A reference for terms that are frequently used in our pages:
#18: Refers to the standby song that you always sing when in a norae-bang (singing room)
Ajumma: (아줌마) a married woman characterized by short permed hair and aggressive attitude
Ajusshi: (아저씨) generally a married or older man characterized by poor sense of fashion and a huge ego
Apku (short for “Apkujong-dong”): Hip and happening area on the south side of the Han River in Gangnam. This is where the best restaurants, bars and plastic surgeons are located. A hang-out for celebrities and the stylish. Adjoining neighborhoods are Cheongdam-dong, Samsung-dong and Shinsa-dong.
Back: (빽) strong and powerful social connections that can get you what you want (i.e. a job)
Black Day: (블랙 데이) Exactly 1 month after White Day (March 14th), it’s the day where singles eat “jja-jang-myun” (Korean style black bean noodles)
CC: acronym for “campus couple” or couples who meet and date during school (or sometimes work). A publicly announced school couple.
CF: acronym for “commercial film” or better known as “t.v. commercial”
Chaebol: (재벌) Large conglomerates that are run by families such as Samsung, LG/GS, Hyundai, Lotte etc.
Dica: a Konglish term that is the shortened from “digital camera”
Dongsaeng: (동생) a younger sister/brother
Expired or “Poom-jeol-nam” ( 품절남 ) refers to when a man has “expired” or off the market due to marriage.
Gong-ju Byeong (공주병) literally refers to “princess sickness/disease”; a female who thinks she is a princess and above everyone else; conceited and vain.
Hoobae: (후배) a person who is younger than you at school or work
Hyung: (형) Older brother or close older male (used by males only) Being “hyung” comes with responsibilities
Kyopo (교포) A person of Korean descent who has lived in the west
Jjim-jil-bang (찜질방): Korean style sauna and public bath with services such as Korean style exfoliation, massages, and other body treatments. Good for families and friends to hang out, relax and enjoy the “spa” food.
Maknae (막내): The youngest or baby in the family or group.
Moos: (무다리) our own term derived from “moo-dari” or thick or hefty calves in reference to the shape of “moo” or Korean turnip
MV: music video
Namchin: (남친/남자친구) short for “namja chingu” which means boyfriend
NG: “Not good” A term used for outtakes when filming a movie or taping a television show
Noraebang (노래방): a singing room to practice your #18 (see above). Generally cheaper than Karaoke, which is considered to be more posh and upscale rooms with luxurious decor and usually delicious anjoo (side dishes with drinks).
Nae-soong: (내숭) inconsistency between a girl’s true personality (i.e. extroverted), and external (i.e. introverted, shy and innocent) personality. In other words, trying to hide your true intentions self by acting sweet and innocent.
No chu nyu: (노처녀) an old maid or spinster
Nuna: (누나) a term used by males to address older sisters or older women
Mohm-sal: (몸살) a condition when your body is unable to function (i.e. get up) due to exhaustion or extreme fatigue- a uniquely Korean phenomenon. Many ajummas get this. However, “mohm-sal” affects all ages.
MT: “membership training” is a casual term that refers to trips taken for the purpose of bringing the members of a group closer together. Generally involves overnight stays, recreational activity (hiking, skiing etc) and drinking.
Netizen: a term for “internet citizens” or persons who are part of the internet community.
Om-chin-ah: (엄마친구아들): short for my mother’s friend’s son. A mother’s friend who brags about her son’s accomplishments (generally work or school related) and the lowly son has to hear about it.
Oppa: (오빠) older brother or close older male (used by females only). Being “oppa” comes with responsibilities
Oppa-dongsaeng 오빠-동생) used to describe a relationship between an older male and younger female. Also commonly used by celebrities to cover up their romantic relationship
Baram-doong-i: (바람둥이) a playboy; someone who is smooth with the ladies
Pama: (파마) a perm
Pi-bu-mi-in: (피부미인) a woman who has beautiful skin
Pepero Day: (빼빼로 데이) An informal holiday on November 11 (11.11) where peppero chocolate sticks are given out as presents
s-line: refers to the shape of a woman’s body
selca: (셀카): term that refers to “self-camera” or taking pictures of yourself
Sogaeting: (소개팅) blind date
Ssang-ul: (쌩얼) bare face or without make-up
Ssulung: (썰렁)a term widely used to describe cheesy jokes (literal translation: it’s cold)
Sunbae: (선배) a word used to address people that are older than you, usually in more formal situations
UCC: refers to “User Created Content” or short video clips
Ul-jjang: (얼짱) a term created by netizens to describe a person with the best face (ul-gul [얼굴]: face and jjang [짱]: best)
Unni (언니) or “sister.” The term is used for referring to your real older sister (by a girl) and to a close older female (by a female). Also see “noona”
v-line: refers to the ideal face shape in Korea- a “v” or oval.
Yang-dari (양다리) : a two-timer; having 2 boyfriends/girlfriends at the same time
Yeochin: (여친/여자친구) short for ‘Yeoja Chingu’ which means girlfriend
Wang ja: (왕자) 6 pack or washboard abs
Holidays and Traditions in Korea
November 11: Pepero Day. The chocolate covered biscuit sticks are eaten or given out as presents since it resembles the day “11.11″
Mid November : College entrance exams. (usually on the coldest day of the year) To “stick” or pass the exam, friends and family give test takers chocolates, rice cakes or “yeot” (traditional taffy) for good luck.
December 25: Christmas. Generally, the holiday is spent hanging out with close friends more than family.
January 1, New Years: Spent with family. To bring in the new year, rice-cake soup (떡국) is traditionally eaten. Yum!
January/February: Lunar New Year. One of the 2 biggest holidays of the year (the other is Chuseok) to celebrate the new lunar year. The dates varies according to the lunar calendar.
February 14, Valentines Day: Celebrated on February 14, On this day, the women give chocolates or big basket of goodies to their men. This tradition is opposite to the west.
March 14, White day: Celebrated on March 14, exactly 1 month after Valentines Day. On this day, the men give chocolates or big basket of goodies to their women
April 14:. Black day: A day for lonely singles. Celebrated exactly 1 month after White Day (see above) where single friends meet up to eat Jjajang-myun (짜장면 or Korean style black bean noodles) to mourn their status and to perhaps catch the eye of an attractive single slurping down noodles….
June 14: Kiss day. Yep, that’s right. The brilliant minds of someone in the land of the morning calm have thought of an excuse to kiss someone. So pucker up and plant one on whoever your heart desires…