Korean Internet Slang Posted by on May 21, 2011 in Korean Language

You might have noticed from looking around Korean forums and chat rooms that a lot of words are contracted or shortened in form. Some of the words are slangy to start off with, and are further contracted for convenience. Have you seen any of these forms below? A lot of these words and symbols are frequently used online. If you don’t know what they mean, take a look at the lower part of the list:

(1)    ㅎㅎㅎ

(2)    ㅋㅋㅋ

(3)    ㅇㅇ

(4)    ㄴㄴ

(5)    ㅎㅇ

(6)    ㅂㅇ

(7)    ㅂ2

(8)    ㅇㅋ

(9)    ㅜㅜ or ㅠㅠ

(10)  ㅇㅜㄴ


(1)    hahaha

(2)    kkk (noise of laughter)

(3)    short for 응, which is an informal way to say “yes”.

(4)    Means “no, no”. The Hangul letter ㄴ makes an “n” sound and so this letter is used to represent a shorter way of saying the word “no”, which begins with an “n” sound as well.

(5)    Means “hi”. It comes from the word 하이, where the first letter from each syllable is used to make ㅎㅇ.

(6)    Means “bye”. It comes from the word 바이.

(7)    Also means “bye”. The Hangul letter ㅂ begins with a  “b” sound and so does the word “bye”. Hence that’s why ㅂ is used. The second part of this contracted word is the numeral 2, which in Sino-Korean numbers is pronounced as 이.

(8)    Means “okay”. The ㅇ part of the ㅇㅋ looks like the English letter “o” and the letter ㅋ represents the “k” sound in okay.

(9)    Indicates crying or tears. The horizontal line in that looks like this ㅡ in ㅜ or ㅠ symbolizes the person’s face. The vertical line(s) are the tears streaming down the person’s face.

(10)  Means “disappointment” or “discouragement”. The ㅇ  is the person’s head and ㅜ  is the person’s body. The ㄴ is the person’s knees on the floor. All together it represents someone with their hands and knees on the floor in frustration or disappointment.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of Korean internet slang, but it’s a start!

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  1. shi:

    This was very helpful

  2. Ash:

    Thank you!