I've been trying to learn slangs and came across these phrases. What does 삽질 하네 and 놀구 있네 mean? Are they different or do they have the same sentiment/meaning? And do they carry negative connotations?

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    They both are negative. 삽질 means fruitless/pointless effort. 놀고 있네 is a phrase used when one thinks someone else is doing something meaningless for no reason or with some hidden bad intention.
    – Absol
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


삽질하다 means to shovel (삽 = shovel(n), 질 = action/motion of doing something), but it is also a slang word for doing unnecessary or futile work that doesn't do any good.

놀고 있다 (구->고) is literally "(someone) is playing, 놀다 = to play, 있다 = is in the state of doing something), but its slang meaning is acting vainly or pompously. It has the nuance of "You make me laugh with your ridiculous act" said with displeasure. The tone usually determines the meaning, but the -네 ending suggests it is the slang meaning at work here.

The -네 ending in both has the tone of discovering something or directing others attention to it. It can have a sarcastic tone depending on how you say it.

So,both are always negative, with different connotations.

  • 삽질하네 = You are wasting your time!
  • 놀고있네 = Duh! Look at that fool!

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