It’s time to learn some useful Korean and slightly less useful American slang! We’ve been holding onto this episode for MONTHS, but we decided it’s not fair to keep Soo Zee’s Korean sass locked up. So this week we’ve displaced time and space to teach you hand gestures.

Clasping hands and rubbing your palms together (Korean)

I tried really hard to think about a hand gesture that is somewhat uncommon. I couldn’t pick something too many people use these days, otherwise it wouldn’t be hard enough for Leigh to guess.

This is a hand gesture when you want to describe brown nosing. I exaggerated with my body language in the video to give a hint to Leigh, but when you use it, you don’t usually go that far. No kneeling or begging for something, just rubbing your hands will be enough!

“똥꼬 빤다” is the verbal equivalent for brown nosing. It literally means kissing an anus. Another phrase you could use is ‘사바사바 한다’. Also, you can use this slang when someone is paying someone a bribe or trying to flatter the boss.

Laying one hand atop the other and wiggling thumbs in a circular motion (American)
Oh the awkward turtle. I’m pretty sure its day has looong past. And if the Awkward Turtle has lost his luster, so has Awkward Giraffe, Awkward Anteater, One-Finned Awkward Turtle, Judgemental Coyote, and all the other Awkward Turtle variations.

But Leigh, if Awkward Turtle is uncool now, why teach it to Soo Zee? Because non-native speakers like Soo Zee need to know about Awkward Turtle too, so when it comes up in a movie or TV show she gets the joke. Plus, Soo Zee already knows most of the American hand gestures (and slang!), which means finding occasionally obscure or outdated memes (and slang!) for her to guess. It’s more cultural education than language education.

Anyway, Awkward Turtle is not a gesture every American will know, but it can still get a laugh. If someone farts in the elevator? Awkward Turtle time! If your buddy makes a conversational faux pas? Awkward Turtle time! Accidentally said something just when the conversation in the room dies down so everyone can hear you call them idiots? Yup. Awkward Turtle time. Imagine Jeff Murdock from the British show Coupling. If the situation reminds you of Jeff, you’re clear to use the Awkward Turtle.

We also found this neat little snapguide explaining how to form the Awkward Turtle, just in case it was unclear in the video. http://snapguide.com/guides/make-an-awkward-turtle


그냥 is just JUST! It’s the same as in English, actually. There is nothing to explain about this one, so I’ll just give you some example situations below:

그냥 그래 (It’s just ok / It’s so so)
그냥 냅둬 (Just leave it alone)
그냥 넘어가 (Let’s just skip it – when you don’t want to repeat it or explain it )
그냥 전화 걸어봤어 (I called just because, nothing special)

We hope you enjoyed our hand gestures. We’re definitely going to discard the vocab from time to time so we can teach some text and internet slang too. Just in case we do, you should subscribe by clicking the button below. FACT: Subscribers are better looking, smarter, and able to finish a game of Risk without breaking furniture. Which is why you are one already. You are subscribed, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU??

  1. What does 쩌리 mean? I heard that in a song, but I don’t know what it means :'( Plz help me. thank you ^^

  2. I still do da awkward turtle. Me and my BFF

  3. Hello Leigh and Soozee!! When I was watching 2NE1’s 2014 World Tour Video and they randomly started shouting Chuuuuuuuuuuuu! What does this mean in Korea? Or am I just an idiot that doesn’t understand the meaning of this?

  4. I’ve been subscribed for 4 years now, and I still can’t finish a game of RISK (with or without breaking furniture) T_T

    Btw, I usually find Leigh’s American slang just as enlightening as SooZee’s Korean stuff, but I actually know the awkward turtle!! Yay!! I think someone at uni here in Australia did it. So it’s still pretty common I guess.

  5. What does 어장관리 and 엄친달 mean? I heard it in the heirs..

  6. hahaha i love the awkward turtle!! I definitely still use it Leigh! It’s just a great way to get the convo starting again, cause it just always makes you laugh!!!! XD

  7. Maybe talk about the english phrase “toss your cookies” at least where I live if youre really sick and throwing up that’s what we call it. Just an idea ^^

  8. Hi, can you talk about 츤데레

  9. My friends always bring up the awkward turtle, but not when the situations awkward…… People just say “awkward silence” at that time :P they even know of an awkward octopus XD

  10. I distinctly remember first hearing about awkward turtle when I started college in 2006. I remember it was super popular/common my freshman year, but after that it really dropped off and people didn’t use it anymore. I haven’t heard anyone reference it in ages!

  11. I still use awkward turtle…but im in montana so who knows? I’m as isolated as you! XD

  12. Ahh I love this segment. I laughed so hard. ^_^

  13. I always hear the word “솜” was wondering what that meant

  14. I’m in highschool in Australia and we use awkward turtle ironically sometimes…

    As for brown nosing, that is a useful hand gesture for me to use… hehehe

  15. Oh my gosh! I haven’t seen the awkward turtle in years! Thanks for bringing it back, Leigh!

  16. Never seen awkward turtle before but when things get awkward me and my sister (who is learning sign language) just do the sign for awkward which is to hold out the thumb, forefinger and middle finger (like holding up 3) and slowly waving your hands up and down like your jammin on a keyboard (slowly)
    Did i explain that correctly? haha

    But anyway you referenced Jeff from Coupling, haha, i knew there was a reason I can’t get enough of y’all :3
    now i wanna watch Coupling tho… Giggle Loop~

  17. I probably do the awkward turtle gesture at least once a week. And I probably see it at least 3 times a week. XD the awkward turtles, the turtle babies, and the awkward llama..

  18. yay awkward turtle

    there is also awkward upside down turtle and awkward turtle that is going to heaven.

  19. Last year I showed my niece how to do awkward turtle, and its been a love affair ever since. She doesn’t care if its day has past. She will make that turtle awkwardly swim for years to come.

  20. Awkward turtle is what you do in middle/elementary school.

  21. I did the “awkward turtle” quite a lot ,a year ago. BUT I MIXED THINGS UP, I would go “Awkward turtle..AWKWARD TURTLE MAKES BABIES ” Yeah, let me try to describe how I did that, I put my hands in a fist formation and have them hit together on the side and they magically transform into baby awkward turtles together and have them slide away.

  22. We still do awkward turtle, but yes, awkward llama comes up as well.

  23. I’m in Scotland, but we still use thee Awkward Turtle. When I was at university, we came up with two other “Awkward Animals” for those deadwater situations.

    Basically, imagine a party where everybody’s drinking and having a good time.

    Awkward Turtle is what you do near the beginning of the party, nobody’s even tipsy yet and the awkwardness is clear as day.

    Then you have Awkward Elephant, which is a two person job: When everyone’s a little merry, but still you can tell what’s happening and that what that person said was iffy as heck, one person gets behind you and puts their hands on their ribs to make ears and you put your arms together in front of you and flail around. Thus creating an elephant.

    And than when everyone’s completely “Bleezed” (A word from my high school days…aahhh, the embarrassing memories!) and an awkward moment rears its ugly head…

    You get on the ground, lie on your back, arms at your side…

    Rock n Roll from side to side and moan like you’ve just seen Dobby’s death for the first time.

    That, my friends, is the awkward whale. Only to be used in the most dire of awkward moments.

  24. I haven’t seen anyone use that gesture around campus or during High school tbh (the more you learn)

  25. I still use awkward turtle!!~ XD There’s also awkward lama and awkward turkey~~ XD I don’t know if anyone has heard of awkward turkey before, but it’s when someone holds up their hand (like when doing a high five) and another person places their fist against it with their thumb sticking out and wiggle their fingers/thumb. I still do awkward turkey with my brother XD

  26. Can anyone link me Soo Zee’s YT account? Please!? Thanks.

  27. Hardly used akward turtle in the past. But I used awkward balloon on some occasions

  28. SooooZeeeee and Leeeigh! *hearts all around* <3 <3 <3 <3

  29. Never seen the awkward turtle before… lol I’ll have to pay attention to see if my students do the brown nosing thing.

    AND. To add to this (this question who might have a reply)
    I have googled this and asked my Korean friends, but I would like another (a second? third?… fourth?) opinion.

    My students the other day called me, “뻔뻔” (bbeonbbeon maybe?) after having a discussion about a rule I made that they don’t agree with and wanting me to change it. It was a back and forth type of conversation ending, if I remember correctly, with me saying something to the effect of, “I’m the teacher that’s why” or something. I make the rules, so follow ‘em. (makes me sound so much like my mother….)
    Anyhoo. They followed my statement up with, “Ohhh teacher. you’re so 뻔뻔” and I was like. o_O EXPLAIN. EXPLAIN!!!
    Finally just got ‘em to write it down so that’s how I know the spelling . … but yeah.
    That’s my question. ^^ Any help would be greatly appreciated~

  30. Not only is there still awkward turtle, there is is now awkward turtle babies for those situations that surpass awkward and enter into level 9 sorts of cray cray. It’s done by bringing your two fists together and hitting them as if the turtle eggs have cracked open and then with each hand [using your thumb and pinky only] you make the baby turtles scurry away from the terrible awks situation.

  31. i guess cuz i live in the islands (hawaii here!) i’m not so familiar with the slangs that are used in the mainland. IT’s such a cute hand gesture~! i will def. use it :D
    just a suggestion, maybe u guys can look up/find out what slangs and hand gestures each state/country uses that’s quite unique only in that particular state (or province). For example, I live in hawaii so we use a lot of pidgin or moke english as some pple would call it.

    here’s your first assignment to anyone reading this: how would u use the word “shoots” in a situation? :D

  32. Yay! Finally an American slang I recognized. Yes awkward turtle is still used, just more in sporadic spots than nationwide.

  33. 똥꼬 빤다 this phrase sounds familiar. Is it the same one that Hae Ri use in High Kick 2 drama?
    Why does Hae Ri use it to call everyone? I mean, it does not reflect whatever explained here. Anyone can help me understand it better? Thx :D

  34. ?: What’s the difference between 아름답다 (if I am right) and 예쁘다?

  35. I’ve used the gesture “akward turtle” but not for akward situations per def. its more you’ve gone to far/deep in your explanations how are you going to row yourself out of that? or if you said something you shouldn’t ist used like a rewind? back to before you said it? ofc whats said is said but the gesture is like a way of telling the other persons that you wouldn’t have said that if you could do it again? (I’m norwegian btw) sorry i’m terrible at explaining this

  36. ahaha i thought that first hand gesture meant you were planning an evil scheme!!!

  37. I don’t know the awkward turtle hand gesture although I have heard the words used. A while back (around 2 years ago) there was the awkward balloon hand gesture going around in my area though, supposedly originating in England, where you pretend to hold a balloon when things get awkward xD

  38. Hmm, I’m American born in the 70s and never seen the awkward turtle. Thanks EYK for teaching me. In other news, SOOOZEEEE!!!!!! Are you sure she is not an actress or model?

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