50+ Funny Korean Phrases and Expressions Every Native Knows

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Here are 50 Korean phrases that can be funny, amusing, and useful for a beginner to know, along with their romanizations and English translations. Please note that some of these phrases may be humorous due to their literal translations or the contexts in which they’re typically used.

My Exciting Encounter with Korean Slang

There’s something thrilling and almost secretive about learning slang in a new language.

It’s like being given a key to a hidden part of the culture, where the formal rules of language take a back seat and the colloquial, everyday expressions take the wheel.

My own journey with Korean slang began when I was exploring the bustling streets of Seoul, hanging out with local friends, and absorbing the energy of K-dramas and K-pop music.

The quirky phrases and words that I’d never heard in my Korean language classes were popping up everywhere – in the cafes, in the lyrics of BTS songs, and even in friendly banter.

It’s these experiences that pulled me into the rich, vibrant world of Korean slang, and I can’t wait to share my discoveries with you!

50 Funny Korean Phrases

  • Phrase: 배고파 죽겠다.
  • Romanization: Baegopa juggetda.
  • Translation: I’m so hungry I could die.

  • Phrase: 엄마야 눈이 없다.
  • Romanization: Eommaya nuni eobtda.
  • Translation: Mom, I have no eyes. (Used when you can’t find something that’s in plain sight)

  • Phrase: 말도 안돼.
  • Romanization: Maldo andwae.
  • Translation: That doesn’t even make words. (That doesn’t make sense)

  • Phrase: 그게 뭐야?
  • Romanization: Geuge mwoya?
  • Translation: What’s that?

  • Phrase: 치킨이 나를 불러.
  • Romanization: Chikini nareul bulleo.
  • Translation: The chicken is calling me. (I’m craving for chicken)

  • Phrase: 말이 필요 없다.
  • Romanization: Mari pillyo eopda.
  • Translation: Words are not necessary.

  • Phrase: 이상하다.
  • Romanization: Isanghada.
  • Translation: That’s weird.

  • Phrase: 웃기지 마.
  • Romanization: Usgiji ma.
  • Translation: Don’t make me laugh.

  • Phrase: 배불러 죽겠다.
  • Romanization: Baebulleo juggetda.
  • Translation: I’m so full I could die.

  • Phrase: 누가 나를 보고 있다.
  • Romanization: Nuga nareul bogo itda.
  • Translation: Someone is watching me.

  • Phrase: 미쳤어?
  • Romanization: Michyeosseo?
  • Translation: Are you crazy?

  • Phrase: 몰라.
  • Romanization: Molla.
  • Translation: I don’t know.

  • Phrase: 진짜?
  • Romanization: Jinjja?
  • Translation: Really?

  • Phrase: 잠이 오지 않아.
  • Romanization: Jami oji ana.
  • Translation: Sleep does not come. (I can’t sleep)

  • Phrase: 개구리 올챙이적 생각도 못한다.
  • Romanization: Gaeguri olchaengijeok saenggakdo mothanda.
  • Translation: A frog forgets that it was once a tadpole. (People forget their humble beginnings)

  • Phrase: 귀에 못이 박히다.
  • Romanization: Gwie moti bakida.
  • Translation: A nail is hammered into my ear. (It’s so noisy)

  • Phrase: 넌 누구니?
  • Romanization: Neon nuguni?
  • Translation: Who are you?

  • Phrase: 화장실이 어디에요?
  • Romanization: Hwajangsiri eodieyo?
  • Translation: Where is the bathroom?

  • Phrase: 비싼 맛을 봤어.
  • Romanization: Bissan maseul bwasseo.
  • Translation: I tasted the expensive taste. (I paid a heavy price)

  • Phrase: 피곤해 죽겠다.
  • Romanization: Pigonhae juggetda.
  • Translation: I’m so tired I could die.

  • Phrase: 물고기가 바닷물이 싫다니!
  • Romanization: Mulgogiga badatmuri siltdani!
  • Translation: A fish hates sea water! (Used when someone dislikes something that should be beneficial or pleasurable to them)

  • Phrase: 돼지가 물에 빠진다.
  • Romanization: Dwaejiga mure ppajinda.
  • Translation: A pig falls into the water. (Used when something unexpected happens)

  • Phrase: 고양이가 낚시를 한다.
  • Romanization: Goyangiga naksireul handa.
  • Translation: A cat goes fishing. (Used when someone is trying something they are not good at)

  • Phrase: 이불밖은 위험해.
  • Romanization: Iburbakkeun wiheomhae.
  • Translation: Outside the blanket is dangerous. (Used when it’s so comfy in bed and you don’t want to get up)

  • Phrase: 누워서 떡 먹기
  • Romanization: Nuwoseo tteok meokgi.
  • Translation: Eating rice cake while lying down. (It’s a piece of cake)

  • Phrase: 아는 닭이 날지 않는다.
  • Romanization: Aneun dalki nalji anhneunda.
  • Translation: A known chicken does not fly. (Familiarity breeds contempt)

  • Phrase: 웃으면 복이 온다.
  • Romanization: Useumyeon bogi onda.
  • Translation: If you laugh, luck will come. (Laughter brings good luck)

  • Phrase: 벌써 집에 가고 싶어.
  • Romanization: Beolsseo jibe gago sip-eo.
  • Translation: I already want to go home.

  • Phrase: 갑자기 배가 고프다.
  • Romanization: Gapjagi baega gopeuda.
  • Translation: Suddenly, I’m hungry.

  • Phrase: 돌멩이도 두들겨보아야 알겠지.
  • Romanization: Dolmengido dudeulgyeoboaaya alggetji.
  • Translation: You have to try beating even a rock. (You won’t know unless you try)

  • Phrase: 누가 그래?
  • Romanization: Nuga geurae?
  • Translation: Who says so?

  • Phrase: 치즈가 너무 좋아.
  • Romanization: Chijeu ga neomu joha.
  • Translation: I love cheese too much.

  • Phrase: 이거 장난이야?
  • Romanization: Igeo jangnaniya?
  • Translation: Is this a joke?

  • Phrase: 누가 내 라면을 먹었어?
  • Romanization: Nuga nae ramyeoneul meogeosseo?
  • Translation: Who ate my ramen?

  • Phrase: 한국어 배우기 힘들다.
  • Romanization: Hangug-eo baeugi himdeulda.
  • Translation: Learning Korean is hard.

  • Phrase: 그냥 웃어.
  • Romanization: Geunyang useo.
  • Translation: Just laugh.

  • Phrase: 장난하냐?
  • Romanization: Jangnanhanya?
  • Translation: Are you kidding me?

  • Phrase: 비가 와.
  • Romanization: Biga wa.
  • Translation: It’s raining.

  • Phrase: 시간이 너무 빨리 간다.
  • Romanization: Sigani neomu ppalli ganda.
  • Translation: Time goes too fast.

  • Phrase: 그게 사실이야?
  • Romanization: Geuge sasiriya?
  • Translation: Is that true?

  • Phrase: 무서워!
  • Romanization: Museowo!
  • Translation: It’s scary!

  • Phrase: 너무 웃겨서 배가 아파.
  • Romanization: Neomu usgyeoseo baega apa.
  • Translation: It’s so funny it hurts my stomach.

  • Phrase: 이상해 보여?
  • Romanization: Isanghae boyeo?
  • Translation: Do I look weird?

  • Phrase: 뭐라고 했어?
  • Romanization: Mworago haesseo?
  • Translation: What did you say?

  • Phrase: 얼음같이 차가워.
  • Romanization: Eoreumgachi chagawo.
  • Translation: It’s as cold as ice.

  • Phrase: 천천히 말해.
  • Romanization: Cheoncheonhi malhae.
  • Translation: Speak slowly.

  • Phrase: 내가 왜?
  • Romanization: Naega wae?
  • Translation: Why me?

  • Phrase: 왜 그래?
  • Romanization: Wae geurae?
  • Translation: Why is that?

  • Phrase: 그만해.
  • Romanization: Geumanhae.
  • Translation: Stop it.

  • Phrase: 운이 없다.
  • Romanization: Un-i eopda.
  • Translation: No luck. (I’m unlucky)

25 Funny Korean Expressions

funny korean expressions

  • Phrase: 벌 받은 놈처럼.
  • Romanization: Beol badeun nomcheoreom.
  • Translation: Like a guy who was punished. (Used when someone looks miserable or down)

  • Phrase: 돼지 목에 진주목걸이.
  • Romanization: Dwaeji moge jinju mokgeori.
  • Translation: A pearl necklace on a pig’s neck. (Used when something valuable is wasted on someone who can’t appreciate it)

  • Phrase: 개 같은 날씨.
  • Romanization: Gae gateun nalssi.
  • Translation: Dog-like weather. (Used when the weather is really bad)

  • Phrase: 귀여워 죽겠다.
  • Romanization: Gwiyeowo juggetda.
  • Translation: It’s so cute I could die.

  • Phrase: 말 같지도 않다.
  • Romanization: Mal gatjido antda.
  • Translation: It doesn’t even sound like words. (Used when something is unbelievable)

  • Phrase: 호랑이도 제 말하면 온다.
  • Romanization: Horangido je malhamyeon onda.
  • Translation: Even a tiger comes when it is called. (Used when someone shows up as soon as they’re mentioned)

  • Phrase: 밥은 먹고 다니냐?
  • Romanization: Babeun meokgo daninya?
  • Translation: Are you eating? (Used when you haven’t seen someone in a while and they look thin)

  • Phrase: 김치국부터 마시지 마세요.
  • Romanization: Kimchigukbuteo masiji maseyo.
  • Translation: Don’t drink the kimchi soup first. (Used when someone is getting ahead of themselves)

  • Phrase: 무슨 공기를 마셔서 그래?
  • Romanization: Museun gonggireul masyeoseo geurae?
  • Translation: What air did you drink to be like this? (Used when someone is behaving strangely)

  • Phrase: 코가 높다.
  • Romanization: Koga nopda.
  • Translation: Your nose is high. (You’re snobbish)

  • Phrase: 돈은 천국의 열쇠다.
  • Romanization: Doneun cheonguk-ui yeolsoeda.
  • Translation: Money is the key to heaven.

  • Phrase: 바보가 바보를 낳는다.
  • Romanization: Baboga baboreul najneunda.
  • Translation: A fool gives birth to a fool.

  • Phrase: 이 세상에 공짜 점심은 없다.
  • Romanization: I sesange gongjja jeomsimeun eobtda.
  • Translation: There’s no such thing as a free lunch in this world.

  • Phrase: 맥주는 몸에 좋아.
  • Romanization: Maekjuneun mome joha.
  • Translation: Beer is good for the body.

  • Phrase: 웃다가 울다.
  • Romanization: Uttaga ulda.
  • Translation: Laugh and then cry. (Used when a happy moment quickly turns into a sad one)

  • Phrase: 하늘의 별 따기.
  • Romanization: Haneurui byeol ddagi.
  • Translation: Picking stars from the sky. (Used when something is very difficult or impossible)

  • Phrase: 고래 싸움에 새우 등 터진다.
  • Romanization: Goraessaume saeu deung teojinda.
  • Translation: When whales fight, the shrimp’s back is broken. (The weak suffer when the powerful fight)

  • Phrase: 황소 앞에서 바이올린을 친다.
  • Romanization: Hwangso apeseo baiollineul chinda.
  • Translation: Play violin in front of a bull. (Used when your efforts are wasted on someone who can’t appreciate them)

  • Phrase: 장님이 코를 파다.
  • Romanization: Jangnimi koreul pada.
  • Translation: A blind man picks his nose. (Used when someone is meddling in something they don’t understand)

  • Phrase: 까마귀가 날자 눈을 찔러라.
  • Romanization: Kkamagwiga nalja nuneul jjilleora.
  • Translation: When the crow flies, poke it in the eye. (Used when someone tries to avoid a problem but it follows them)

  • Phrase: 오리발 내놓고 헤엄치기.
  • Romanization: Oribal naenoko heeomchigi.
  • Translation: Show your duck feet and swim. (Show your true self and get on with it)

  • Phrase: 아니 땐 굴뚝에 연기 날까.
  • Romanization: Ani ttaen gulttuge yeongi nalkka.
  • Translation: Will smoke rise from the chimney if it’s not there? (There’s no smoke without fire)

  • Phrase: 웃는 낯에 침 뱉으랴.
  • Romanization: Utneun nat-e chim baeteurya.
  • Translation: Would you spit in a smiling face? (Used when you can’t say no to someone who is being nice)

  • Phrase: 너에게 고양이를 주다.
  • Romanization: Neo-ege goyangi-reul juda.
  • Translation: Give you a cat. (Used when you give someone an easy task)

  • Phrase: 짓밟힌 개가 짖는다.
  • Romanization: Jitbalphin gaega jijneunda.
  • Translation: The dog that is stepped on barks. (Used when someone reacts because they’ve been treated unfairly)


Well, we’ve certainly had quite the journey, haven’t we? We’ve explored and had a good laugh at 75 Korean phrases, expressions, and sayings that are as funny as they are insightful.

The delightful thing about learning a new language is the chance to peek into the psyche and humor of a different culture, and I think we’ve done just that.

So whether you’re “laughing and then crying,” or feeling like “your nose is high,” I hope these phrases bring you joy and make your Korean language journey more enjoyable.

Let’s keep the laughter going and continue learning together!

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