Questions tagged [word-origin]

For questions related to the origin or derivation of Korean words.

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71 views

Meaning of 머슴살이 and origin?

I've come across the word 머슴살이 and read in the dictionary that it means doing farm work. But looking around on the internet I'm not sure if there's some sort of historical meaning associated with the ...
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1answer
139 views

what do 形 and 便 mean and how can they combine to make the meaning “situation”?

The Chinese word of 형편 (situation) in Korean is 形便. Can anyone explain what 形 and 便 mean and how can they combine to make the meaning "situation"?
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1answer
3k views

Why does the number 0 (zero) not have its own Korean native numeral?

The number zero (0) does not really have a Korean native numeral of its own. In fact, the only way to say zero in Korean is by Hanja: Yeong (영) or Gong (공). I'm very tempted to say that it's because ...
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1answer
53 views

What foreign terms were “updated” in the past?

I came across this tweet from VICE News researchers are making a dictionary for a Korea that doesn’t exist yet which has the tag: North and South Korea Are Butting Heads Creating a Unified ...
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2answers
133 views

How exactly is 호롱호롱 an onomatopoeic word for the sound of mountain birds?

This has been on my mind for quite a while. 호롱호롱 seems to be the "default" word of choice for imitating the sound of mountain birds in many Korean children's songs, for instance, in 이슬 , 호롱호롱호롱 산새소리에....
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1answer
119 views

Origin of the adjective 답답하다

답답하다 : Be in state of not going forward, because he is in his logic pond. 너 답답하다 You are in trouble state or you are pitiful. 답 is an answer so that 답답하다 means that even though there is an answer, ...
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1answer
95 views

analysis of 도 in 아/어도 되다

I am studying about 아/어도 되다 pattern from this site. I understand this structure and how it is used in a sentence. However, I am really curious about the word 도. Does anyone have a deep analysis why ...
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1answer
123 views

The origin of words 콩쥐, 팥쥐

There is a Korean story whose title is 콩쥐 팥쥐 Even though I do not know the ending of the story, it is very similar to 신데델라 Sindedella : 팥쥐 is a daughter of step mother. Question : What are meanings ...
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1answer
231 views

Money Drinking Hippo? What is a 돈먹는하마?

On Twitter, #돈먹는하마 is trending. I know they are talking about post-olympic stadiums costing a lot of money. What is this use of "hippo/하마" in this phrase? What is this use of "hippo/하마" in this ...
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2answers
143 views

How did the Hanja-rooted terms for sports such as '축구','야구', '농구' come into being?

As football, baseball, and basketball are all relatively modern things, I might have expected their Korean terms to be transliterations of foreign terms (in the same way that the words 'taxi', '...
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689 views

Is there a list of Korean words that were imported into Japanese?

Many Korean words were incorporated from Japanese words. However, I wonder if the opposite is true. How many Korean words were incorporated into Japanese? Is there any such research, maybe including ...
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2answers
150 views

Why are fuseboxes called '두꺼비집' - 'toad houses'?

I am having some electrical work done on the house, and learned that a fusebox in Korean is called a '두꺼비집' or 'toad house'. Why is this? It seems like like it should be something to do with the ...
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203 views

What does the short form represent for Korean Parts of Speech?

Sometimes, I see these in dictionary word lists that has a short form for Korean Parts of Speech (POS) and I could figure out the "long-form", e.g. 감 = 감탄사 interjection, exclamation  관 = 관형사 ...
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1answer
174 views

Which Korean country names originate from Japanese?

According to this answer, [Some country names] are borrowed from other languages, like 브라질 (Brazil) is borrowed from the English variant of Brasil, or 독일 is borrowed from the Japanese name for ...
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2answers
274 views

Etymology of the word 코끼리 (elephant)?

I'm assuming that 코 is the same 코 meaning 'nose'. What about '끼리'? is it the same 끼리 meaning that something is true of a type or group? or is it some form of 길다 ('long')?
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581 views

Is the word '여보세요' ('hello?') related to the word '여보' ('darling')?

Is the word '여보세요' ('hello?') related to the word '여보' ('darling')? If not, where does '여보세요' come from?
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2answers
1k views

What's the history of the how the word '빵', meaning 'bread', made its way into Korean?

The Wikipedia article on 빵 states that the word is borrowed directly from Japanese, and before that, from Portuguese: From Japanese パン ‎(pan, “bread”), from Portuguese pão ‎(“bread”), from Latin ...
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2answers
196 views

Why does “브금” mean sound track?

I am baffled by this strange word that doesn't show up in the dictionary. "브금" seems to mean sound track. Can someone explain? Also, does "브금" has any relation to "불금"?
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1answer
246 views

By frequency of actual usage, what percentage of the Korean language is 한자어?

The Wikipedia article on Sino-Korean vocabulary states: Sino-Korean words today make up about 60% of the Korean vocabulary, though in actual speech (especially informally) native words are more ...
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2k views

What percentage of Korean vocabulary is derived/borrowed from English?

The Wikipedia article on Sino-Korean vocabulary states that Sino-Korean words make up about 60% of the Korean vocabulary (though by frequency of usage, the percentage is lower). Are there any ...
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2answers
946 views

Is it true that -먹다 can be used to show that you did something bad? What's the origin of this meaning?

I've read that "잊어 먹다" can be used to mean "forget", emphasising that it was a regrettable event. Is that a legitimate usage? In general, when would this form be used? I tend to think of eating as a ...
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2answers
102 views

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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469 views

Is the word '딴' related to 다르다?

Superficially, 딴 meaning (an)other sounds like a shortened version of 다른 (different). Is there an etymological relationship or is the similarity in sound and meaning just a coincidence?