Questions tagged [idiom]

An idiom is a phrase established by usage as having a meaning not necessarily clear from the individual words.

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48 views

Meaning of '계산이 떨어진다'

I'd like to know the meaning of 계산이 떨어지다 in '여기에 왜 터를 잡으셨는지 계산이 떨어지는데'. To me, it looks like 'the calculation/reasoning has dropped' which I'm interpreting to mean something similar to 'the penny has ...
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3answers
291 views

Meaning/usage of 찰떡같이?

I was watching a drama today and heard the idiom '찰떡같이 말했는데 개떡같이 알아듣는다' being used. What is the meaning of this idiom and when can it be used? Also, what is the general meaning of 찰떡같이? Thanks :) ...
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1answer
65 views

봉인해제 meaning/usage

Today, I heard somebody talking about their diet and body transformation. After describing how they've dieted, they proceeded to say '이제 봉인해제'. Literally, I translate this as 'now the seal is the ...
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2answers
127 views

What does 시원치 않다 mean?

In the following sentence: 그런데 그렇게 주인공으로 세워 놓고도 팬들의 대접은 시원치 않은 경우가 많다. 각자 자기의 노래를 찾느라 부산하기 때문이다. 여기서는 오로지 노래 실력만이 중요하다. (Source: 대학 강의 수강을 위한 한국어 읽기 중급2 P.66) There is no entry in any of my ...
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2answers
216 views

Meaning of 걸래는 빨아도 걸래다

Does 걸래는 빨아도 걸래다 have two meanings? Since 빨다 can be used both for "wash" and for "suck", does this also mean something about soaking up water as well as the more obvious meaning to wash in water?
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154 views

How well-known is the term 리즈 시절 (“Leeds season”)?

This BBC article defines the Korean understanding of this as: You refer to someone’s ‘Leeds season’ as the point in their life where things peaked, before going downhill. I can find other ...
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2answers
298 views

Is there a korean proverb/idiom “호박씨(를) 까다”

I just read a book and see that line about "peel the pumpkin seed" that doesn't fit the context. I also tried to look it up on naver dict and it seems to means something like "a two faced that ...
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335 views

What does 도토리 키재기긴 한데 mean?

I've tried to translate this sentence '재보나 마나 도토리들 키재기긴 한데'. I looked up this phrase '도토리 키재기긴 한데' on Naver to find out it's used pretty often in many different situations. But I don't understand what ...
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316 views

“To give someone space”

I was looking for an equal word to say "to give someone space" in Korean but I couldn't find it. Even in Naver. I did find one, it's : 공간을 주다 but I'm not sure if it's the one I'm looking for. How do ...
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259 views

Which one is correct: ‘갈 데까지 가다’ or ‘갈 때까지 가다’?

PSY's <강남 스타일 (Gangnam style)>. It's kind of famous, you know. This is what its lyrics say: 지금부터 갈 데까지 가 볼까? Shall we go all the way through from now on? But is it really 데 here? Isn't it ...
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What does “making bread and selling the crumbs” mean?

I only have the English translation of this from a Korean client whose English is not very good. He is not happy with a service provider and used this phrase, is it a Korean idiom or expression?
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86 views

“Save the day” (like Superman)

Is anyone familiar with the English expression "save the day"? For example, if some situation looks hopeless, you might say some hero like Superman comes and saves the day. Also might be used in ...
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1answer
297 views

What is the origin of 바가지를 쓰다?

Where did the idiomatic phrase 바가지(를) 쓰다 (to pay through the nose; to pay for a ripoff) come from? 바가지 itself is orginally a gourd or plastic bowl, but what is the connection between a bowl and a ...
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What's the nuance of meaning of 마음을 먹다 (literally, 'to eat one's mind'), and how does the metaphor work?

I've heard '마음을 먹다' translated as to 'make up one's mind' or to 'have a mind' (to do something). Is it neutral in feeling, or does it imply hiding or deadening one's emotions in preparation for doing ...
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8k views

Why is 'long time no see' expressed as 오랜만이에요?

This is something that has been puzzling me for a while: 'long time no see' is often expressed by 오랜만이에요. 오랜 means 'a long time' and 이에요 is the present tense form of the verb 이다. So far so good. But ...
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3k views

How to say “Why not?” in Korean?

"Why not?" is a colloquial stand-alone answer in English. It can expresses An answer to a "why" question, explaining that there is no specific reason. For example, A: Why are you so nice with me ...
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Are there many (or any) sports idioms in Korean?

Modern English is rich in idioms with their origins in sport - this Wikipedia page gives some examples. Many of these are so ingrained in modern English usage that some people may not be aware of ...
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338 views

할 말을 잃다 vs 할 말을 잊다

"할 말을 잃다." literally translates to (Subject) loses (잃다) words (말) to say (말하다). "할 말을 잊다." is literally (Subject) forgets (잊다) words (말) to say (말하다). Both sentences sound ...
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It takes two to tango

Last night as I was talking about idioms in Korean, a question came up about the English expression "It takes two to tango." Is there a Korean equivalent to this idiom? If it does exist, how common ...
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215 views

Where does “약방의 감초” originate and what does it mean exactly?

I heard quite often Korean people say "약방의 감초" which literally translates to "licorice (root) of drugstore (pharmacy)" to refer to a person or thing that is indispensable. Where does this proverb ...