What is Konglish?
Konglish is a compound word formed from the words “Korean” and “English”. It’s used to describe Korean words that have been heavily influenced by English but make little sense to native English speakers. Do you wish to expand your vocabulary with words such as “Gag man” and “BJ”? (And no, it’s not what you think!!) Look no further than this mini-guide for the definitions.
This is an extremely common Konglish term, and you might have heard it a lot if you’re an avid K-Drama fan. Fighting means “Good luck!” and is often used in sports matches or before exams to cheer someone on.
Gag Man (개그맨)
Contrary to what you may expect, a gag man isn’t a man who makes you gag or a man that gags. It turns out that there are several definitions for “gag”, and one of them is a joke or a mischievous prank - which is where this word originates from. Gag man or Gaegueman refers to a comedian.
Skinship is a word that has been assimilated into English culture so closely that many don’t realize that it is a form of Konglish. This word is used to define light physical contact such as holding hands or hugging between two romantically involved people.
The word BJ stands for “Broadcast Jockey”, and is used to refer to streamers on Korean platforms such as AfreecaTV who broadcast for a living. Fans of these BJs can donate “Star Balloons”, or 별풍선, to get a reaction from the streamer such as aegyo (acting cute) or otherwise.
Standing for Social Networking Service, this is a commonly used acronym amongst Koreans. Many will refer to their Instagram or Facebook account as their SNS account and some might ask you if you “have any SNS”, which means that they’re asking you for their social media account.
Anime is popular all around the world, and this is without exception in Korea, where it is referred to as Ani for short. Korea and Japan don’t have the best of relations, but they still have mutual respect for each other's cultures and you’ll find that the youth of Japan are quite into K-Pop and K-Dramas and that some Koreans are into anime. (However, a lot of fervent anime lovers are labeled otakus in Korea)
Over Eat (오바이트)
Ever overate so much you wanted to throw up? Over eat means vomit, and you’ll see many Koreans use it as a term when they throw up after drinking too much soju. Although the English spelling is for this word is Over Eat, the way you pronounce it is closer to Obite.
Hand Phone (핸드폰)
It doesn’t take much consideration to realize the meaning of this Konglish word. Hand phone or pronounced more like haendeupon, is what Koreans call a cell/mobile phone.
Very similar to it’s origins, Tellebi refers to Television. Many times Konglish takes an English word and truncates it as shown with this word.
One Shot (원샷)
South Korea is known to be a very social drinking culture. So, it is not uncommon to hear this exclamation while out drinking with friends or coworkers. One shot basically translates to bottom's up.
Wanna learn more?
There are plenty of resources to learn Konglish Online. However, if you are a book lover and would like to have a more in-depth look into expanding your Konglish vocabulary, the following texts are great to have on hand: