K-pop sensation BTS/Courtesy of BigHit Entertainment

More K-pop lovers use Korean terms

Have you ever heard of such words as “daebak,” “chingu,” “mukbang,” “oppa,” and “aegyo?” If the answer is positive, the chances are that you are a die-hard fan of Korean dramas or songs because they are Korean words, which are widely used by K-pop lovers.

They use dozens of Korean terms including above-mentioned ones in their daily exchanges, typically with fellow fans as amply demonstrated by social networking sites involving K-pop stars.

And the number of such words seems to increase in line with the rising popularity of K-pop stars like seven-member boy band BTS.

The phenomenon of using Korean words is not new as a 2017 study shows.

Batoul Touhami and Prof. Fawwaz Al-Abed Al-Haq at Jordan’s Yarmouk University came up with the study where they delved into the linguistic influence of the Korean wave.

They surveyed 139 K-pop fans from Algeria to learn that 93 percent of respondents use Korean words and expressions in their daily lives.

The two authors defined the aforementioned words as follows.

Aegyo” means cute gestures with kind of baby talk that show innocence.

People use “daebak” to express impression with someone/something or reaction to a great victory.

Of note is that the authors also dealt with Korean expressions used only by BTS fans like “Jungshook” and “infires.”

The former is inspired by BTS member Jungkook’s shook face and is used by fans to express astonishment.

The latter originated from the verb “inspires” and signifies inspiration that could put someone’s brain on fire, according to the authors.


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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.