Dialogue - Korean



gyeom as well as
물 좋다 mul jota to look great, to have good atmosphere (lit. to have good water)
전쟁터 jeonjaengteo war, battlefields
팀장 timjang Team-Manager
부장 bujang Director (Department Chief)
발등 baldeung top of a foot
물먹다 mulmeokda to fail, to be beaten (lit. to drink water)
되어가다/돼가다 doeeogada/dwaegada to go off (well)
보고드리다 bogodeurida to report (honorific)
신제품 sinjepum New products

Lesson Notes



The Focus of This Lesson Is Idiomatic Expressions That Use the Word 물, Meaning "Water."
옆 회사에 물 먹다.
"We've been failed by the other company."

You can see many idiomatic expressions using the word 물 (mul), meaning "water," in both positive and negative forms. We consider 물 as "failure" when metaphoring to have no taste as in negative term, while we also used it as a "good atmosphere" in positive terms.

Point 1: "Water" Meaning "Failure"

When you can use the word 물 (mul), meaning "water," for the meaning of "failure," you can use the verb 먹다 (meokda), meaning "to drink," together.

물먹다 (mulmeokda) "to drink water"

Literally, this word simply means "to drink water." But when you use it as an idiomatic expression without using the object-marking particle 을 (eul), it means "to fail." You can use this expression in the situation that you have failed because of situations or beaten by someone else.

Water doesn't have any taste, and we might consider it as doing something meaningless. That's why you can say 물먹다 (mulmeokda) to mean "to have failed" since there is nothing good back to you.

You can also use it as 물먹게 하다 (mul meokge hada) to mean "to make someone drink water" or "to make someone fail."

For Example:

  1. 우리 팀은 그 팀 때문에 이번 경쟁에서 물 먹었다.
    Uri timeun geu tim ttaemune ibeon gyeongjaengeseo mul meogeotda.
    "We failed this competition because of that team."
  2. 그 팀은 우리팀을 물 먹게 했다.
    Geu timeun uritimeul mul meokge haetda.
     "The team beat our team."



Point 2: "Water" Meaning "Good Atmosphere"

Water can have a meaning of a "good atmosphere" or a "good mood." In this case, you can use the verb 좋다 (jota), meaning "to be good," with the word 물 (mul).

물좋다. (muljota) "The water is good."

Literally, it means "the water is good." When people started using this idiom, they only use this expression when talking about bars or some social places where they serve alcohol. Originally, the water is meant to be an alcohol. Even now, people mostly use this term when talking about places with alcohol such as bars, karaoke bars, or clubs.

You can also use this phrase as an adverb with nouns. In this case, you can conjugate the verb 좋다 to 좋은 and use it as we show below.

물좋은 + Noun

For Example:

  1. 물좋은 바
    muljoeun ba
    "a bar with a nice atmosphere"
  2. 나는 친구와 함께 물좋은 바를 찾았다.
    Naneun chinguwa hamkke muljoheun bareul chajatda.
    "I found a bar with a nice mood with my friend."


Examples from This Dialogue

  1. 옆 회사에서 벌써 같은 상품을 개발했다고 하더라고. 이번에도 또 물 먹게 됐네.
    Yeop hoesaeseo beolsseo gateun sangpumeul gaebalhaetdago hadeorago. ibeonedo tto mul meokge dwaetne.
    ""Another company already developed the same product. We've been beaten again!""
  2. 이 근처에 물 좋은 바도 있었어? 물 좋은 클럽은 알고 있었지만.
    I geuncheoe mul joheun bado isseosseo? mul joheun keulleobeun algo isseotjiman.
    "Was there any nice bar around? I knew there were some nice clubs."



Sample Sentences

  1. 이번 마라톤에서 태희에게 물 먹었다.
    Ibeon maratoneseo taehuiege mul meogeotda.
    "I got beaten on this marathon by Taehee."
  2. 물 좋은 클럽에는 늘 사람들이 많다.
    Mul joeun keulleobeneun neul saramdeuri manta.
    "Clubs with a nice atmosphere always have a lot of people."


Cultural Insights

Three Rounds to Release Stress in Korea

When Korean people get stressed from work or home, they usually go to three places: restaurants, bars, and clubs. After getting off from work, they go to restaurants to have grilled meats like galbi and strong drinks like soju together. After getting full and drunk, they move to the nearest bar and have some beers. This is called the second round, as Kim and Lee did in the script. For the final round, they go to clubs to dance or go to Karaoke to sing and burn calories.