In Evan Osnos' book Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China he mentions an

old korean saying, "Nuh jukgo, nah jukja"

What is this saying in Korean?


The phrase is fairly common as evidenced by the fact that I've heard it used several times, typically in fun conversation where the user is joking.

너죽고 나죽자

This can be literally translated as

You die, I die (let's do it)

Its abstract meaning is, "Even if we both die, I'm gonna kill you (let's fight)".

You can read more about this in this explanation. Here is an excerpt from that article:

This is an expression for you when you are serious about retaliation at any cost, even your own life! When a wife is faced with her husband's secret lover, she might say this as she grabs the lover's hair. If someone was chasing up a person who ruined his life and finally found the guy, then he or she would say this. It is important to pull up your sleeves as you say this to show how serious you are, if you happen to wear a long sleeved shirt. A shorter form is "오늘 같이(gachi, together) 죽자".

  • Is the Korean wrong?
    – Mou某
    Sep 14 '17 at 10:49
  • 1
    @user3306356 "Nuh jukgo, nah jukja" is not a conventional way of Romanising '너죽고 나죽자'. Having said that, there's not a single correct way to do it. Here are some more conventional ways: roman.cs.pusan.ac.kr/…
    – topo morto
    Sep 14 '17 at 21:24
  • The sentence can be translated into 'Bring it on!' in English.
    – jungyh0218
    Sep 26 '17 at 6:23
  • Interestingly, I first saw this phrase with slightly different pronouns: 니 죽고 내 죽자 [Ni jukgo nae jukja] in How Koreans Talk
    – Leftium
    May 18 '18 at 12:09
  • Right...that sounds like a new item of discussion on why 니 can can be 네 and 너. May 18 '18 at 15:53

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