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개기다 Culture: The big ban on backtalk


개기다 [gae-gi-da] Flashcard of Kid talking back to adult

Don’t mess with me!

Yakety, Yak. Don’t Talk Back

개기다 [gae-gi-da]

to rebel or be defiant; get sassy; tripping’



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Get the skinny on how Koreans think, speak and act





Culturally Speaking, 개기다 is a big deal in Korea (much more so than in the West), where establishing a pecking order in relationships is common and strict hierarchical systems and Confucian values are the norm.

This is often true even among peers within the same group with some member establishing themselves as the leader or alpha male (or female) and expecting others to do their bidding. At times this can resemble a mafia-like structure and is often associated with bullying in school.

In the West, however, where people see themselves as individuals and as equals, kids tend to talk back to adults from time to time, yet the reaction would be very different and the way it is dealt with will vary according to the situation, the relationship of the parties and in particular, who is more correct. 

In other words, save your sass if you are so inclined to try to bridge the gap with a helping of 개기다 for your betters! Seniors won’t stand for it.

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