5

'말발' is a quite interesting word and according to the linked Naver Korean dictionary, it means:

듣는 이로 하여금 그 말을 따르게 할 수 있는 말의 힘.

We often hear "말발이 서다" and "말발을 세우다" and what is the etymology of the word? '말' means word, language, speech, etc. and what does '발' mean in this word?

4

According to Naver Korean dictionary, -발 has two meanings.

  1. (After some kind of nouns) A suffix that adds meaning 'power' or 'force' to a noun. (e.g. 끗발, 말발)
  2. (After some kind of nouns) A suffix that adds meaning 'effect' to a noun. (e.g. 약발, 화장발)

말발 means 'the power of speech'. In this case, the meaning 'power' is added by the suffix -발.

4

Suffix -발 here means effect or effectiveness. Other words with the suffix are as follow:

  • 감기약을 먹었더니 약발이 돌아 졸려 온다.
    I'm getting drowsy because of the flu medicine that I took.
  • 연예인들도 결국 화장발, 조명발이다.
    At the end, even celebs are nothing without makeup and lighting.
  • 너는 참 운발이 좋구나.
    You are so lucky!

When it attached to some meteorological phenomena, it means intensity.

  • 거센 눈발을 뚫고 기어이 가고 말았다.
    She eventually managed to reach through the fierce snowstorm.
  • 빗발이 약해진다.
    The rain gets mild.
  • I think Krim Shows good examples of usage of '발'. Yet the etymology of 발 is unclear though. but to give you my own picture of 발 i have thought about in english, it could be regarded as a flux(it is physical concept). As a certain kind of field(described by flux) affects particles in it, people in photon-field would see an effect of the photon fluxes that hit one's skin to show it beautiful. And for 빗발, 눈발, their Images are perfectly the same with flux of rain and snow. So having sense of physics, you will find what I'm saying about flux and field concerning X+발. (Don't use X발. It is insulting) – JBL Aug 21 '16 at 3:37

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