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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…


203 Comments on “Terminology”

  1. joycechan says:

    it’s really amazing 😀

  2. Poodle says:

    What with the allegations surrounding the band ‘Chocolate’, can we add the verb ‘to be Estrella Lin’ed to the terminology. Maybe we could say ‘to be Estrellad’ or ‘to be hardcore Lin’d’

    Maybe we could use a verb based upon Jang Ja-Yeon who also suffered the same fate, yes?

  3. Cucumber says:


    Can we have an entry based upon Steven ‘Seungjun’ Yoo, who classically did what all koreans want to do and that’s to become american, just so they can move to LA and do no army duty for a country they supposedly love.

    We could use the term ‘to do a seunjun’ or ‘to do a Yoo’, no?


  4. Kim Yeon Soo says:

    so, in kiss day, we’re able to kiss anyone we like,right?
    on june 14, can someone refuse the kiss?

  5. Kim Je Sang says:

    .hehe,,wow that’s so informative.♥♥♥

    Thanks for that~~♥♥♥

  6. minniestrings says:

    haha~ Korea is so great to have such day like Kiss Day! whoever made the day, i have to say you are one hella genius man! LOL~
    i hope you could make more terminology like this in the future. not only the words that u usually use in here, just to acknowledge your reader 🙂

  7. yejj says:

    wooh.. the information supplied really helps me a lot. Most especially
    I have learned more about the traditions of Korean people. I seemed
    to like their dramas(romantic comedy),all that kind of stuff. It’s amazing,
    I knew now the most common terms I get to see on koreanovelas. Now
    I could not only hear them but use them as well in many informal situations.

    Koreanovela enthusiast.:DDD

  8. halcron says:

    Hi, I would like to know this word aegyo and it’s Korean writing. Appreciate your help… Thanks

  9. hyorae says:

    KISS day? hehehe.

  10. Super junior soul says:

    Hello every one !!!!!
    안녕하세요 … !!!!!

  11. kei1008 says:

    awesome!!! it’s really good!!!!..

  12. Aayne says:

    i lik june, 14th! ^_~

  13. Wow didn’t know there was Black Day and Kiss day. Wow i think i’m gonna get my American friends to celebrate that with me it seems fun. And about Valentine’s Day. I had no idea that the women are the ones who fancy the mean. It definitely is the opposite here in the U.S. but then again men and women give each other presents here.

  14. omid seyfi says:

    I love see gomi nam I from Iran

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