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Korean Slang Which Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago 최근 10년 안에 새롭게 생긴 한국어 슬랭

Korean language is an interesting one – there are regular Korean vocabularies, Konglish and recently, there seems to be a surge of Korean slangs, made out of shortened regular Korean words. These are some of it, coined from trendy terms or the latest social issues.

1. 호캉스 (Ho-kang-seu)

This is the combination of ho-tel (호텔) and ba-kang-seu (바캉스). Just like how It sounds, it is the combination of the English word hotel and French word vacance. It means to go on a vacation (여행) but only spent in the hotel in the country. This term existed some time ago but it became trendy ever since the pandemic started and no one could travel overseas.

2. 플렉스 (Peul-rek-seu)

Peul-rek-seu is the meaning of flex. It is an act of bragging (자랑) about owning anything related to money, especially designer clothing or branded accessories (악세사리). Teenagers who are still in school brag to their friends about their newly bought branded products, working adults brag about their cars and properties, you get the gist.

3. 가상화폐 (Ga-sang Hwa-pye)

The meaning of ga-sang hwa-pye means virtual currency or cryptocurrency. It is the latest investment scheme (투자 계획) which became popular recently as many made and even lost lots of money. Some earned over millions of dollars or a few hundred thousand at the least.

4. 영끌 (Yeongg-geul)

영끌 is an abbreviation for yeong-hon (영혼) which means soul and ggeul is for ggeul-eo-mo-eu-da (끌어모으다) which means to assemble by the act of scraping. It is usually used to describe someone who scrapes their last asset (유산) to buy a home for themselves.

5. 존버 (Jon-beo)

Jon-beo is an abbreviation for jon-na beo-ti-da (존나 버티다). The meaning of this term is to hold out extremely. It is usually used in investment connections. This term can be used as an advice (조언) for someone to hold out when investment prices are falling but their entire savings (저금) had been put into investment.  

6. 오픈런 (O-peun Reon)

It literally means open-run. This refers to the Korean behaviour where they stake out for many hours at the department store’s (백화점) entrance to be the first one to rush inside and purchase luxury (명품) brands new arrivals. It is also said that the price of these products rises constantly so it’s just like an investment.

7. 가스라이팅 (Ga-seu-ra-yi-ting)

Just as how it sounds, the English word for this term is gaslighting. This term brings the idea of manipulating (조작) and abuse (남용) another person. For example, I feel like he is gaslighting my best friend, upon seeing how he is controlling (제어) her and doesn’t give her any freedom.

8. MZ세대 (MZ Se-dae)

Generational divides are not something new. The MZ generation is actually for those who are born in the year 1981 until 2012. These people who are categorized (분류) in the MZ generation are said to be very curious and refuses logics (논리). This term is just a way for the Korean media to transmit any uncertainty (불확실성) of the future (미래) of Korea.

9. 가심비 (Ga-sim-bi)

The meaning of 가심비 is price-to-heart-ratio. It is the combination of ga-gyeok (가격), sim-jang (심장) and bi-yul (비율) which is price, heart and ratio. It carries the idea of caring only about whether one is happy with the purchase (구매). For example, a branded bag is very expensive but people buy it as it makes them happy.

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