Annyeong! In order to make you sound more like a native speaker, we are going to share with you some commonly used Korean slangs today.
When learning Korean online, using textbooks or apps is beneficial. However, learning Korean slangs help you keep up with contemporary Korean culture, understand the language in real life, and engage in the language like a native.
Moreover, learning slang will help you communicate with locals and comprehend informal discussions because it is widely utilized in South Korean daily interactions. You’ll comprehend more of the colloquial jargon used in television programs, movies, and even music.
Let’s face it, these cool Korean phrases are more fun to say and simpler to remember. So, if you want to sound like a native speaker, use these expressions when hanging out with your pals!
아아 (a-a) – iced americano
아아 (a-a) is simply an abbreviation of iced americano, or 아이스 아메리카노 [aiseu amerikano] in Korean. Koreans are obsessed with iced americano. You can find many Koreans ordering a-a at cafes in South Korea, even in winter. Why the popularity? The taste balance is just right for Korean’s taste bud, it doesn’t contain milk and cheaper than other beverages while giving the drinkers caffeine boost at the same time. In fact, it is Starbuck Korea’s number one selling drink.
대박 (daebak) – awesome, a big hit, a great success
Have you ever seen anything incredible? Then, this phrase is the ideal one for you. One of the most common slangs in Korean is 대박 (daebak). When referring to something incredibly wonderful, it can also indicate “wow” or “that’s insane.”
For instance, Choi Taek became the best player in Korea in 1988 after winning the Go game.대박 (daebak)!
화이팅! (hwaiting!) – fighting
Are you wishing someone luck or giving them an encouragement? This is the ideal Korean slang that you can use with your Korean pals. You can use it to comfort someone who is anxious about doing a major task or who is through a significant life change. It comes from the English word “fighting” to encourage people to fight for their life.
불금 (bulgeum) – TGIF
The Korean slang TGIF simply stands for “Thank God It’s Friday.” Its direct translation in Korean is “burning Friday.” However, when Koreans are excited about the approaching weekend, they use this slang term. The meaning is the same in English.
심쿵 (simkung) – fangirling/heartrob
Do you consider yourself an Army or Blink? You will undoubtedly have your preference if you are a fan of K-pop idols. But if you also enjoy watching Korean actors and actresses, you must have binge-watched every K-drama starring your favorite star. Don’t worry, though. There are many fans just like you.
The fact that Sim-Jang means heart and Kung-Kung is the sound of your heart, this Korean slang term essentially means “heart skips a beat.” If you’re fangirling over your crush or a K-pop idol, you definitely need this aesthetic Korean word. Similar to An Jeong-Ha’s emotions upon meeting her idol Sa Hye-Jun. Do you recall their initial encounter? Even saying his name is beyond her. Watch it on “Record of Youth” for yourself and try to picture how you would feel if you were in front of your hero.
베프 (bepeu) – best friend
Each person requires a best friend. Your best friend is referred to in Korean slang as 베프 (bepeu). It is the abbreviation for 베스트 프렌드 (beseuteu peurendeu) from English. You can also use the abbreviation 한 친구, “jeolchin,” which is short for “great friend” (jeolchinhan chingu).
밀당 (mildang) – push and pull
The word “mildang” is a mix of the verbs “danggida” (당기다 | to pull) and “mildang” ( 밀다 | to push). The expression does not, however, imply a tug-of-war or a trap.
Personal acts of “playing games” with one another, when one moment they feel hot and the next they feel cold, are what it really refers to.
모쏠 (mossol) – somebody who has never had a girlfriend or boyfriend
The word 모태솔로 (motae sollo) is abbreviated as 모쏠 (mossol). “Maternal womb” is the meaning of the initial word, 모태, “motae.” The second word, 솔로 (sollo), which is pronounced like the word “solo,” indicates a single person.
When we combine these, we obtain the phrase “someone who has been alone since birth.”
콜 (kol) – I’m in/Sure
This is probably the last thing you’ll hear from Korean teens before they do something mischievous, like skipping classes (essentially anything that could make for a fantastic story years from now). The word English “call,” when pronounced in Korean “콜,” denotes that the individual making the statement is game.
You can use this term for trivial tasks as well. Similar to when your pals enquire about your plans to attend a movie with them. When you’re in and certain that you’re going, you can say “콜!”.
막장 (mak-jang) – extreme, unrealistic, abnormal, or ridiculous situations
막장 (mak-jang) is an absurd scenario that simply cannot get much worse. Like the main character in your favorite Korean drama, who has suffered setbacks ever since birth—she was born into a low-income family, was unable to find a respectable career, was dumped by her great love, and, to top it all off, was under the muzzle of a spiteful female tyrant. There was no way her predicament could be any worse.
A good example of 막장is a series “Temptation of Wife,” which centers on a lady who, in addition to being betrayed by her husband, was also abandoned at sea and allowed to drown (while pregnant!). She managed to live, and now she’s using a different persona to exact revenge on her husband and his mistress (who is now his wife). She will entice the husband into kicking out his second wife from home.
As with every language, Korean slangs are constantly changing, so you may expect to hear more terms in the future. We wish you luck while you study Korean. 파이팅! 행쇼! (You can do it)!