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Secret to Mastering Korean Slang and Abbreviations

Are you an active SNS user? If you are, there’s a high chance that you come across many Korean slang words that you’re not familiar with. We receive questions from our students about grammar structure, Korean culture, pronunciation, and so on. In addition, we noticed that there has been an increase in the number of Korean learners wanting to understand the meaning of slang words.

Have you seen ㅃㅃ or ㅋㅋ? Do you know what they mean? Like “brb” (abbreviation for “be right back”), ㅃㅃ is 빠이빠이 (ppaippai) meaning “goodbye” and ㅋㅋ is 크크 (keukeu) which is an Onomatopoeia for the sound of laughter, which is similar to “lol” (meaning “laugh out loud”). The difference is that 크크 (keukeu) is not as loud as “lol” in English. These words are frequently used, so let’s try to remember these basic Korean slang words.

Before we look into Korean texting slang words and symbols, try this mini test to see if you already know Korean texting slang or not:

Q1. What does “kkk” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s the sound of laughing in Korean internet slang
B. It’s the sound of a mechanic in Korean internet slang
C. It doesn’t mean anything in Korean internet slang

Answer: A

Q2. What does “091012” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s someone’s mobile number
B. It means “study hard”
C. It means a special date

Answer: B

Q3. What does “OTL” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s an abbreviation for a famous department store in Korea
B. It shows someone kneeling down to show misery
C. It shows someone kneeling down to show that the person has just woken up

Answer: B

Q4. Choose the Korean internet slang for B.
수미: 오늘 내 생일이야!
소진: _________!
A. ㅉㅉ!
B. ㅊㅋㅊㅋ!
C. ^-^;;;;;

Answer: B

What score did you get on this mini test? Some questions are harder than others, so don’t worry if you didn’t get a perfect score. You’re here to learn, so let’s look into Korean text slang and expressions!

Table of Contents

  1. Korean Text Slang List — Simplified Korean Texting Slang
  2. Korean Text Slang List — Combined Words
  3. Korean Text Slang List — Swearing Words
  4. Korean Text Slang List — Emoticons
  5. Korean Text Slang List — Text slang with Numbers
  6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Korean Text Slang List — Simplified Korean Texting Slang

Let’s take a look at a number of common Korean slang terms that Koreans use frequently.

  • ㄱㅅ, short for 감사 (gamsa) meaning “ty,” or “Thank you”
    • Example:
      • 선물 ㄱㅅ
        (seonmul gamsa)
        “Thank you for your present.”
  • ㄴㄴ, short for 노노 meaning “no no”
    • Example:
      • 노노 사진
      • (nono sajin)
        “No no picture,” which is a way of saying that these pictures are ugly.
  • ㄷㄷ, short for 덜덜 (deoldeol), a word to describe shivering, especially due to fright
    • Example:
      • 노래는 좋은데 가사가 ㄷㄷ.
        (noraeneun joeunde gasaga deoldeol.)
        “Melody is great but lyric is scary.”
  • ㅁㄹ, short for 몰라 (molla) meaning “idk” or “I don’t know”
    • Example:
      • 그거 난 ㅁㄹ.
        (geugeo nan molla.)
        “I do not know about that.”
  • ㅉㅉ, short for 쯧쯧 (jjeutjjeut) meaning “tsk tsk”
    • Example:
      • 또 늦은것 봐. ㅉㅉ
        (tto neujeungeot bwa.jjeutjjeut.)
        “He’s late again, tsk tsk.”
  • ㄹㄷ, short for 레디 (redi) meaning “Are you ready?”
    • Example:
      • ㄹㄷ? ㄱㄱ!
        (redi? gg!)
        “Ready? Let’s go!”
  • *ㅂㅂ, short for 바이바이 (baibai) meaning “Goodbye”
    • Example:
      • 내일 봐, ㅂㅂ!
        (naeil bwa, baibai!)
        “See you tomorrow, bye!”
  • *ㅃㅃ, short for 빠이빠이 (ppaippai) meaning “Goodbye.” This texting word sounds cuter than ㅂㅂ, and is therefore commonly used by young teenagers or ladies.
    • Example:
      • 오빠 내일 봐, ㅃㅃ!
        (oppa naeil bwa, ppaippai!)
        “See you tomorrow honey, goodbye!”
  • ㄱㄱ, short for 고고 (gogo) meaning “Let’s go!”
    • Example:
      • ㄹㄷ? ㄱㄱ!
        (rd? gogo!)
        “Ready? Let’s go!”
  • ㅇㅇ, short for 응 (eung) meaning “Yes.” If you use only “ㅇ,” it sounds rude, so try to use ㅇㅇ.
    • Example:
      • ㅇㅇ 알겠어.
        (Eungeung, algesseo.)
  • ㅊㅋㅊㅋ, short for 축하축하 (chukachuka) meaning “congratulations.” It’s usually used with the “!” sign.
    • Example:
      • 결혼 진심으로 ㅊㅋㅊㅋ!
        (gyeolhon jinsimeuro chukachuka!)
        “Congratulations on your wedding!”
  • ㅇㅋ, short for 오케이 (okei) meaning “okay”
    • Example:
      • ㅇㅋ, 그렇게 할께.
        (okei, geureoke halkke.)
        “Okay, I will do that.”
  • ㅎㅇ, short for 하이 (hai) meaing “hello” or “hi”
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅇㅎㅇ!
        “Hello hello!”
  • ㅈㅅ, short for 죄송 (joesong) meaning “sorry”
    • Example:
      • 내가 실수했네, ㅈㅅ.
        (naega silsuhaenne, joesong.)
        “I made a mistake, I am sorry.”
  • ㅁㅊ, short for 미친 (michin), meaning “crazy.” Use this word when someone’s acting or saying something insane or out of control.
    • Example:
      • ㅁㅊ, 너 돈이 어디있다고 이 비싼 차를 사?
        (michin, neo doni eodiitdago i bissan chareul sa?)
        “How did you even buy this expensive car when you are broke? You are insane.”
  • ㅇㄷ , short for 어디야 (eodiya) meaning “Where are you?” or “Where r u?”
    • Example:
      • ㄷ? 나 거기로 갈까?
        (Eodi? na geogiro galkka?)
        “Where are you? Should I go there?”
  • ㅇㄴ, short for 인남 (innam), which is a slang expression for 일어나다 (ireonada) meaning “to wake up”
    • Example:
      • 피곤, 나 지금 ㅇㄴ.
        (pigon, na jigeum innam.)
        “Tired, I’ve just woken up.”
  • ***ㅋㅋㅋ, short for 크크크 (keukeu) which is the sound of laughter
    • Example:
      • ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 아 웃겨.
        (Keukeukeukeukeukeu a utgyeo.)
        “Hahahahahahahahahah that’s funny.”
  • ***ㅎㅎㅎ, short for 흐흐흐 (heuheuheu) which is the same as 크크크 (keukeu), except that 흐흐흐 (heuheuheu) represents a weaker laugh sound.
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅎㅎ;;
        To show that you’re feeling uncomfortable and are laughing it off
  • ㄱㅇㄱ? , short for 게임고? (geimgo?) which is a slang expression for 게임하러 갈래? (geimhareo gallae?) meaning “Let’s play the game?”
    • Example:
      • ㅇㄴ? ㄱㅇㄱ?
        (Innam? geimgo?)
        “Are you awake? Let’s go play the game?”
  • ㅎㄹ, short for헐 (heol) meaning “What the..” or “Oops”
    • Example:
      • ㅎㄹ;;;;;
        “What the…”
  • ㄷㅈㄹ , short for 더잘래 (deojallae) meaning “I want to sleep more”
    • Example:
      • 어제 3시에 잤어. ㄷㅈㄹ.
        (eoje 3sie jasseo.deojallae)
        “I went to sleep at 3am yesterday, I want to sleep more.”

2. Korean Text Slang List — Combined Words

Following are a few of the most frequently used Korean slang terms and words. These happen to be a bit more complex than the ones above, as they’re composed of more than one Korean expression. Let’s take a look.

  • 짐 (jim), short for 지금 (jigeum) meaning “now”
    • Example:
      • 나 진짜 급한데, 짐가면 안돼?
        (na jinjja geupande, jimgamyeon andwae?)
        “I’m really in a hurry, can’t we just go now?”
  • 샘 (saem) or 쌤 (ssaem), short for 선생님 (seonsaengnim) meaning “teacher”
    • Example:
      • 우리 썜 진짜 잘생긴것 같아.
        (uri ssyaem jinjja jalsaenggingeot gata.)
        “I think my teacher is really handsome.”
  • 어케 (eoke), short for 어떻게 (eotteoke) meaning “What should I do”
    • Example:
      • 헐 어케, 이거 엄마가 좋아하는 그릇인데.
        (heol eoke, igeo eommaga joahaneun geureusinde.)
        “Oops, what should I do, this was my mother’s favorite plate.”
  • 담 (dam), short for 다음 (daeum) meaning “Next time”
    • Example:
      • 담에 가지머 (=다음에 가지뭐)
        (dame gajimeo) or (daeume gajimwo)
        “Let’s go next time.”
  • 스샷 (seusyat) short for 스냅샷 (seunaepsyat) meaning “Snapshot”
    • Example:
      • 스샷 한번 찍자.
        (seusyat hanbeon jjikja.)
        “Let’s take a snapshot.”
  • 눈팅 (nunting) short for 눈 채팅 (nun chaeting) meaning to read a chat without interacting
    • Example:
      • 난 인스타그램은 그냥 눈팅만해.
        (nan inseutageuraemeun geunyang nuntingmanhae.)
        “I spend time lurking on Instagram.”
  • 강추 (gangchu) short for 강력 추천 (gangnyeok chucheon) meaning “highly recommended”
    • Example:
      • 이거 짱 맛있어 강추!
        (igeo jjang masisseo gangchu!)
        “This is really delicious, highly recommended!”
  • 비번 (bibeon) short for 비밀번호 (bimilbeonho) meaning “passwords”
    • Example:
      • 엄마, 아파트 비번 뭐야?
        (eomma, apateu bibeon mwoya?)
        “Mum, what’s the code for our apartment door?”
  • 컴 (keom) short for 컴퓨터 (keompyuteo) meaning “computer”
    • Example:
      • 컴터 넘 오래하면 잠이 안와.
        (keomteo neom oraehamyeon jami anwa.)
        “If I use the computer for a long time, I have trouble falling asleep.”
  • 멜 (mel) short for 메일 (meil) meaning “email”
    • Example:
      • 잠만, 나 멜좀 쓰고.
        (jamman, na meljom sseugo.)
        “Wait a moment, let me write an email.”
  • 겜 (gem) short for 게임 (geim) meaning “game”
    • Example:
      • 겜 하러 갈건데, 같이 갈래?
        (gem hareo galgeonde, gachi gallae?)
        “We are going to play a game, do you want to play too?”
  • 울 (ul) short for 우리 (uri) meaning “we”
    • Example:
      • 울 남친 사진 보여주까? (우리 남자친구 사진 보여줄까?)
        (ul namchin sajin boyeojukka?) or (uri namjachingu sajin boyeojulkka?)
        “Do you want me to show you a picture of my boyfriend?”
  • 설 (seol) short for 서울 (seoul) meaning “Seoul”
    • Example:
      • 설에 올라오면 연락줘. (서울에 올라오면 연락줘)
        (seore ollaomyeon yeollakjwo.) or (seoure ollaomyeon yeollakjwo)
        “Give me a call when you are in Seoul.”
  • 짱나 (jjangna) short for 짜증나 (jjajeungna) meaning “I am frustrated”
    • Example:
      • 날씨 엄청 더워서 넘 짱나.
        (nalssi eomcheong deowoseo neom jjangna.)
        “I feel so cranky because of this crazy weather.”
  • 근데 (geunde) short for 그런데 (geureonde) meaning “so what”
    • Example:
      • 근데? 너가 하고 싶은말이 뭔데?
        (geunde? neoga hago sipeunmari mwonde?)
        “So what? What are you trying to say?”
  • 땜에 (ttaeme) short for 때문에 (ttyaemune) meaning “because of”
    • Example:
      • 너 땜에 엄마가 화났잖아!
        (neo ttaeme eommaga hwanatjana!)
        “Mum is angry because of you!”
  • 아님 (anim) short for 아니면 (animyeon) meaning “or”
    • Example:
      • 초콜릿 먹을래? 아님 쿠키 먹을래?
        (chokollit meogeullae? anim kuki meogeullae?)
        “Do you want to eat some chocolates or some cookies?”
  • 알써 (alsseo) short for 알겠어 (algesseo) meaning “okay”
    • Example:
      • 알써, 집에 가는길에 우유 사갈께.
        (alsseo, jibe ganeungire uyu sagalkke.)
        “Okay, I will buy some milk on the way home.”
  • 첨 (cheom) short for 처음 (cheoeum) meaning “for the first time”
    • Example:
      • 너를 첨 만났을때…
        (neoreul cheom mannasseulttae…)
        “The first time I met you was…”
  • 낼 (nael) short for 내일 (naeil) meaning “tomorrow”
    • Example:
      • 낼 보자!
        (nael boja!)
        “See you tomorrow!”
  • 젤 (jel) short for 제일 (jeil) meaning “the most; the best”
    • Example:
      • 내가 젤 잘나가.
        (naega jel jallaga.)
        “I am the best.”
  • 조아 (joa) short for 좋아 (joa) meaning “I like”
    • Example:
      • 조아 눌러주세요.
        (joa nulleojuseyo.)
        “Please press the ‘like’ button.”
  • 방가 (bangga) short for 반갑습니다 meaning “nice to meet you”
    • Example:
      • 만나서 방가.
        (mannaseo bangga.)
        “Nice to meet you.”
  • 월욜 (wollyol) short for 월요일 (wollyoil) meaning “Monday”
  • 화욜 (hwayol) short for 화요일 (hwayoil) meaning “Tuesday”
  • 수욜 (suyol) short for 수요일 (suyoil) meaning “Wednesday”
  • 목욜 (mongnyol) short for 목요일 (mongnyoil) meaning “Thursday”
  • 금욜 (geumyol) short for 금요일 (geumyoil) meaning “Friday”
  • 토욜 (toyol) short for 토요일 (toyoil) meaning “Saturday”
  • 일욜 (illyol) short for 일요일 (illyoil) meaning “Sunday”
    • Example:
      • 그럼 [월욜]에 볼까?
        (geureom [wollyol]e bolkka?)
        “Shall we meet on [Monday]?”

3. Korean Text Slang List — Swearing Words

Korean curse words slang terms—hopefully you never have to use some of these, but they’re still good to know in case your conversations ever get heated or intense.

  • ㄷㅊ, short for 닥쳐 (dakchyeo) meaning “shut up”
  • Example:
  • 야 시끄러워 좀 ㄷㅊ.
    (ya sikkeureowo jom ㄷㅊ.)
    “Hey, you are too noisy, shut up.”
  • ㅅㅂ, short for 시발 (sibal) meaning “f***”
  • Example:
  • ㅅㅂ. 재수없어.
    “You suck!”
  • ㄲㅈ, short for 꺼져 (kkeojyeo) meaning “f*** off”
  • Example:
  • 좀 ㄲㅈ.
    (Jom kkeojyeo.)
    “F*** off.”
  • ㅗㅗ, short for “f***.” This is the shape of a middle finger. Depending on how angry the person is, the number of this sign in a text or chat can vary.
  • Example:
  • ㅗㅗㅗㅗ!!
    Showing middle fingers.

4. Korean Text Slang List — Emoticons


Sometimes emoticons are just the best (and most entertaining) way to express how you’re feeling during a text or chat. Learning Korean texting emoticons will help you immensely when it comes to communicating a range of emotions to your Korean friends. So, let’s take a quick glance at the world of Korean texting emoticons!

  • Crying face: (ㅠ_ㅠ), (ㅜ_ㅜ), (ㅜ.ㅜ), (ㅠㅠ), (ㅜㅜ), (;ㅅ;), (ㅜㅡ)
  • Smiley face: (^_^), (^^), (^0^)
  • Surprised face: (ㅇㅅㅇ) , (ㅇㅁㅇ), (ㅁㅅㅁ)
  • OTL = the shape of someone kneeled down in misery
  • ^^, ^^;^-^;;;;; = use this sweating face when you’re embarrassed or feel awkward
  • ㅡㅡ has the same meaning as this Korean texting emoticon: 헐.
  • ;;;;;; = sweating marks, used when you feel extremely embarrassed
  • @.@ = to show that you’re confused
  • *^^* = blushing
  • +_+ = use when you feel excited or when you have great ideas
  • ^_~ = winking
  • **ㅜㅜ = crying face
  • **ㅠㅠ = crying face (It has the same meaning as the emoticon above, but ㅠㅠ conveys more emotion)
  • -_-a = scratching one’s head
  • 0ㅠ0 = vomiting

This isn’t it—there are many more! You can even create your own emoticons, so feel free to invent your own.

5. Korean Text Slang List — Text slang with Numbers

One unique characteristic about these texting slang words is that these texting words deliver their meaning by using only numbers or the sound of the spelling. Often, the original meaning of numbers, signs, and spellings differ from that of the texting words used. So let’s take a look at some of these Korean slang words and phrases that contain numbers.

  • 하2루 = “hello”
    • Original texting word from 하이루 (hairu)
    • 2 is (i) or “two” in Korean
    • By replacing 이 with 2, it becomes 하2루
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • ㅎ2루, 오늘은 좋은 아침입니다.
        (Hairu, oneureun joeun achimimnida.)
        “Hairu, it’s such a wonderful morning.”
  • 감4 = “Thank you”
    • Original texting word from 감사 (gamsa)
    • 4 is (sa) or “four” in Korean
    • By replacing 사 with 4, it becomes 감4 and it has the exact same meaning.
    • Example:
      • 선물 감4!
        (Seonmul gamsa)
        “Thank you for the gift!”
  • 1004 = “angel”
    • 1004 is pronounced as (cheon) or “1000” and is (sa) or “four”
    • In addition, 천사 (cheonsa) is “angel” in the Korean language
    • Example:
      • 넌 나의 1004.
        (neon naui cheonsa.)
        “You are my angel.”
  • 8282 = “do it quickly”
    • “8” is (pal) and “2” is (i) in Korean; 8282 is 팔이팔이 (paripari) or “8282” which sounds similar to 빨리빨리 (ppallippalli) meaning “quickly”
    • 8282 is used when you want to make someone do something quickly
    • Example:
      • 8282와!
        “Hurry up!”
  • 바2 = “Goodbye”
    • Original texting word came from 바이 (bai) meaning “bye”
    • 2 is (i) or “two” in Korean
    • 바이 becomes 바2
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 나 집에 갈래. ㅂ2!
        (na jibe gallae.bai)
        “I am heading home, goodbye!”
  • 밥5 = “stupid” or “moron”
    • Original texting word came from 바보 (babo) meaning “stupid”
    • 5 is (o) in Korean
    • 바보 (babo) becomes 밥5
    • 밥5 sounds cuter than 바보
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅎㅎ ㅂ5
        (Heuheuheu babo)
        “Hahaha, moron”
  • 미5 = “I dislike you” or “I hate you”
    • Original texting word came from 미워 (miwo) meaning “I hate you”
    • 5 is (o) in Korean
    • 미워 (miwo) becomes 미5
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 너 정말 못됐다. 미5!
        (neo jeongmal motdwaetda. miwo!)
        “You are so mean, I hate you!”
  • 10C미 = “diligently” or “hard”
    • Original texting word came from 열심히 (yeolsimhi) “diligently”
    • 10 is in Korean
    • “C” is pronounced as in Korean
    • 10C미 is pronounced as 열+씨+미, which is very close to 열심히 (yeolsimhi) meaning “diligently.”
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 공부 10C미.
        (Gongbu yeolsimhi.)
        “Study hard.”
  • 091012 = “study hard”
    • Original texting word came from 공부 열심히 해 (gongbu yeolsimhi hae) meaning “study hard.”
    • “0” is (gong) in Korean
    • “9” is (gu) in Korean
    • “10” is (yeol) in Korean
    • “12” is 십이 (sibi) in Korean
    • Together, it sounds like 공+구+열+십+이, which is very close to 공부 열심히 해 (gongbu yeolsimhi hae) meaning “study hard.”
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 091012!
        (Gongbu yeolsimhi!)
        “Study hard!”

You’ll understand these number texting words more once you begin to better understand numbers in Korean. If you’re not familiar with it, you can learn 한국숫자 (hanguksutja) or “Korean numbers” for free.

6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

In summary, we had a look at commonly used Internet slang words in Korean. We hope that you find these words useful and use them next time you speak to your Korean friends online.

As much as learning Korean slang words is important, it’s also important to learn other proper forms of speech and action in Korea. KoreanClass101 has the world’s number-one study materials available online for you to study. So why don’t you create a free lifetime account today and immerse yourself in the Korean language? You’ll never regret it!

Do you have more questions about Korean slang? Please leave a question on our forum page. We’re more than happy to help you with improving your Korean. What’s your favorite Korean slang word or expression so far? Leave us a comment!

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