0

A Youtube video series has a Canadian man and his Korean wife cycling in various places in South Korea. He narrates and they usually talk in English, with Korean subtitles. At 3:30 of this video she has a minor mishap and says 'Fuck'. The subtitles say 이런..씨.. ㅂ. What is the translation of 이런 씹 and how does it compare in scope and effect to fuck? Google says 'holy shit' and 씹 by itself as 'chew'. Kakao says 'oh shit' and 씹 by itself as ??. Papago says 'chew like this' and 씹 by itself as 'fuck'. My Korean-born/Australian citizen wife simply says it's a bad word and I don't need to know anything more. Google shows 7.7 million search results, so it's common.

1 Answer 1

0

씹..., 씨..ㅂ, or 씨발(the full word) is a curse in Korean. 씹 in the context of your question is just like saying Fuh.... instead of fully saying Fuck.

This curse word has seen changes in its pronunciations over time. The original word 씹 (not the one in your question, but the archaic Korean word) is a vulgar version of referring to female vagina.

At first, this curse word was 씹할, which literally means "doing things with the vagina" and it referred to a prostitute or those women who have sex with many partners (against their then social norm). It was also pronounced 씹팔 since 할 and 팔 after the letter 씹 sounded very similar anyways. As you may see, it's a very severe level of insult, considering the conservative nature of old Korean society. (Maybe you can think of the book, A Scarlet Letter)

Then, the word is now read 씨발. So, yeah it has a reference to having sex, but with a very insulting connotation of prostitution. However, that's only when you actually know what it means. I think many native speakers these days just say it without thinking much. The daily usage is somewhat close to Fuck because people who don't care just say it while it is definitely considered taboo in formal or official occasions.

The way that youtube videos use it in twisted version of the word means that they are just saying it for fun in a light mood, not thinking about the etymology above. It's just like some TV shows or youtube videos use "Frek" or "F..."

The translation apps talking about "chewing" is a different word. 씹다 is to chew.

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.