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!”
“A must read for Koreans and foreigners alike!”
“Great bathroom reading!”
—another Mr. Lee
Table of Contents
Dedication & Copyright
The Menu of Korean Slang
Cast of Characters
How to use this book
How not to use this book
A Note on Transliteration
ㄱ The Amazingly Mutable Transgender Giuk
간지난다; 갈구다; 갑이다; 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
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!
때때로 쓰는 말.
A little something on the side (lexical panchan - not for everyday use).
술 마실 때 쓰는 말.
Stuff to say (and do) while drinking! Shoot the shit while shooting shots!
The Kimchi Pot
매운(상스러운) 말 그리고 욕, 조심하세요!
Watch out! Spicy language and swearing!
Something sexual to snack on. Salacious and sweet! Say it ain't Seoul!
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.
학교에서 쓰는 말.
What kids say in the halls, not the classroom, from school daze to the study-hard hakgyo haze.
Cast of Characters
ChangHyun 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
SoYoon 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
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
HaPum 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)