26 Korean Words Recently Added to the English Dictionary

South Korean culture and language have impacted people and places in different parts of the world. From consuming K-drama and K-pop content to dressing up like idols and trying out popular Korean snacks, people inevitably adapt some of their words, too. Because of this phenomenon, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) included 26 new Korean terms in their database.

Korean Influence on the English Language

The terms were selected based on how commonly used they were, according to Dr. Jieun Kiaer, associate professor of Korean language and linguistics at the University of Oxford. “But what is so significant about this is that there’s been no precedent before that 26 words from one language, one year entered into OED,” she explained.

Read: 4 Places to Bookmark for Online Korean Language Lessons

Apart from dramas and music, Hallyu also consists of food influences. Banchan, kimbap, and japchae are among the new food items included in the list. As South Korean culture became more widespread, terms like oppa and unni have been revised to reflect the changes in their meanings.

Complete List of Korean Words added to the Oxford English Dictionary

1. aegyo, n. and adj.
2. banchan, n.
3. bulgogi, n.
4. chimaek, n.
5. daebak, n., int., and adj.
6. dongchimi, n.
7. fighting, int.
8. galbi, n.
9. Hallyu, n.
10. hanbok, n.
11. japchae, n.
12. K-, comb. form
13. K-drama, n.
14. kimbap, n.
15. Konglish, n. and adj.
16. Korean wave, n. in Korean, adj., and n.
17. manhwa, n.
18. mukbang, n.
19. noona, n.
20. oppa, n.
21. PC bang, n.
22. samgyeopsal, n.
23. skinship, n.
24. tang soo do, n.
25. trot, n.
26. unni, n.

The EOD update is not limited to Korean terms. Fighting, for example, is an English word that is frequently used in K-dramas and variety programs. It was revised as an interjection to convey encouragement and support. Skinship, on the other hand, is a term that combines “skin” and “kinship” to describe intimate physical contact between people.

Art Daniella Sison

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