Getting to know internet slang in Korean is important because these modernized words are taking over the language. i.e we use these slang words instead of the formal language. So in this article, we are going to learn all about basic Korean slang words with comprehensive explanations.
Let me tell you a story...
My friends and I planned a trip to South Korea as it is one of most the attractive and fascinating countries in the world, particularly known for its pop culture.
In visiting, the biggest problem we faced was the language barrier between us and Koreans. The only language that we knew apart from our native language was English, and Koreans have limited English ability. For every word they used, we had to google it and search the meaning, which was quite stressful.
Then we came to know a Korean teacher through our common friend and got his phone number. The teacher used to teach online, so we approached him and started getting online classes.
The teacher often used Korean slang and we were unaware of what these words meant, so we started reading some blogs regarding Korean texting slang and made notes on them. It took some time for us to completely get the concepts but finally, we did it and it was very satisfying.
We are going to discuss texting slang terms by dividing them into different categories to make it simpler and easier for you to understand and remember them.
This is a Korean substitute for the English word lol, it is a slang expression for laughter in Korea. It is derived from the Korean 크크 (Kuh-Kuh). So whenever you are in an online conversation with any of your Korean friends and you see a long string of ㅋ that means whatever you have said is extremely funny.
This Korean phrase is also for expressing laughter. It is the Korean version of hahaha. This is used slightly less than the one discussed above because it is considered a slightly softer sound.
This is an extreme version of laughter that you experience while texting. It has the same meaning as hahaha but it is used for something extremely funny. It is written puhaha in English.
This is the Korean expression or Internet slang for the English word "ok" which is often used in conversations. The Korean phrase 오케이 oh-kae-ee was used for ok initially which is shortened to 오키 (oh-kee). And now, the simplest and even shortened form ㅇㅋ is used in texting.
It means yes (응) in English. It was initially written as 네 and was then shortened to ㅇㅇ, which is a simple way to express your agreement informally.
The English translation for this word is a no-no. The occasionally uttered version of this slang word is 노노 (no-no). Imagine you are in any casual conversation with one of your Korean friends, and he/she invites you to spend the White day at his/her place but you have another engagement this year. You would use this text slang to negate his/her wish.
This Korean slang word is used to say "hi". The slightly formal way of saying this is 하이 (ha-ee). All casual conversations or non-casual conversations start mostly with this Korean Internet slang.
This is one of the more common Korean slang words and it translates to bye-bye in English. It comes from 바이바이 which is (ba-ee-ba-ee) in Korean. Another version of bye-bye is 빠이빠이 which is (ppai-ppai) in Korean. All of these sounds sound like a more friendly or casual way to end the conversation, which is quite cool.
The longest version of this Korean slang word is 축하해요 (chook-ha-hae-yo). This is used to congratulate anyone. The slightly shorter way 축하 is softer. So, if any of your Korean friends have graduated or achieved anything, you can use it to congratulate them.
The longest version of this, which is quite common, is 감사합니다 (gahm-sa-hap-ni-da) which means thanks in English.
As it is quite a long way of expressing that you are thankful, it is often shortened to 감사 (gham-sa) which is even reduced to ㄱㅅ. Have you ever seen this phrase in Korean dramas? Let us know in the comment section below!!!!
This slang term is the shortest form of (수고하세요). This phrase refers to (soo-go-ha-seh-yo) or congratulating someone on doing a good job.
This slang word means OMG in English, and Korean people love to use it. It has a variant which is hul, written as 헐 in Korean and it is most commonly used for saying No-way or whoa! etc.
This Korean slang word is derived from 덜덜 which is written in Korean as (duhl-duhl). This Korean slang word means shivering or quivering etc. The English translation for this is fear, shock, or amazement.
Koreans mostly use this slang word whenever they witness any situation that induces goosebumps. It can be when you are scared, like if you saw a lizard, or because of amazement when you see your favorite Korean celebrities in a mall etc.
This slang word is derived from 어떻게 which literally means (uh-dduh-geh) in the Korean language. The last consonant changes if we speak it at normal speed and it becomes 어떠케 which means (uh-dduh-keh). This Korean slang word translates to "how" in English.
If you want to ask a question to your Korean friend, you should go for this slang word.
This Korean text slang is quite interesting as it represents a crying face. If you look deeply into this, you would notice that one bar shows the eyes and two straight lines are tears falling. Koreans tend to use this slang form often.
This slang term is a shocked face with two fully opened eyes. Many of the Korean slang terms sound cool and so does this one.
This Korean texting slang is easy to understand as the explanations are right there in the consonants. This makes learning Korean slang words easy for beginners. This slang term has a smiling face with two eyes blushing due to the smile, and lips extending the cheeks.
This Korean slang text is used for embarrassment or when you are feeling awkward. Imagine you are in conversation with your bf and that chat is revealed to your mom. This is an awkward situation.
If a boy that you're interested in refuses to go and watch Korean movies with you, then you can use this slang word.
This Korean text slang shows confusion. Imagine you are at your online math quiz and you get stuck at one of the MCQs and your classmates are asking you on WhatsApp about that question. You would use this slang term. This is the shortest form to express confusion.
This Korean texting slang is used to express excitement. Imagine you are in casual conversations with one of your close friends and you want to tell him/her that you got admission to one of your favorite universities in America. You would simply send this slang term to manifest your excitement.
Furthermore, this Korean texting slang is also used to demonstrate the fact that you have a lot of ideas to express. Let's consider a situation where you are planning a birthday for your friends and you have a sample of great ideas regarding theme, menu, arrangements, etc, and you want to share them with other friends. Learning Korean slang becomes easy when you relate them to daily life experiences and routines.
This Korean word is used as a slang term for winking. As it clearly shows that one horizontal bar represents a smile, the other two signs are for eyes, with one bar showing a winking eye. Imagine you are in a conversation on WhatsApp with your Korean friend, and you are pulling their leg. You can use this slang word there.
Consider a situation in which during a group chat with your Korean friends, one of them sends a nasty clip. What gets me is one of the dares from reality tv shows. In a show I watched, for one of the dares, the contestant had to pull a snake through her nose and out of her mouth. I felt like vomiting instantly!
Korean slang terms with numbers are quite common and popular in Korean culture. Some of these common Korean words and phrases are discussed below. One interesting fact about these Korean slang terms is that they deliver this complete message with numbers or how they sound.
This Korean slang word is commonly used in a texting conversation. This Korean slang term is derived from 하이루 which literally means hairu. Hairu is the word used for hello in the Korean language.
This Korean slang word is used to say thank you. The digit 4 is (sa) in the Korean language. For example, consider you are in conversation with one of your Korean friends and he has gifted you an amazing wristwatch on your birthday. You would use this slang word to thank him.
Ghamsa is a substitute for thank you in Korean. Consider you had a delicious lunch at your friend's place and forgot to say thank you. Open your WhatsApp, go to his chat and use this to say thank you. These Korean slang phrases not only sound cute but are also informative.
This is another example of Korean slang. It is 'angel' in English. It is pronounced as cheon or 1000. This can be used in any relationship but is most commonly used by parents for their children. Most fathers say this word for their daughters, for example, they use the phrase you are my angel. When it was translated into the Korean language, it is written as 넌 나의 1004 (neon-naul-cheonca)
This phrase means to do it quickly. It is written as 빠리팔리 (ppallippalli) in Korean. This is commonly used when you want something to be done quickly. Imagine you are at work online, and you have to complete the task by night.
Your boss would use this slang word to make you do this quickly. He might use this Korean phrase 빠리팔리워! ppallippalliwo! This phrase means hurry up!
This Korean slang word means goodbye. This is derived from the word Bai (바이)which means bye. For example, if you are in a relationship with one of your close friends and want to end the chat because you have to complete some home chores, you use this slang word to say goodbye.
This Korean slang came from the Korean word 바보 (babu) this word means stupid in English. This slang term is usually used when you witness or receive a stupid or nonsense text online.
Consider you are in a group chat with your friend and suddenly he talks about going out to play football in winter at night. You would use this text slang to make him feel that his idea is baweo.
This Korean slang is derived from the Korean word 미워 (miwo). This word means I hate you or I dislike you. You can use this Korean slang to express your hate or dislike of someone. Like if one of your classmates is being kinda rude or mean to you.
This Korean slang originated from the word 열심히 (yeolsimhi) which means diligently or hard. For example, if you want to give motivation to your brother, who is in a hostel in another city and preparing for exams, you can use this slang term to motivate him (gomngbu-yeolsimhi) 공부 10C미 which means "Study hard".
All of these texting slang terms with numbers have the same meaning even if they're used without the addition of numbers. These numbers are just added to sound cute.
Combined text slang words are a little more complex than others. These are the shortened versions of the Korean words. These are all frequently used among Koreans during their online conversation. Following are some examples:
This is a short form of jigeum (지금) which means "now". Let's take an example from our daily life conversations. Consider you and your friend are playing games online and you both have to go to university. You would say na jinja geupandu Jimgamyeom andwae? 나진자 그판두 짐감겸 andwae?
These words and phrases mean I am late or in a hurry. Can we just leave now?
This Korean slang word is the short version of 선생님 (seonsaengnim), which means teacher.
This is the shortened version of the Korean word eotteoke (어떻게) which means what should I do? Consider you accidentally (or as a part of your game strategy because you just did not like that plate) broke your mom's favorite plate then you'd use the slang term heol eoke 헐 어케 which means oops, what should I do?
Dam, this is a short form of the Korean word daeum (다음) which means "next time". Let's say your friends are planning to watch a popular TV program together, and you are busy completing your assignment so you would use this slang term and say dameyajimeo ( 담에 가지며) which means let's go next time.
Seusyat is one of the most frequently used slang terms. This is derived from the word seunaepsyat (스냅샷) which means "Snapshot". Consider you have sent your friend the dates of the concert of your favorite band, let's say BTS. You would use this texting slang to tell them to save it to their Snapchat.
This word is derived from the word 채팅 (nun chaeting), which stands for reading a chat without interacting.
Gangchu is another Korean texting slang word which is the short form of gangnyeok chucheon (강력 추천) which means highly recommended.
Bibeon is the short form of the Korean word 비밀번호 (bimilbeonto) which means passwords or codes. Consider this situation, you got home after a lot of hustle at university or college, and out of nowhere, you forgot the password of your apartment's door. You instantly message your father and use this slang term to ask for the code.
Keom is the shortened version of (keompyuteo) 컴퓨터 which means computer in English.
Another Korean slang term is the shortened form of (gein) 게임 which means game. For example, if you are into an entertaining online game and want to invite your friends to it you would use this slang word.
Jjangna is another Korean slang that originated from (jjajeungna) 짜증나 which means I am frustrated. You can often use this slang term in your daily routines.
This is the short form of (dakchyeo) 닥쳐 which means "shut up" in English. You can use this word when you are sick of somebody's voice.
This is showing your middle finger to someone.
Korean internet slang terms are important to learn because it makes you a fluent speaker in your conversations. These are not only common in Korea but also with people who like this language.
If you are in a situation where you have to reply to a person who uses this slang often, you will be puzzled if you would not know their meanings. Furthermore, Korean slang is quite easy to use, especially when it evokes emotions.
This article has the basics of all the most popular used slang with their explanation and examples. So next time you have a chat with your Korean friends, blow their minds by using them!