3

What is the etymology of 한눈팔다? I remember it as "one eye sold", which works great as a mnemonic device, but wondering if that's the actual etymology too.

4

한눈팔다 is a composition of 한눈 + 팔다.

한눈 is a noun which means 'glimpse'. 팔다 is a verb which has various meanings.

  1. 값을 받고 물건이나 권리 따위를 남에게 넘기거나 노력 따위를 제공하다(Selling something to another person)
  2. (주로 여성을 대상으로 하여)돈을 받고 윤락가나 윤락업을 하는 사람에게 넘기다(trafficking a human-being, especially a woman.)
  3. 주의를 집중하여야 할 곳에 두지 아니하고 다른 데로 돌리다 (Lose attention for a while)

In this case, the 3rd meaning, '주의를 집중하여야 할 곳에 두지 아니하고 다른 데로 돌리다' is used.

Thus, the word 한눈팔다 means losing one's attention and glance at something else for a while. Idiomatically, it also means 'cheating on one's own partner'.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.