Korean Slang: As much as a Rat's Tail | 한국 비속어: 쥐꼬리만큼
The Insider’s guide to learning Korean Slang, Invective and Euphemism – An irreverent look at Language within Culture
Want to learn what the kids are really saying? All the Korean they will never teach you in class? To finally master Korean, & keep up with the inside jokes, the slang & the insults as you throw back soju with friends?
If so, get 'street' with:
AS MUCH AS A RAT'S TAIL – THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO KOREAN SLANG, INVECTIVE & EUPHEMISM
(AN IRREVERENT LOOK AT LANGUAGE WITHIN CULTURE)
Want to finally master Korean through witty expressions, fun dialogue, a solid command of slang, and some kickass culture tips?
Learn the fun way, then impress your friends, win arguments with your soon-to-be ex, or understand Korean pop culture, without having to rub shoulders the totally-tattooed gangpae (mob guy) at the bathhouse or the local room salon.
YOU’RE COOL LIKE KOREA… YOU’RE A REAL BADASS, SO LEARN TO SPEAK LIKE ONE!
Being a linguistic badass in Korea takes more than knowing how to say a simple 안녕하세요, so shake shit up and raise eyebrows with some well placed Korean slang.
“Why learn slang?” you query… ’cause it’s fun! It breaks down barriers between cultures, it raises eyebrows… It says you’re down, you’re cool like Korea, you’re Badass! So learn some slang from the GreyRat before you become the linguistic equivalent of a 99-pound weakling.
Korean is rich with dynamic linguistic expressions and freshly coined language. A Rat's Tail dives into the intricacies of modern Korean slang introducing the hip, hot, spicy & sexual, the irreverent and inspiring, the cultural, crass & comical.
This is the Korean not covered in the language books, full of color and infused with philosophy. With A Rat's Tail in hand, you can impress others with your verbal acumen as you complement their fashion sense, dish out dirty words, or text up a storm, while you gain insight into the mind and culture of the Korean people.
Inside - Get the lingo on:
Get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words & unusual usage.
Culturally Speaking - get the skinny on how Koreans think, speak or act.
Plus how to pick up, break up, make up, or get down & dirty.
Find out who's abusing you and how to talk about someone behind their back.
Either you’re here as a novice, to learn a bit of shocking language, or you’re here to share some wisdom, or maybe to disagree with the whole concept, but whatever your reason for visiting, we’d like to say thanks and welcome! Now, let’s get to work!
YOU’RE COOL LIKE KOREA… YOU’RE A REAL BADASS, SO LEARN TO SPEAK LIKE ONE!
Dive into the intricacies of modern Korean slang with the hip, hot, spicy and sexual, the irreverent and inspiring, the cultural, crass and comical… the Korean not covered in the language books all in this 돌직구 digest.
Get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words and unusual usage.
Culturally Speaking - get the skinny on how Koreans think, speak or act. Plus how to pick up, break up, make up, or get down and dirty. Find out who's abusing you and how to talk about someone behind their back.
THE STRAIGHT-SHOOTING, NO FRILLS NARRATIVE
The Lost Language of the Seoul
Beyond slang, this book is very much about culture, and in particular cross-cultural understanding; it’s about bridging cultural divides and about making friends and having fun; it’s about the poetry of language; it’s about relationships, drinking, smoking, partying, texting, swearing and so much more.
근데, 왜 [GENDAE, WAE]?
Forget about it!
You think you’ll get (understand) the shows, the music, the conversations on the street after studying your prim and proper textbooks or taking tons of classes? No way! Forget about it! Duetgodeun (됐거든)!
From K-pop to Korean dramas, behind-the-scenes classroom chatter to Korea’s fabulous Mafia movies, no formal lessons or textbooks will teach you to talk the talk, or walk the walk. They just won’t cover it! They’ll teach you pure, polite, traditional language; not what they use on the street or in the hallways… not what you really need… As much as a Rat’s Tail is designed to help people to really understand Korea and Koreans, to instantly bridge culture gaps, to make friends and to make your life here easier and more enjoyable.
To do this, you need a guide – and As much as a Rat’s Tail is the definitive guide to all things Korean, beyond the slang, beyond the drinking and the swearing, it analyzes the poetry of language, introduces the characters and the cultural mores, covers the bad words, the fun words, the stuff you’ll really use…
More than just a book about slang, A Rat’s Tail is about really communicating; it’s about bridging cultural divides; it’s about learning and sharing knowledge and experiences; it’s about cultivating mutual respect and understanding; it’s about making friends; and so much more.
WHY KOREAN SLANG?
This is the stuff you need to know… like what is a “heol” and why are people always asking me about “the water” at the club.
You’ll get the Straight Scoop with explanations of uncommon words and unusual usage; Culturally Speaking, which gives you the skinny on how Koreans think, speak or act. Plus it’ll teach you how to pick up, break up, make up, or get down and dirty. It will let you find out who’s using you or abusing you, and how to talk about someone behind their back.
Korean is rich with the dynamic linguistic expressions and freshly coined language. A Rat’s Tail dives into the intricacies of modern Korean slang introducing the hip, hot, spicy and sexual; the irreverent and inspiring; the cultural, crass and comical; the Korean not covered in the language books, full of color and infused with philosophy.
With As much as a Rat’s Tail in hand, you can impress others with your verbal acumen as you complement their fashion sense, dish out dirty words, or text up a storm, while you gain insight into the mind and culture of the Korean people. And this stuff works both ways – this book is great for Koreans to learn English while having fun with their own language and learning what outsiders get from their culture.
입이 싸다 [IB-I SSA-DA]
LOOSE-TONGUED; CAN’T KEEP A SECRET; A BLABBERMOUTH
비속어로 자주 쓰이는 관용어로서, 글자 그대로 풀이하면 입이 싸다라는 뜻. 입이 가벼워 비밀을 지키지 않는 것으로 비슷한 영어표현으로는 “loose tongued”가 있다.
Literally “your mouth is cheap.” This expression is often used as slang when talking about someone who can’t keep a secret. Some American English synonyms would ᄋ be “a big mouth” or “a gossip monger,” but its closest equivalent is “loose tongued.”
SoYoon 응 . . . [어 . . .]
JiYoon 너 왜 그렇게 입이 싸?!
SoYoon 으? [무슨 소리야?]
JiYoon 내 새 남자친구한테 코 고친거 다 말했잖아 . . . 입이 싼 년! SoYoon 음. [어. 그랬지 – 그래서 어쩌라고?]
JiYoon 걔 고친 여자 싫어한다면서 나 버렸단 말이야!!
SoYoon 응, 흠. 끊어. [어, 니 등에 칼 꽂았다 이년아! 그래서 뭐. 안녕.]
In his new and 3rd book `As much as a Rat's Tail,' author Peter Liptak along with Korean coauthor Siwoo Lee take the reader on a humorous journey through Korean slang and common daily expressions. 192 pages of amusing Korean phrases, their meanings, and how to properly use them provide a satiric and sassy glance at the local lingo and culture. Being entirely bilingual makes the book fun and easy reading for Koreans as well as foreigners living in Korea who probably find themselves in such typical situations as the one below:
look cool or be cool; off the hook
Ganji (간지), Cheju dialectic for hoidae (횃대), which means a coat hanger or clothes rack, is used here to represent a person with a good sense of style as if an example of good style on a clothes rack or mannequin. Literally "off the rack," but closer to the English slang expression "off the hook." (Ganji may also come from the Japanese for feeling, as in to make a favorable impression.)
Off the Hook
소윤 Wow, you look ganjinanda. You going somewhere today?
지윤 Ha, ha, my interview's today so I put some effort into it.
소윤 Wait a minute! Where did you get those clothes?
지윤 Off the hook in your bedroom. Why? You weren't using it.
소윤 Off my hook? Well, I guess that makes me ganjinanda too.
지윤 That's "off the hook!"
Peter N. Liptak lives and writes sometimes in Seoul, sometimes in Minnesota. An avid traveler and poet, Peter draws on Korea's people, language and culture as a source of inspiration, linguistic and otherwise. Keen on dialect and borrowed words in language, Peter did his MA in Korean Studies at Yonsei University.
Siwoo Lee - A young philosopher who studied international management at KyungHee University, Siwoo has taken a profound interest in the symbolism of language, combined with his fascination with foreign tongues and his sophisticated command of slang, has led him to delve into the world of A Rat's Tail.
This Guy (Psy) Inspiration - Rather than thank all the fine people who helped along the way, feeding me foul words, sharing slang and generally telling me where I can go, I thought why not this guy… After all, who would even know about oppa and gangnam and well Korea if it wasn’t for Psy. (P’sigh)
WHERE IT ALL CAME FROM
Always thought that the phrasebooks to learn Korean were a bit of a miss, and if I was going to really learn the language, I had to study the word on the street. Then I thought, what the hell, I might as well spread the word. Planned and prepped, but didn’t really get going till I found an intrepid co-author in my philosophy student.
I got off the plane and navigated through my first days without a single word of Korean, so with phrasebook in hand, I set out to learn. But during a hiking excursion on Kwanak mountain, hearing a seemingly familiar word shouted over and over by an army private holding an M16 standing guard near the summit. “Shibal, Ssibal…” When I asked a friend what it meant, he begrudgingly related that it was not a Korean pronunciation of the Hindu goddess Shiva… In fact, it was the worst word in Korean – 씨발 [ssibal] similar to “you f*cking (so-and-so),” but literally “you will sell your seed.”
My second week of teaching saw a rather unruly student, bordering on insane, shouting at the top of his lungs during class, “han jaji, du jaji, sae jaji, nae, jaji.” I had no idea what he was saying, but found out from a co-worker after class – 자지 [jaji] penis or dick. So effectively, he was counting “One penis, two penis, three penis, four…?!”
That’s when I knew the phrasebooks wouldn’t do, and if I was going to learn the language of the street, I might as well help others to do so at the same time.
WHAT IS THIS RAT’S TAIL; THIS 쥐꼬리만큼 [CHUI-GGO-RI-MAN-KEUM]?
Years ago, when hailing a cab in front of the American army base near Itaewon, a fellow foreigner was getting out of the car. He was speaking Korean rather fluently to the driver. “Wow, you speak Korean well,” I said to him, to which the stranger replied, “chui-ggo-ri man-geum (As much as a Rat’s Tail),” and expression equivalent to “a measly amount” or “hardly at all.” I was taken with the easy confidence of the expression, and have loved the phrase ever since.
Every time I get into a taxi and speak a little Korean, the driver says, “Oh, you speak Korean so well!” A modest chui-ggo-ri mam-geum always earns a smile and bridges the cultural divide. Instantly, we’re comrades.
More on Peter N. Liptak
A born-and-bred mid-western boy, Peter Liptak is a poet, world traveler, avid cyclist, and lover of language. Unlike most English majors, he actually made use of his degree teaching English to children and adults in South Korea over the last 20 years, as a private tutor, preschool teacher, and adjunct professor at Incheon University and eventually creating the publishing company Exile Press with its imprints Little Bear Books and Hungry Dictator Press.
Exploring his interests at the University of Minnesota, from the wonders of Astronomy and Anthropology to Philosophy and Poetics, Peter learned new skills as a preschool teacher, waiter, dance instructor and massage therapist in school and has worked as an actor, teacher, copywriter and author since. While working and living in Seoul, Peter completed a Master's in Korean History, and using Korea as a source of linguistic inspiration, penned several books including the controversial book of Korean Slang: As much as a Rat's Tail, translated the scathing graphic novel The Great Successor - Kim Jong Un: a Political Cartoon, as well as the award winning Baek Seok: Poems of the North, created the Idiom Attack series of ESL textbooks as well as passion projects including an Art/Poetry book called Letters: Building an Alphabet with Art and Attitude and a series of children's early readers about the lovable Teddy LeBear, including Teddy's Day and Teddy's Camp. Now living in Minneapolis with his three little ones and lovely wife, Peter continues publishing, while pursuing copywriting at The Writer’s Ink, and web development, video marketing and lead generation through his Leadgen Legends.
Peter loves to say "Woo Hoo!" and knows that the simple experiences in life hold the greatest adventures. You can follow Peter at peteliptak.com or petespoetry.com
2018 Foreword Indies SILVER Winner (Multicultural) - Baek Seok: Poems of the North
2016 International Book Awards Gold Medal for Letters
2016 Illustration Award & Bronze Medal for The Great Successor
2016 Benjamin Franklin Awards: Silver Medal for Korean Slang: As much as a Rat’s Tail
2014 Korea Literature Translation Institute Grant: for the collected works of North Korea poet Baek Seok
2013 Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards: Silver Honoree for Teddy's Day HD
2012 Mom's Choice Awards: Gold Medals in Young Adult Poetry and Interactive eBooks for Letters and Teddy’s Day HD
2012 Mom's Choice Awards: Silver Medals in Children's Picture Books for Teddy’s Day and Teddy’s Camp
2011 Midwest Book Awards: First Place in Children's Illustrated ebooks for Teddy's Day
2001 Underwood Fellowship: Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies
"This book is the bomb!" -Mr. Kim
"A must read for Koreans and foreigners alike!" -Mr. Park
"Shockingly fun!" -Mr. Lee
"Great bathroom reading!" -another Mr. Lee
~ badasskorean.com (go there if you dare)
A Rat's Tail is loaded with the latest lowbrow lyricism Hangul has to offer, with readable ruminations regarding radical roots revealing the underbelly of contemporary Korean from the foul to the sublime.
--Groove Magazine, Seoul
SoYoon 너 간지난다! 오늘 어디 가?
JiYoon 하하 오늘 입사면접이 있어서 신경 좀 썼어.
SoYoon 잠깐만! 그 옷들 어디서 났어?
JiYoon 네 침실 안 옷걸이에 걸려 있었어. 왜, 너 이거 안 입잖아?
SoYoon 내 옷걸이에? 음, 그럼 나도 그 옷 입으면 간지나겠다.
JiYoon 그거는 "off the hook!"이다. --PR Magazine, Seoul, October 2009
I just wanted to say thank you for this book! My grandfather immigrated from Korea when he was 20, and has lived in the U.S. ever since. I recently went back to Korea myself to learn the language, and bought the first version of this book to expand my colloquial language skills. My grandpa saw it and started going through it. I had to take my version with me to Korea but I recently ordered the newer version for him back in the U.S. He really got a kick out of reading the modern slang, and seeing how much things have changed since he grew up. Plus, my parents (neither of whom can speak Korean) enjoyed going through it as well and talking with my grandpa about some of the expressions. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for making a 90+ year old Korean man's day!
“With witty set-ups, tongue-in-cheek humor and an arsenal of contemporary Korean slang, authors Peter Liptak and Siwoo Lee present a lively, entertaining and informative read on the colorfully adulterated usage of modern Korean slang. As Much As a Rat’s Tail is a fun read that will keep the reader hooked for a single reading.”
“A dictionary of racy, zany, hilarious Korean slang (with incredibly funny mini dialogues) to understand Korean pop culture.”
“Bust these lines on your new Korean friends and watch their jaws drop!”
“Things you'll never learn in Rosetta Stone... This book is simply a godsend for those learning Korean slang…!”
“Surprisingly easy and just what I wanted to know... Learned more from eight pages than six years of speaking Hangul with friends.”
“Absolutely adore this book. Some of the dialogues will make you laugh, and this is very clearly organized, other comments to the contrary. You will not find this stuff in a traditional textbook, I will promise you that.”