysince it is not traditionally taught in the classroom.

And if you learn Korean to understand KPop andKorean TV Shows, you will hear these phrases all the time.

As they start making Korean friends, they will also start talking more informally and using more slang with each other. So you have to learn them!

Once you start sprinkling these Korean slang words into your daily speech, you'll start sounding more like a Korean pro.

Well, here is today's schedule:


  • Basic Korean slang words to get you started
    • 대박 (Daebak) - "Amazing" or "Incredible"
    • Heol - "OMG" or "WTF"
    • 짱 (jjang) – "Amazing", "Better" or "Great"
    • Aegyo – „Vater“
  • kkuljaem — "Funny" or "Interesting"
  • 노잼 (nojaem) – "No fun" or "boring"
    • Battle! (wait!) - "Fight!"
    • 장동 (geukyeom) – "Extreme repulsion"
    • Simkung – "Fangirismo"
    • Solkkamal – „TBH“
  • Korean slang phrases to add flavor to your conversations
  • Modern Korean slang terms
    • Korean Face Mask: Mask (New)
    • only alone
    • „Insperiencias“: inseupireonseujok
    • Mental breakdown: Menbung
    • Impulskäufe: Hwatgimbiyong
  • cute korean slang words
  • Cool Korean Words
  • Korean text and internet slang
  • Sounds like a local with Korean slang

Let's dive in!

Basic Korean slang words to get you started

First, let's look at some common Korean slang words you should know. These are simple and easy to get started even as a Korean beginner.

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However, rememberKorean is a hierarchical language (and society)🇧🇷 Therefore, you should only use slang with your friends, colleagues and peers.

Big (Daebak) - "Surprising" or "Surprising"

Big (Daebak) is one of the most common Korean slang words you will hear. It's like "cool" or "awesome" in English. But it's also used to mean "wow," "cool," or "that's crazy!"

It is used as an exclamation point and can be used for anything amazing or amazing.

OH DEAR GOD (estrada) – "OMG" or "WTF"

OH DEAR GOD (estrada) means the same as "OMG" or "WTF" in English and is used in the same way. I like 대박 (Daebak), is an exclamation used when something is super shocking.

unbelievable (jjang) - "Great", "Better" or "Great"

Another common slang term is 짱 (jjang) used to describe anything as awesome or cool.

It is sometimes combined with other words to make slang phrases like 몸짱 (Mamajjang), meaning someone has a great physique.

Charming (Aye) - "Lindo"

Charming (Aye) is a type of dress and language rather than a colloquial term. But it means "lovely" or "sweet".

cute in koreanhas its own culture in which to speakAyewith long, drawn out syllables and overly cute gestures.

This is especially popular with Korean idols.

honey jam (kuljaem) - "Fun" or "Interesting"

Schatz (kkul) means “honey” and 잼 (Hurray) means “sauce”. So the literal translation is "honey compote". But the whole term means something is fun or interesting.

this is not fun (nojaem) - "Not fun" or "Boring"

Or honey jam post (kuljaem) is not jam (nojaem), meaning "it's not the jam", isn't funny or humorous.

It's cold too (seolleonghae), meaning both "not funny" and "sloppy".

¡Lucha! 🇧🇷waiting!) - "¡Lucha!"

Also spelled fighting (framework), this expression is Konglish (a mixture of Korean and English).

It means anything from "Put in a good fight!", "Give it your all!", "Do your best!", "Good luck!", "You can do it!", or "C'mon!"

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Often used to cheer on friends or your favorite team at sporting events.

I hate that (geukyeom) - "Extreme Disgust"

You'll find that much of Korean slang is simply shortening, compressing, and combining words. (Often even a mix of Korean and English words!) This is another example of a mixed sentence.

I hate that (geukyeom) is short for Extreme Abomination (geukan-ui hyeom-o), meaning "extreme hatred".

So let close friends or family know if you see anything disgusting or hateful.

Heart attack (king of swimming) – „Fangirling“

If you are a fan of KPop or Hallyu, part of 팬덤 (conviction, "fandom") - you know. We all have our 최애 (Choea), our “love” or our “bias”.

For example, I love RM from BTS and Hyun Bin from Crashing Landing on You. And when I see them, I definitely feel 심쿵 (king of swimming)!

Basically heart attack (king of swimming) means your heart will skip a beat when you see someone cute or you're fangirling with a crush on an idol. It is a combination of 심장 (Simjang, "heart") and the Korean onomatopoeia 쿵 (And yes, "blow").

Solkamal (Solkkamal) – „TBH“

Solkamal (Solkkamal) means "TBH" or "to be honest" in Korean. It is short for be honest (Soljiki kkanogo malhaeseo), which means "to be honest".

But to be honest ("Tuberculosis"), one could honestly say (salt shaker), meaning "honest".

Korean slang phrases to add flavor to your conversations

Now it's time to learn some more slang that lets you sound cool like kids these days.

  • the wine (ojyeotda) - "It's on"
  • unbelievable (jjeoreo) - "Daaaaaamn" (Yes, drawn like that. You know what I mean).
  • true story (silhwaya) - "Serious?" "True story"
  • Anmulangung (anmul-angung) - "I didn't ask, I don't care"
  • there is power (Leg is) – "to have the power" or "one with the power"
  • As (black) - "As?"
  • oh god my (sesange) - "What the hell?!" Oh my God!"
  • Autofoto (Selka) - "Autofoto"
  • Mutter (nuns) – "Searching" or reading a text or following social networks without replying or commenting
  • load (Jim) – "Now" (short for now,jigeum)
  • Freitag (Chef) – "TGIF", or literally "Burning Friday" or "Golden Friday"
  • taste point (Mateus) - "Tasty Lunch"

Modern Korean slang terms

(Here he is looking at you,experiences!)

A lot of new jargon has emerged thanks to the pandemic, and life has changed as a result. So here are some new ones you can find:

Korean face mask: mask (next time)

Okay, that's not technical jargon, but good to know! Therefore, there are two types of masks in Korean. There is the kind you use to prevent the spread of disease and disease. And then there are the masks you use for skin care.

If you're referring to the former, it's 마스크 (next time), as well as in English. But if you talk about the skin care mask, it's 마스크시트 (come to the site).

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only (self-soul)

Some new slang words have recently become more popular due to isolation and loneliness. The first is 쓸쓸비용 (seulsseul biyong), meaning “cost of loneliness” or doing an activity alone.

On the same line it says:

  • mixed race (get on your knees): A person who likes to do things alone
  • Honbap (Honbab): eat alone
  • Hongkong (Honkono) or Honnol (allegedly): Sing karaoke (noraebangin Korean) alone
  • mixture (baby): Watching a film alone (usually in the cinema)
  • alone (honhaeng): travel alone
  • sober (HonsolÖHonsula): drink alone

The last one you can see. "Honsool" was a song by BTS member Suga that came out during the pandemic.

By the way, all these words start with the root 혼 (baby) which is the abbreviation for 혼자 (honja), "alone".

„Insperiences“: The inspiration (inseuprieonseujok)

Here's another Konglandic term inspired by being creative at home during our year of quarantine.

Inspiration (insuprieonseu) combines “inside”, “inspired” and “experience” into a new word: “insperiências”. 족 (Seat) means "tribe," meaning things you do at home with those you're quarantined with.

Colapso-Mental: Colapso-Mental (Menbung)

The pandemic has caused enough nervous breakdowns in many people that this jargon has really taken off. It is a mixture of 멘탈 (mental) for "mental (health)" and 붕괴 (discussion), meaning "collapse".

There is also a similar expression 이생망 (eesaengmang), meaning "I'm done with this life". You will see that Koreans use aa lot ofof intense phrases and slang ina lot ofdramatic ways, and this is one of them. Basically, it means you've done something very embarrassing or screwed up.

A lot of lines like this appeared after the psychological drama Psycho, but that's okay (saiko jiman gwaenchanhaaloof, which literally means "Psycho, but it's okay." In English, the Netflix show is called "It's okay to be not be okay".

Impulse Buying: Cost of Anger (hwatgimbiyong)

Has living at home made you do a lot of impulse buying? You and many others! And then 홧김비용 (hwatgimbiyong) has seen a big surge lately.

Rabia (and since) means "get hot" as in "enraged" or "in the heat of battle". and 비용 (biyong) means "cost" or "damage". So it's the damage done in the heat of the moment...an impulse buy.

There are also some other terms related to it. Me gusta 나심비 (Nashibi), which stands for "my mental health cost", i. H. a purchase you make to improve your mood. EITHERBihere is the abbreviation of the samebiyongNo impulse buys.

We see this again in Fool's Cost (meong cheong biyong) meaning "stupid expense" where you made a mistake that cost you money.

cute korean slang words

then I mentionedAyeYes, what is "cute". That's a fewAyecute Korean words and phrases you can use.

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  • Hungry (baegopang) - "I'm hungry"
  • is pan (Opa) – A term of endearment for an older man you like (literally means “brother”)
  • Be happy (Bravo) - "Be happy"
  • I buy (sajwo) - "Buy me that" (Say crybaby!)
  • I promise (That's all) - "I promise"
  • I look good (and for gwieobji) - "I'm not cute?"
  • I love you (Saranghaeyo) - "I love you"
  • I miss you (bogo sipeo) - "I need you"

To sound good, you should add thatMetroÖagainSound to the end of the word as seen inOpa.

Nota lateral: Hang Show (Bravo) was popularized by the idol G-Dragon, which he used as "peace". However, you can use this to say goodbye.

Cool Korean Words

Do you want to sound better? Try these Korean words:

  • fourth dimension (Sachaon) - "4D", "crazy" or "eccentric" (in a positive sense)
  • Chimaek (Chimäek) – “Chicken and Beer”, the perfect combination
  • Do not lie to me (peongchijima) - "Do not lie!"
  • enjoyment (Jonmat) - "P-delicious"
  • 만렙 (manleb) - "Level 10,000" (or I like to think of it that way"It's more than 9,000!")
  • jjorep (jjolep) – “beginner level” or “beginner” (opposite of 만렙,manleb)
  • Kanji (Ganji) - "Style"
  • Juan Matteng (jonmattaeng) - "Delicious"

Korean text and internet slang

Text jargon can get very confusing in other languages, especially when you start mixing English letters and abbreviations with Korean. Honestly, this could be an entire article in itself.

So here's a first list of some of the more common ones you might encounter:

  • Sejelye (sejelye) – "The most beautiful in the world" (usually said in the text)
  • Numulbo (Number) or simply ㄴㅁㅅ (n m b) - "Did someone ask?"
  • JMT - Abbreviation for John Mattang,jonmattaeng, meaning "delicious".
  • ~~: Add cuteness or a happy sentiment to a text. is consideredAyeor "beautiful"
  • Jajaja (kkk) or jajaja – "jaja" or "lol"
  • 091012 - "Study hard"
  • OK (OK) - "OK"
  • Gracias (g s) – "ty" or "thank you" (short for thank you,gamsahamnida)
  • Loss (js) – “Excuse me” (short forjoesonghamnida)
  • SIM (out) - "sim"
  • No (north north) - "no"
  • ㅁㄹ (UE) – "idk" (short for I don't know,Maultier)
  • oh god my (dd) – “frightening”, trembling onomatopoeia. (short for 덜덜,deoldeol)
  • is not present (es) - "Where are they?" or where are you?" (short for 어디야,eodia)
  • and and (ch k ch k) - "Congratulations!" (short for congratulations,Tschukachuk)
  • ㅃㅃ (bb bb) - "Goodbye!" (short for goodbye,paippai)

Sounds like a local with Korean slang

Now that you've learned some Korean slang, you need to get out there and use it! Try it out with your friends or practice making sentences yourself.

Are you ready to learn more Korean? learn to say"I love you in Korean(a K-drama staple!). or dominate yoursColors in Korean.

Korean Slang: 80+ Everyday Words and Phrases That Sound Like a Native (2)

Caitlin Sacasas

Content writer, fluent in 3 months

Caitlin is a copywriter, content strategist and language student. Besides languages, her passions are fitness, books and Star Wars. Connect with her:blood|LinkedIn

He speaks:English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

View all posts by Caitlin Sacasas

(Video) 15 Strange English Words You'll Never Learn in Class | Common Slang and Colloquial English


How do you text Korean like a native? ›

All you have to do is replace the -다 ending form to -ㅁor -음 ending form. -ㅁis used for the words, where the words end with a vowel, while -음 is used for the words, which end with a consonant.

What does ganji mean in Korean? ›

Noun. 간지 • (ganji) (slang) fashionable taste, zest.

How do you say cool in Korean slang? ›

If we are talking about a person, a quality about them, or something they are doing as being 'cool', the right word to use is 멋있어요 (meosisseoyo). You can also informally use it just in its basic form, which is 멋있다 (meositta).

What is F in Korean? ›

Actually, there are no F or V sounds in Korean. In fact, there's no difference between P and F or B and V. Therefore, the P and F sounds are both pronounced as ㅍ[pieup] and B and V as ㅂ[bieup]. Let's go through some examples so you can learn how to make these sounds in Korean.

What is cute in Korean slang? ›

The informal way to say “cute” in Korean is 귀여워 (gwiyeowo). You can use this expression with people who are very close to you, such as with your girlfriend or date.

What does Dang Geun mean? ›

(By the way, Danggeun means carrot in Korean.)

What does OTL mean in Korean? ›

OTL is a Korean emoticon expressing desperation /disappointment. ( an image of a man kneeling down with both hands to the ground) O = head. T = torso and arms to the ground. L = legs.

How do Koreans talk casually? ›

Haeche(해체) is an informal, casual speech with no added degree of respect. It is called “Banmal반말” (informal speech) in Korean. It is used to speak casually between close friends, siblings, relatives and when addressing younger people. Recently, many children use Banmal to their parents.

What does Nari mean in Korea? ›

Unlike most Korean names, which are composed of two Sino-Korean roots each written with one hanja, "Nari" is an indigenous Korean name: a single word meaning "lily".

What is Chalja Korean? ›

The most common way of saying good night in Korean is "Sleep well" or "Sleep peacefully". The honorific form is "pyon-ahn-ha-geh choo-moo-say-yoh" or "편안하게 주무세요" in Korean script. The polite form is "chal ja-yoh" or "잘 자요" in Korean script. The informal form is "chal ja" or "잘 자" in Korean script.

What does Yeongi mean? ›

Noun. 연기 (yeongi) contact, connection, liaison.

What does Bichoso mean? ›

bichoso {adjective masculine}

worm-eaten {adj.}

What is a Korean insult? ›

Korean Swear Words #1 || 씨발 (Ssi-Bal) Korean Swear Words #2 || 개새끼 (Gae-Sae-Ggi) Korean Swear Words #3 || 지랄 (Ji-Ral) Korean Swear Words #4 || 빈대새끼 (Bin-Dae-Sae-Ggi) Korean Swear Words #5 || 미친놈, 미친년 (Mi-Chin-Nom, Mi-Chon-Nyeon)

How do you flirt Korean phrases? ›

If he or she is of the same age, then you can call them by name. You may use “오빠 – Oppa” (to older boyfriend) or “누나 – Nuna” (to older girlfriend) when you are in love with someone older than you. And if you feel love, then you can use “여보 – yeobo” (honey) or “자기야 – Jagiya” (darling).

What is Yaa Korean? ›

-a or -ya (Hangul: 아, 야) is a casual title used at the end of names. It is not gender exclusive. If a name ends in a consonant -a is used (e.g. Jinyoung-a 진영아), while -ya is used if the name ends in a vowel (e.g. Yeji-ya 예지야).

What does Seki mean in Korean? ›

새끼 (sae-kki, --): A noun used to derogatorily refer to any general person. The word, when not used as a profanity, is used to describe a young of an animal. Note it can also be used affectionately too.

What do Koreans call foreigners? ›

Many foreigners in Korea are called an altered form of the word foreigner, "oekuk-saram," instead of the proper pronunciation, "oeguk-saram." The "k" pronunciation imitates foreigners' pronunciation of the word "oeguk-saram."

What do you call a beautiful girl in Korean? ›

The first way is to use the word 아름답다 (areumdapda). The second way is to use the word 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), which means 'pretty'. These words generally can both be used interchangeably.

What does Ppoppo mean in Korean? ›

Noun. 뽀뽀 • (ppoppo) a kiss; smooch; peck (non-romantic) quotations ▼synonyms ▲ Synonyms: 키스 (kiseu, “romantic kiss”), 입맞춤 (immatchum)

What is Yeppo? ›

Interjection. yeppo. (slang) yes quotations ▼

What does Dang Dang mean? ›

dāng dāng. (onom.) clang clank of metal sound of striking a gong.

What does volantis mean? ›

nounWord forms: Latin genitive Volantis (vəʊˈlæntɪs ) a small constellation in the S hemisphere lying between Carina and Hydrus. Word origin. C19: from Latin, literally: flying, from volāre to fly.

Is Dang an inappropriate word? ›

As an expletive, it's a nonsense word with no meaning, thus not offensive. Dang is nothing but a nonsense word with no meaning except that produced by its habitual use as an expletive. Thus is it not offensive.

What does OTF mean in texting? ›

OTF is an acronym often used in social media that means only the family.

What does OTP mean in texting? ›

What does OTP mean? OTP is an abbreviation meaning "one true pair/pairing."

What does Omo stand? ›

OMO stands for Open Market Operations. It is a mechanism by which a central bank can purchase or sell bonds in the open market. It is an effective mechanism to control the liquidity in the market. Also read: Open Market Operations.

How do Koreans express affection? ›

Public displays of affection (PDA) is a sin most Korean couples commit. While you should keep the steamy make-out sessions private, PDA tends to happen on the norm in Korean dating culture. Holding hands, giving a peck, or even a kiss is a usual sight.

How do you introduce yourself in Korean casually? ›

Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) is used to introduce oneself in Korean in both formal and semiformal contexts. In formal situations, another form can also be used, namely cheoeum boepgesseumnida (처음 뵙겠습니다), which literally means “see you for the first time”.

Do Koreans show affection? ›

Physical Contact: Koreans are generally not very physically affectionate with one another. However, girls and young women may walk hand-in-hand and male friends may touch one another more frequently than what is the norm amongst western men.

What is a juicy girl in Korean? ›

"A Juicy girl is a woman who works in a "Juicy Bar" in South Korea, or within other Korean populated areas throughout the world. Women are employed to sit and chat with customers and persuade them to continue to buy drinks for themselves and expensive drinks for the women."

How do you flirt in Korean phrases? ›

잠깐 산책할까요? (Jamkkan sanchaekalkkayo?)

Well, asking someone for a walk is a simple yet romantic to do with your special someone. So, if you want to use that in flirting with someone, you can say, “잠깐 산책할까요? (Jamkkan sanchaekalkkayo?)”.

What are famous Korean sayings? ›

  • 1.제 눈에 안경이다 (je nune angyeongida) ...
  • 꿩 먹고 알 먹는다 (kkwong meokgo al meongneunda) ...
  • 로마는 하루아침에 이루어진 것이 아니다 (romaneun haruachime irueojin geosi anida) ...
  • 보기 좋은 떡이 먹기도 좋다 (bogi joeun tteogi meokgido jota) ...
  • 과부 설움은 홀아비가 안다 ...
  • 낮말은 새가 듣고 밤말은 쥐가 듣는다 ...
  • 7.눈에서 멀어지면, 마음에서도 멀어진다 ...
  • 말을 냇가에 끌고 갈 수는 있어도 억지로 물을 먹일 수는 없다
May 29, 2021

What is a Korean lover called? ›

There are two words you can use to express sweetheart in Korean. The first word is 애인 (aein) and the second word is 연인 (yeonin). Both 애인 (aein) and 연인 (yeonin) can also be used for “lover.”

What do Korean call their girlfriend? ›

여자친구 (“yeo-ja-chin-gu”) — Girlfriend

It's the combination of 여자 (“yeo-ja”) which means woman, and 친구 (“chin-gu”) which means friend.

What is the dating rule in Korea? ›

Korean couples celebrate in 100-day increments counting from the first day of their relationship – at 100 days, 200, 300, 500 and 1,000 days. Younger couples (usually teens) celebrate their 22nd day together.

What is Gunbae in Korean? ›

Meaning: Cheers/ Empty the glass. Korean: 건배 Pronounced: Gun bae. Meaning: Cheers/ toast.

What is Aegyo in Korean? ›

Aegyo (Korean: 애교; Hanja: 愛嬌) in Korean refers to a cute display of affection often expressed through a cute voice, changes to speech, facial expressions, or gestures. Aegyo literally means behaving in a flirtatious, coquettish manner and it is commonly expected for both male and female K-pop idols.

What Korean said before eating? ›

If you feel confident in your Korean, you can say 'jal meokkessumnida' (잘 먹겠습니다 ) before the meal — similar to the Japanese itadakimasu, it roughly translates to 'I will eat well'.

What is the most used Korean word? ›

Korean Words and Basic Vocabulary That Are Used Most Often
  • Hello – 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo)
  • Please – 주세요 (juseyo)
  • Sorry – 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida)
  • Thank you – 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida)
  • Yes – 네 (ne)
  • No – 아니요 (aniyo)
  • Maybe – 아마도 (amado)
  • Help – 도와 주세요 (dowa juseyo)
Jan 2, 2023

What is the easiest Korean word? ›

The Most Basic Korean Words You Must Know
  • An-nyeong ha-se-yo (안녕하세요):Hello. ...
  • An-nyeong-hi ga-se-yo (안녕히 가세요): Goodbye. ...
  • An-nyeong-hi gye-se-yo (안녕히 계세요): Goodbye. ...
  • Ne (네): Yes.
  • A-ni-yo (아니요): No.
  • A-ma-do (아마도): Maybe.
  • Mol-la-yo (몰라요): I don't know.
  • Jam-shi-man-yo (잠시만요): Excuse me./Just a moment.
Dec 4, 2020

What does hyuuga mean in Korean? ›

휴가 • (hyuga) (hanja 休暇) vacation, holiday.

What does Chogi mean in Korean? ›

/chogi/ beginning. singular noun. The beginning of a period of time is the time at which it starts. The wedding will be at the beginning of March.

What is Bambi Korean? ›

“'Bambi' refers to both the deer character and 'night rain' (in Korean).


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