I have a question about a Korean phrase. I am wondering what 아끼면서 살자 means? I have been getting conflicting results. I have heard that it can possibly mean, "Let's be frugal", or, "Let's live loving each other", or other definitions. Is this a common phrase? Can it have multiple definitions? Thank you very much for your help! I really appreciate it!!

  • 2
    With little context, it usually means "Let's live without waste"; however, 아끼다 has two or more meanings, so those definitions are all correct.
    – Klmo
    Jan 31, 2021 at 5:02
  • 1
    It almost always means frugal, but it can mean the latter given context. It is not a common phrase, but being frugal have been quite a virtue during post-Korean War era.
    – Hojin Cho
    Feb 1, 2021 at 2:10

2 Answers 2


Klmo and Hojin Cho left a good answer in the comments. It depends on the context - the meaning can vary depending on what object 아끼다 takes. And yes, such expression is common in casual conversations

Below are examples:

  • 아끼면서 살자 = 1. Let’s be frugal / 2. Let’s live loving each other (with enough context)
  • 돈을 아끼면서 살자 = Let’s live saving money
  • 서로 아끼면서 살자 = Let’s live loving each other
  • 사랑하는 사람을 아끼면서 살자 = Let’s live loving the beloved
  • 목소리를 아끼다 = To save up ones voice

If you thought '아끼다' is used in two conflicting contexts, then think about this.

  1. "Let's be frugal"
  2. "Let's live loving each other"

In both contexts, one considers something very precious to oneself. In the first example, it is money. In the second, it is a loved one.

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