The phrase means something like "Wait, what?" but all the definitions for 방구 seem wrong.

Any help appreciated, thanks.

  • The phrase means "(Your words make no sense at all, so) I can't even distinguish it from the sound of fart".
    – Absol
    Jan 24, 2022 at 20:26
  • It is used in the following situations: 1) the words are not even remotely well-organized, so you can't understand it at all, or 2) although you actually understand what they mean, it is far from what you believe or want, so you disagree very strongly. It sounds very aggressive if you say it directly to someone who said that nonsense.
    – Absol
    Jan 24, 2022 at 20:46
  • @Absol thanks, maybe it did mean what I suspected after all :D
    – aaa90210
    Jan 25, 2022 at 8:57

2 Answers 2


방구 is supposedly dialect of 방귀 (fart) which might be the reason you couldn't find its meaning. I think it actually used a lot more frequently than the correct 방귀 (because it is easier to pronounce).

The phrase 말이야 방구야? is thus a sarcastic/annoyed response to someone not making sense. It is about the same as "Are you talking or are you farting?" in meaning an nuance.


The nuance is more like "What kind of nonsense is that!" It could be a slightly offensive saying.

말 and 방귀 have nothing to do with each other. 말 is what I expect to hear but what I actually got is nothing close to it. This would be the sense of it. I also heard "말이야 막걸리야."

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