Rat's Tail's Korean Slang header with grey rat dancing gangnam style

As much as a Rat’s Tail

Korean Slang, Invective & Euphemism

– the Insider’s guide  

An Irreverent look at Language within Culture

Get ‘street’ with A Rat’s Tail – Learn what the kids are really saying, all the Korean they will never teach you in class.

Korean is rich with the dynamic linguistic expressions and freshly coined language. A Rat’s Tail dives into the intricacies of modern Korean slang introducing the hip, hot, spicy and sexual, the irreverent and inspiring, the cultural, crass and comical.

This is the Korean not covered in the language books, full of color and infused with philosophy. With A Rat’s Tail in hand, you can impress others with your verbal acumen as you complement their fashion sense, dish out dirty words, or text up a storm, while you gain insight into the mind and culture of the Korean people.



“This book is the bomb!”
—Mr. Kim 
“A must read for Koreans and foreigners alike!”
—Mr. Park
“Shockingly fun!”
—Mr. Lee
“Great bathroom reading!”
—another Mr. Lee

Korean Slang: As much as a Rat's Tail book cover

The Straight Scoop

Get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words and unusual usage.Get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words and unusual usage.

Culturally Speaking

  Culturally Speaking icon Get the skinny on how Koreans think, speak and act.

Crushes to crushed

From crushes to getting crushedPlus, how to pick up, break up, make up, or get down and dirty.

Payback basics

Koreans BoxingFind out who’s abusing you and how to talk shit back.

Table of Contents

Dedication & Copyright
The Menu of Korean Slang
Cast of Characters
Rat Ratings
How to use this book
How not to use this book
A Note on Transliteration

ㄱ The Amazingly Mutable Transgender Giuk

간지난다; 갈구다갑이다; 강추; 강남스타일; 개기다; 개드립; 겁나게; 고고씽; 고딩(초딩, 중딩, 대딩, 직딩); 고춧가루 뿌리다; 골때린다; 골초 or 꼴초; 공주병; 구라까다; 구리다; 귀차니즘; 까리하다; 까다; 깔(따구); 꺄 or 꺅; 깝치다; 깡(다구); (확)깬다; 꺼져; 꽝이다; 꼬라지; 꼬라지 나다; 꼬붕; 꼬지다; 꼴았다; 꼴통; 꼽사리 끼다; 꿀벅지; 꼽살리다

ㄴ The Annoyingly Nasal Niun

나발불다; 나비; 나이롱 환자; 나와바리; 낙동강 오리알; 낙하산; 낚다; 네똥 굵다; 날라리; 넨장맞을; 노가다; 노가리 까다; 눈깔이 삐었다; 눈탱이가 밤탱이 되다; 농땡이

ㄷ Digut’s Depth Revealed

대가리; 대략난감; 대박이다; 돌아가시겠다; 돌싱; 돌직구; 돗대; 됐거든(요); 된장녀; 뒤땅까다; 뒷북치다; 따 (왕따, 은따, 전따); 따가리; 따먹다; 딱지 떼다; 땡땡이 치다; 땡잡다; 띠껍다

ㄹ Riul’s Absence is a Mystery

ㅁ Two Lips Meet to Merge Complete

만먹다; 말리다; 말 까다; 맛이 갔다; 맞장뜨다; 몰카(지); 물이 좋다; 몽땅

ㅂ Babbling Biup, Buzzing Free

바가지 긁다; 밤새 달려; 바가지 쓰다; 반사; 방콕; 배째라; 100m 미인; 볼매; 불금; 벼락치기; 불알친구; 불타는 고구마; 불어; 빈대붙다; ~빠; 빡세다; 빡돌다; 뽀대난다; 뽀록; 뽀리다; 뽕브라; 뽕빼다; 삐끼; 삥뜯다

ㅅ Slick, Scaly and Separate of Lip

사오정; 삽질하다; 새대가리; 시원하다; 새되다; 섹끈하다; 식후땡; 싸가지없다; 쌍수; 싸이숨 (P’sigh); 쌩까다; 쌩얼; 썰렁하다; 썸(타다)

ㅇ The Yin and Yang of Iung’s Lyric

아다; 안물; 왜 씹어?; 안습; 야리다; 양다리; 양아치; 엄창 (엠창); 일잠; 여병추; 영계; 이빠이; 입이 싸다; 잉여; 임마

ㅈ Jammin’ to a Jiut Jingle

작업; 잘 나가; 쥐뿔; 쥐꼬리만큼; 지못미; 진도 어디까지나갔어?; 짝퉁; 짱이다; 짬뽕; 짭새; 쩐다; 쪽팔리다; 쭉쭉빵빵

ㅊ Get Your Chi Charged

착하다; 철판깔다; 찬밥; 출튀

ㅋ Mockingly Clear and Cold


ㅌ Tried and True, Tiut Withdrew

태클걸다; 토끼다; 토나오다; 튕기다

ㅍ The Power of Piup

88만원 세대; 퍼뜩; 폭탄이다; 품절(남/녀); 피봤어

ㅎ An End of Alphabet Comes

허접; 하의실종; 헐; 환장하다; 후까시 잡다; 흑역사

What's on the Menu?

The diet of a dedicated badass

a bowl of Korean rice


밥 먹듯 쓰는 말.
This shit is so necessary, it's like rice, which you should eat for every meal, all the damn time – really!

Some Korean side dishes, called panchan


때때로 쓰는 말. 
A little something on the side (lexical panchan - not for everyday use).

The soju scene


술 마실 때 쓰는 말. 
Stuff to say (and do) while drinking! Shoot the sh*t while shooting shots!

three kimchi pots

The Kimchi Pot

매운(상스러운) 말 그리고 욕, 조심하세요!
Watch out! Spicy language and swearing!

Ddokboki (a bad joke)


성적인 표현. 
Something sexual to snack on. Salacious and sweet! Say it ain't Seoul!

a steaming hot cup of coffee


서양에서 유래된 외래 비속어, 콩글리쉬.
Konglish(ee), a half-baked mix of Korean and English terms.


일본에서 유래된 비속어. 
The other Konglish, slang expressions jumping the puddle from Japan.

Hakgyo Hell


학교에서 쓰는 말. 
What kids say in the halls, not the classroom, from school daze to the study-hard hakgyo haze.

Cast of Characters

Main Characters

cartoon of Korean man with fashionable scarfChangHyun 창현 – the troublemaker, or “the Rat” (AKA Bong)
SiWoo 시우 – a stone-cold, slang philosopher
Peter 피터 – a slang-slinging voyageur (AKA JungSuk)
TaeYong 태용 – a bold, brash, and popular, yet laid back ‘dude’
WonDong 원동 – loves girls, but he’s all talk and no action
DongWon 동원 – loves drinking and partying (AKA Migu)
Victor 빅터 – the newbie, the Russian riddler, Gollum’s cousin

drawing of Korean girl doing makeupSoYoon 소윤 she’s sooooo smart, sooooo annoyingly smart
JiYoon 지윤 everyone’s little sister, this chic loves fashion
Minji 민지 a rich girl who always shows up without her wallet
Arum 아름 open-minded, free-spirited and beautiful
MinHee 민희 a plain girl with a Cinderella complex
HeeYeon 희연 a traditional Korean girl, so proud & stubborn


The Mob of Supporting Characters

image of three stooges bafooneryByungShik 병식 weak and a little slow, but somehow lucky
KwangSung 광성 rushes in to danger and loses
HwaSeok 화석 a rock-headed & duplicitous army private

Image of snowman to represent the four seasons Bom 봄 the salary man, father & husband (Spring)
YeoReum 여름 the cute daughter (Summer)
Kaeul 가을 the MILF, a career woman and supermom (Fall)
KyoWul 겨울 the good son of Spring (Winter)

cartoon of Korean ajuma vacuumingAjumma1 아줌마1 an older married woman
Ajumma2 아줌마2 a second such married woman



El Presidente

Image of Batman SeungMan 승만 1st President of Korea (the Freedom fighter)
ChungHee 정희 3rd President of Korea (the Adamant Industrialist)
DooHwan 두환 5th President of Korea (the Mass Murderer)
DaeJung 대중 8th President of Korea (Sunshine Policy Apologist)
MyungBak 명박 10th President of Korea (Where’s the Beef?)
GeunHye 근혜 11th President of Korea (The Dictator’s Daughter)
Psy 싸이 the surprising poster boy of Korean culture
MinShik 민식 the star of the original ‘Old Boy’
JiTae 지태 the other main actor in ‘Old Boy’
Bill 빌 “Party on!” Ted 테드 “Excellent!”
Robin 로빈 the put-upon side kick
Batman 배트맨 the main man (or so he says) 
PC the clunky computer you should never buy
Mac 맥 the apple of my eye


Who’s that?! 헐

caricature of man saying whewHaPum 하품 a yawn (high school girl)
HanSum 한숨 a sigh (high school girl)
MyongTae 명태 Alaskan Pollack (the high school guy)
SaengTae 생태 Alaskan Pollack (his twin brother)
PaJeon 파전 a Korean pancake (YuJa’s boyfriend)
YuJa 유자 citron tea (PaJeon’s girlfriend)
YulMu 율무 ‘job’s tears’ tea (YuJa’s friend)
PaRam 바람 the wind (slang for a skirt-chaser)
SunSu 선수 an athlete (slang for a player)
Ggachi 까치 the magpie (a bold-breasted chatterbox)
Jaebi 제비 a swallow (also slang for a player)

Look no further. Grab your copy & start learning today!

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