The meanings of "rough, low quality" and "last, final" feel UNrelated to me. What semantic field underlies these meanings? Just because something is "last, final" doesn't mean it's "rough, low quality". English has the adage "save the best for last"!

막 - Wiktionary

Etymology 1

Contraction of 마구 (magu).



  1. Synonym of 마구 (magu, “carelessly, wildly”)


막— (mak-)

  1. rough, careless, of low quality

Etymology 2


막— (mak-)

  1. last, final
  • 3
    They are unrelated. The "last", "final" meaning comes from 마지막.
    – Absol
    Jun 5 at 20:05
  • They are homographs, different words. Jun 8 at 1:44

They are different words, but coincidentally have the same form / pronunciation. This is why they're listed as "Etymology 1" and "Etymology 2": having different origins (etymologies). This is called '동음이의어' in Korean, or 'homonyms' in English. An example in English would be 'bark' (the sound of a dog) and 'bark' (the skin of a tree).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.