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Explosive Korean Slang

Posted by on July 19, 2011

Podcast 1: Explosive Korean Slang (Medium)

In today’s lesson we’ll be taking a look at some Korean slang expressions that start with ㅃ.  This letter can be intimidating for beginning learners of Korean because it isn’t an easy sound to replicate. Just remember to keep your lips sealed until you build up some pressure and let the “b” sound ring out like a mini explosion.

In today’s video, we give you plenty examples of what ㅂ, ㅃ, and ㅍ sound like.  Once your ears grow accustomed to it, it’s really no big deal.

On with the expressions then…

1. 빡세다: intense, tough

This expression is used to describe hardship brought on by too much homework or an unmanageable workload at the office etc.

  • 우리 학교는 너무 빡세서 똑똑한 애들도 힘들어해요.
  • Our school is so intense even the smart kids have a hard time.
  • 요즘 직장에서 너무 빡세게 일을 시켜서 힘들어 죽겠어요.
  • Work has been so intense lately I think I’m gonna die.

2. 빵빵거리다: to honk the car horn

앞 차가 길 건너가는 사람을 기다리고 있는 모양인데, 왜 그렇게 빵빵거려?
It looks like the car ahead of us is just waiting for someone to cross the street.  Why are you honking like that?

3. 빵- Zero; nada (of course, this also means bread)

  • 사진 동아리 몇 명 왔어?
  • How many people came to your photography club?
  • 또 그냥 빵 명이었어!
  • Zero people, again!

4. 뻥이다: It was all just a joke; …not!

Like the “blah blah blah…  Not!” jokes that were so people in the 90s, this expression too is a fad.

Any discussion of “NOT!” jokes always brings to mind that classic scene from “Borat.”

뻥치다: to tell a lie

  • 왜 그렇게 뻥쳐? 아무도 안 믿거든!
  • Why do you keep telling tall tales? Nobody believes you!

5. 빵빵하다: strong, robust, powerful

  • 에이컨 좀 더 빵빵하게 틀어주시면 안 될까요?
  • Would you mind turning up the AC a little bit?
  • 걔네 집안이 완전 빵빵해.
  • That guy comes from a really powerful family.

걔: shortened form of “그애,” which means “that guy” or “that kid.”

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