#1 형광등 (hyeong-gwang-deung)
You know when you turn a light on in a room, and it waits and flickers a bit before lighting up the room? Well, that’s what the analogy that this bit of slang, 형광등, is going for. Used to describe a person who is slightly slow at catching on, it’s used for people who don’t really get what’s going on or who don’t understand jokes straight away.
#2 안물 (an-mool)
A shorted form of the first two syllables of 안 물어보다 (an mool-eo-bo-da), 안물 literally means, “didn’t ask.” If a person is giving an unsolicited and unwanted opinion, 안물 can be used and has the meaning, “I didn’t even ask what you think.” Not used in polite situations, it has a bit of a “bitch, please” connotation to it.
#3 귀척 (gwee-cheok)
A shorted form of 귀여운 척하다 (gwee-yeo-oon cheok-ha-da), it means “pretending to be cute” or “acting cute”. This one is used when you’re telling somebody to stop it with the cute act, and you need to add a 하지마 (ha-jee-ma) to the end. So, 귀척 하지마 (gwee-cheok ha-jee-ma) has the meaning of “stop acting all cute!”
#4 짱 (jjang)
The word 짱 is extremely common when it comes to Korean slang, and is used to describe something that is cool or awesome, or somebody who has a great skill at something. If you see something that you think is pretty damn cool, you can say, “짱이다!” (jjang-ee-da) to express your approval. It can also be attached the Korean word for body, 몸 (mohm), to say that someone has a great body (so 몸짱, mohm-jang) or used as 얼짱 (eol-jjang), with the 얼 coming from 얼굴 (eol-gool), the Korean word for face. The latter is used for a very handsome man or beautiful woman.
#5 불금 (bul-geum)
Used once a week, 불금 is short for 불타는 금요일 (bul-ta-neun geum-yo-eel), which translates as “burning Friday”. It roughly translates as TGIF, and also has the connotation, “let’s go out and drink!” Use it along with the phrase “끝까지 달리자” (ggeut-gga-jee dal-li-ja), “let’s run until the end”, if you’re having a hardcore party night at the end of the week.
#6 엄친아 (eom-chin-a)
엄친아 is a shortened version of 엄마 친구 아들 (eom-ma chin-goo a-deul), meaning “my mom’s friend’s son.” Korean mothers are often fairly competitive and compare their children against the offspring of their friends. 엄친아 is used to describe a person who is more successful or skilled than you – the kind of person your mother would compare you to in a negative light. If you’re using the phrase about a woman, you can change it to 엄친딸 (eom-chin-ddal), which means “my mom’s friend’s daughter.”
#7 안습 (an-seub)
This one is short for 안구에 습기 (an-gu-eh seup-gee), which refers to the moisture in your eyes from when you’re about to cry. 안습 isn’t used for emotional situations, rather it’s used in a sarcastic way, as in, “it’s so bad, I’m about to cry.” For example, if your friend just got a new hairstyle but the stylist botched it up, you could say “너 머리 안습” (neo meo-ri an-seub), meaning “your hair is so bad, I’m about to cry.” You’re not actually going to cry, though – although saying something like that might cause your Korean friend to shed a tear or two.
#8 소맥 (so-maek)
A word known by almost all in the western expat community in Korea, 소맥 refers to a combination of 소주 (soju) and 맥주 (maekju, aka beer) that people often mix together at bars or when enjoying a feast of samgyeopsal. You can alter this one if you’re incorporating fried chicken into the mix – 치맥 (chee-maek) – is sort for 치킨하고 맥주 (chicken-ha-go maekju), literally chicken and beer, and is used if you’re getting yourself some fried chicken and some beer to accompany it.
#9 뒹굴뒹굴 (dwing-gool dwing-gool)
This one is used when you’re bored and are just killing time with nothing to do. Maybe you’re aimlessly surfing the internet watching videos from your childhood (why hello, Rita Repulsa), maybe you’re supposed to be studying but you’re just sat there doodling pictures of rockets and cakes. If someone asks what you’re doing, you can say “집에서 뒹굴뒹굴 거려” (jee-beh-seo dwing-gool dwing-gool geo-ryeo), which means, “oh, I’m just doing nothing at home” or “I’m just killing time.”
#10 딸랑딸랑 (ddal-lang ddal-lang)
credits: Waegook Tom