These Korean idioms can be used during many common situations that you may encounter on a daily basis. Get a quick check out and stun your Korean friends by using these idioms in front of them!
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1. 식은 죽 먹기 (sik-eun juk meok-gi)
Meaning: It’s a piece of cake.
The literal translation is eating cold porridge (죽). Porridge is known to be a popular food that is eaten when someone is ill (아프다) or unable to chew (씹다). This shows that eating porridge a very easy (엄청 쉬운) task to do.
2. 꼬리를 치다 (ggo-ri-reul chi-da)
Meaning: Hitting on someone.
The literal translation is wagging your tail. As seen in many K-dramas, many characters have done their best to get the attention of the person they like and has really amazing results (결과). In Korean lingo, this kind of performance (행동) is like an animal (동물) eagerly wagging (꼬리를 흔들다) its tail to get attention.
3. 눈이 뒤집히다 (nun-yi dwi-jib-hi-da)
Meaning: Being mad.
The literal translation is that your eyes turned upside down. Although your eyes won’t really turn upside down when you get angry (화가 날때), but this expression is used when someone gets angry. This idiom can be used during situations where someone reaches their breaking point (폭발 라인).
4. 파리를 날리다 (pa-ri-reul nal-li-da)
Meaning: Be in a slump.
The literal translation is having flies flying around. In Korea, flies are known to be a blight (해충) to environments (환경) and also a sign of misfortune (불행). Many people use this phrase when establishments (사업장) are seen to be so empty (텅빈) until there’s no customers (손님) at all.
5. 바람을 넣다 (ba-ram-eul neoh-ta)
Meaning: To put wind in one’s sails.
The literal translation is to inflate something. This idiom (표현) is used to motivate (동기부여) someone or increase the chances of doing something that they typically won’t do. Most likely being persuaded (설득) by your inspiration (영감) or encouragement (용기를 북돋다).
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