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Discussing Interesting Contemporary Korean Slang: Ep 3

September 1, 2013


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Ooh boy, this week’s DICKS was a raunchy one. First off Soo Zee and I do the robot arms of awkwardness as we talked about one of Korea’s most popular slang terms.


Even though “멘붕” has been around for awhile, it’s still used A LOT. Tiffany from SNSD shouts it in “I got a boy”. I totally screwed up that part in the video, but the actual line is, “나, 깜짝! 멘붕이야!” I do use 멘붕 a lot as well, like when my laptop suddenly turns off and projects I’ve been working on for hours, poured my whole heart into, didn’t save and are completely gone. Or when I couldn’t answer something on a test. That’s a 멘붕 situation right there.

It’s a shortened word from the phrase 멘탈 붕괴. Literally translated, it means “MY MENTAL FACULTIES ARE COLLAPSING!”

Basically you can use 멘붕 when:
A) things get too absurd
B) you are freaked out/shocked/embarrassed/enraged
C) during an epic fail
D) you are not your normal, reasonable self

멘붕 is used like an adjective, most commonly with “오다”
1) 아…나 멘붕 왔어
2) 지금 멘붕이야…
3) 완전 멘붕 상태야

I found a perfect image to help you understand!



“Manscaping” is also a shortened word. It’s a slurring of the words “man” and “landscaping,” and it refers to male grooming, specifically hair removal.

Not everyone grew up in a house with a yard, so first let’s explain landscaping. Landscaping encompasses all the stuff you do to make your yard look good. You plant flowers, you trim the overgrowth, you maybe even buy a few lawn ornaments. Well, in the garden of men and their most favouritest body part, a few people might want to plant flowers, trim the overgrowth, and perhaps even decorate with some ornaments there too. I am of course talking about trimming male body hair, or “manscaping,” as we like to call it.

Of course, not every man does manscaping. Soo Zee pointed out in the video that Korean men don’t believe in manscaping AT ALL. It may not have been super clear in the video, but manscaping isn’t just limited to the nether regions; I have more than one guy friend who gets their back hair or chest hair waxed for the ladies.

In any case, if you’d like to discuss manscaping with your friends, make sure you use it is a noun, because even though it looks like a verb, it isn’t one. Here are some example sentences that might help you get the hang of it:

He must do some manscaping.
I don’t understand the point of manscaping.
I keep telling him if he doesn’t start manscaping, he’ll never get a girlfriend.

Bonus Round: 뻑이가요?

“뻑이가요 뻑뻑-뻑-뻑-뻑이가요~~~~” Sorry but I can’t resist singing this song!!!! It’s is really hard to explain this one. In my opinion, GD&TOP’s song might been banned because “뻑” sounds like the F word. But really, it’s not even close to a bad word.

뻑이가요 means two things. Mostly, it just means you are enamored of someone, but it can also be used in WTF situations to convey shock and a bit of snobby attitude. So GD&TOP’s song contains two meanings: sure they are both famous and get a lot attention and people look up to them, but they’re also commenting on it, saying they couldn’t believe all of it’s happening! Clever, clever boys.

We’ve really been digging your questions and suggestions. Please let us know what kind of Korean stuff you want to learn! And you should probably click that big red button down there to subscribe for more DICKS. It’s educational, you know. And it makes you taller and better looking and clears up acne too. Okay, maybe it doesn’t make you taller, but subscribing does clear up your acne.



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Korean Slang