I slapped a Korean friend on the back, and he said, "때리지 마" and something about spicy.

I thought i heard him say 손 or maybe it was 손가락...and the verb 매워.

I asked him about it, and he laughed and said "don't spicy finger me!".

I'd like to reconstruct what he actually said in Korean. Anyway, I'm not understanding the spicy reference.

Is there an idiom about hitting someone and making them feel spicy?

  • 3
    손끝이 맵다고 한 것 같네요. 친구를 그렇게 아프게 때리면 못 써요.
    – Coconut
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 14:42
  • 손이 맵다 usually means that your slap hurts. Yeah my mom's hand smash just bites and it's so spicy lol
    – fosinsight
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 20:31
  • It means one's slap hurts more than most others' slaps would do, not because of difference in strength, but somehow.
    – Absol
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 4:45

2 Answers 2


What your friend most likely said is "손이 맵다" which means spicy hands, but obviously here '맵다' means more than just spicy. "Brings the fire" or "heavy hitter," "burning slap" would be different ways that I would translate it. I don't think "손가락이 맵다" works unless there is a situation (a game perhaps) where the loser's penalty is to get finger-flicked on the forehead.

'맵다' more broadly can mean "having the effect of fiery sensation."


Of course; Latins do have a finger slap game--and it hurts--gets red (possibly the reference to 'spicy'. Could be your friend is making up his own Konglish and he has put together a bunch of words that are: 1) a spur-of-the moment that is a one-time, unique phrase to the situation, 2) a combination of word error (of unrelated words), or 3) a joke that nobody can explain. (Younger people--who have lower morals do reference spicy and fingers but that gets into sexual practices and I doubt he is that type.)

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