Apparently '맙소사!' means something like 'oh my God!'

Does it refer to 'God' literally? I thought the words for God was '신'. What's the etymology and usage of this expression?

  • No! It has nothing to do with God. You can say "하느님 맙소사!" as 'oh my god'. Have a nice day Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 6:06
  • 1
    This is a link which gives a thorough explanation.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


In short, the link from @droooze has a good bit of very interesting conjecture with a few references and certainly seems accurate from my vantage.

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Highlighted there (highlighting mine) is the following summation:

‘맙소사’ 는 ‘신이여!그렇게 하지 마십시오!’란 뜻이다. 그러니 ‘오 마이 갓’ 보다는 더 구체적인 의미를 담고 있는 것이다.

which I translate to:

맙소사 means "ghost (and/or heavenly being)! please don't do that!" And as such, more so than 오 마이 갓, 맙소사 has a definitive meaning.

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