What does 경 mean? Is there a root meaning?

경치 - scenery, view

구경하다 - to go sightseeing

Also, is there a meaning for 구 in verb (to go sightseeing) ?


1 Answer 1


경 comes from the Chinese word 景, which in Modern Standard Mandarin is pronounced jǐng, and in Standard Cantonese ging2. This is also used in Japanese in its on'yomi reading as けい (kei).

On its own, this hanja is given the eumhun 볕 경 gyeong as in "sunshine/sunbeams". However, this meaning has extended to mean "view/sight/scenery" in modern Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, and this extension happened very early on.

구경 is already attested in Middle Korean as 구겨ᇰ〮. It is believed to derive from a hanja-based collocation 求景 = search + view/sight/scenery = sightseeing. This is not used in modern Chinese at all, nor in modern Japanese.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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