I look it up on korean dict that 겉껍데기 stands for 겉으로 드러난 껍데기, but is it some kind of idiom or something? I'm not sure if it's literally mean shell. Or is it just a word that used to tease someone?

2 Answers 2


To me, 겉껍데기 feels a vocabulary to be found in idioms, a poetry, or a novel.

E.g. 신동엽 - 껍데기는 가라 (껍데기 though, I thought it's almost the same thing.)

껍데기는 가라.

사월(四月)도 알맹이만 남고

껍데기는 가라.

For more usages examples I could say like,

  • 그런 것은 그저 겉껍데기에 불과하다.
  • 다른 점은 고작 겉껍데기뿐이다.
  • 그 사람의 마음을 얻을 수 없다면 겉껍데기만이라도 묶어 두고 싶은 심정이었다.

So it basically means a shell or something superficial, and also it's probably used for implying other meanings derived from that. It could be used to tease someone.

I don't hear 겉껍데기 so often in daily conversations. But I can tell that it feels very casual because of the fact that the word is not made up with Hanja.

  • 1
    Then what do you think about the 겉껍데기 in this sentence? "나는 전혀 설레지 않지만, 아무튼 겉껍데기는 설렐 만하니까"
    – Arin
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 22:48
  • @Arin It depends on the context. I guess it refers to someone that's very close to the speaker who's saying that. Her/his husband, wife, child, or maybe a colleague. Because in conversations 껍데기 sometimes means a beloved one.
    – Coconut
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 7:44
  • 1
    @Arin : Here 겉껍데기 may be a position, apperance, financial power or sociability.
    – HK Lee
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 9:15

껍데기 : strong material enclosing inner material

굴 껍데기 oyster shell

학교는 선생님이 떠나자 빈(empty) 껍데기가 되었다

Our school becomes a shell when he leaves.

껍질 : material enclosing inner material

사과 껍질 apple shell

내 마음은 대전에 두고 빈 껍질만 이곳에 왔다 My heart is in Taejeon city and only my body is here.

속껍데기, 겉껍데기

호두의 속껍데기는 까기 어렵다. We can not peel an inner shell of walnut, easily.

이 옷은 거추장스럽다 This dress is burdensome

나는 겉치레 좋아하다 I am fond of demonstration

나의 음악 지식은 그저 겉껍데기일 뿐이다. My music knowledge is just a boundary of a music area.

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