Cursing in Korean

Let’s just start this post by saying that I don’t condone cursing. In my 20s I went through a stage during which I cursed like a sailor, as they say. But now I think there is too much rich vocabulary out there to be limited to curse words. That being said, sometimes it’s a good thing to know these words, if for no other reason than to avoid them.

Tonight, for instance, if I had been educated in Korean cursing, I would have avoid a situation that was very awkward for our new exchange student. Here is how it went down. He mentioned that he had 18 text messages after a short school trip and I tried to say “18” using the Sino-Korean numbers.

He freaked out and was waving his hands, telling me to stop. I said, “I was just trying to say …” and he interrupted me to say stop again. Well, he wouldn’t tell me what the word was I was saying, only that it was a really bad word.

So I went to Facebook and thankfully a friend who knows Korean enlightened me. She suggested that if we’re going to have teenage Korean exchange students living in our house, we might want to familiarize ourselves with some of the more unsavory words of the language. Especially since many of the words are fine in context of a conversation, but are curse words when used alone.

My friend recommended this web site: for my education in such matters.

Of course, as I learn things about the Korean language or culture, I must share them with you, my readers. I can’t say “Enjoy” but at least by enlightened by the information. 🙂


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