137 Konglish Words You Shouldn’t Live Without


Today I’m going to share the coolest Konglish words.

They’ll help you learn the language fast and make tons of Korean friends.

I start with my favorites and organize the rest by situation.

Let’s check them out!

137 Konglish Words You Shouldn’t Live Without

If you listen to a Korean conversation, you’ll hear some English words. But, they might not mean what you think.

Good news: Koreans use loanwords, or borrowed words from English. So you already know some Korean!

Bad news: They sometimes take those loanwords and use them in ways only Koreans can

(Like how Wienerschnitzel in North America is a bastardized version of German food)

Konglish
  • Konglish is the combination of “Korean” + “English”.
  • Koreans have been using it since the early 1900s. 
  • Not all Konglish is derived from English. A lot of it comes from German or is the same in Japanese.
  • Like Onomatopoeia, Konglish is unique and a lot of fun.
  • Sometimes they’re better than English words at describing situations. (See “Skinship”)

Fun fact: The word Konglish itself is sort of Konglish.

Burberry (버버리/바바리) | Trench Coat

This one comes from the brand, but has a funny spinoff that Burberry PR might not appreciate. A “Burberry man” is slang for flasher in Korean.

Dutch pay (더치페이) | Splitting the bill

When dating in Korea, the guy usually pays. If the girl likes him, she can buy coffee after. I’ve asked Dutch people and they have no idea why they get singled out here. Maybe it has something to do with their ovens?

Fighting (화이팅) | Cheer up / cheer (at a sporting event)

This one is confusing the first time you hear it. But, it’s pretty catchy and useful in many situations.

Glamour (글래머) | Buxom woman

Usually accompanied by wavy hand gestures that provide context clues.

Hop (호프) | Beer bar

Everywhere in Korea. I expected tasty German beer the first time I went, but they mostly serve domestic brands. Might originate from the fact that some Koreans went to Germany in the 70s for work.

Hunting (헌팅) | Pick up (at a bar/club)

Sounds more aggressive than it is. Often used by a small group of guys looking for a similar-sized group of girls.

Meeting (미팅) | Blind date

These can range from 1:1 to 20:20. I’ve seen long tables with girls and boys on opposite sides in more than a few places. Koreans don’t have awkward school dances, so a lot of the inter-gender socialization happens in uni. The younger the group, the larger the number of people.

Panty (팬티) | Underwear for both genders

I was surprised when a Korean guy asked me what kind I wear. This includes boxer shorts as well.

Service (서비스) | On the house

A welcome surprise when someone brings you a full plate of delicious bar food (안주) for free. Makes you fall in love with the country.

Skinship (스킨십) | Intimacy

So simple, yet so genius. It describes exactly what it is with maximum efficiency.

Dating/Socializing

Konglish is great for dating and socializing.

KonglishMeaning in English
Complex (콤플렉스)Insecurity / Sense of inferiority
Dash (대시)Ask someone out
Dutch pay (더치페이)Splitting the bill
Event (이벤트)Dating spectacle (flowers, musical performance in public place)
Fighting (화이팅)Cheer up / cheer (at a sporting event) 
Glamour (글래머)Buxom woman
Healing (힐링)Recuperating / resting
Hop (호프)Beer bar
Hunting (헌팅)Pick up (at a bar/club)
Meeting (미팅)Blind date
Ment (멘트)Comment
Morning call (모닝콜)Wake-up call
MT (엠티)Team building trip
Night (나이트)Nightclub
One shot (원샷)Bottoms up
Over (오버)Exaggerate(usually acting overdramatic)
Overeat (오바이트)Vomit
Pocket ball (포켓볼)Pool / Billiards
Sel-ca (셀카)Selfie
Sense (센스)Wit / Tact
Skinship (스킨십)Intimacy
SNSSocial media
Solo (솔로)Single
Visual (비주얼)Appearance

Shopping/Grooming/Cosmetics

Shopping, gift giving and cosmetics are a big deal in Korea.

KonglishMeaning in English
Acetone (아세톤)Nail polish remover
Burberry (버버리)Trench coat
Carrier (캐리어)Suitcase
DC (디씨)Discount
Event (이벤트)Sale 
Eye shopping (아이쇼핑)Window shopping
Fancy (팬시)Stationary
Hand phone (핸드폰)Cell phone
Holder (홀더)Sleeve for cup (at a café)
Hood tee (후드티)Hoodie
Hotchkiss (호치키스)Stapler
Key holder (키홀더)Key chain
Kickboard (킥보드)Kick scooter
Lens (렌즈)Contacts
Magic (매직)Permanent marker or hair straightening
Maker (메이커)Brand-name
Man to man (맨투맨)Sweat shirt
Manicure (매니큐어)Nail polish
Muffler (머플러/마후라)Scarf (only old people use this)
One-piece (원피스)Dress
Padding (패딩)Padded down jacket / Coat
Pama (파마)Hair perm
Panty (팬티)Underwear for both genders
Panty-stocking (팬티스타킹)Pantyhose
Rinse (린스)Conditioner
Running shirt (러닝셔츠)Undershirt
Sale (세일)Discount
Skin (스킨)Toner
Suncream (선크림)Sunscreen/sunblock
Super (슈퍼)Supermarket / Corner store
Two piece (투피스)Skirt or pants and top
Vinyl bag (비닐백)Plastic bag
Y-shirt (와이셔츠)Dress shirt

Complete List of 137 Konglish Words

Here’s a list of Konglish in alphabetical order!

KonglishMeaning in English
A/SWarranty serviceSame in Japanese
Acetone (아세톤)Nail polish remover
Ad-balloon (애드벌룬)Advertising balloonSame in Japanese
Aggro (어그로)Attacking / Trolling
Aircon (에어컨)Air conditioner
Aizen (아이젠)Climbing ironsFrom German
Allergi (알레르기)AllergyFrom German
Apart (아파트)ApartmentSame in Japanese
Arbeit (아르바이트)Part-time jobFrom German
Autobi (오토바이)MotorcycleSame in Japanese
Back mirror (백미러)Rear-view mirrorSame in Japanese
Ball pen (볼펜)Ballpoint pen
Band (밴드)Band-Aid
Blind (블라인드)Window shadeSame in Japanese
Bond (본드)GlueSame in Japanese
Burberry (버버리)Trench coatSame in Japanese
Career woman (커리어우먼)Woman who worksSame in Japanese
Carrier (캐리어)Suitcase
Carry (캐리)To singlehandedly make a project successful
CCTVSurveillance camera
Centi (센치)CentimeterSame in Japanese
CFCommercialSame in Japanese
Cider (사이다)Lemon-lime sodaSame in Japanese
Circle (써클)Student clubSame in Japanese
Complex (콤플렉스)Insecurity / Sense of inferioritySame in Japanese
Concent (콘센트)Electrical outletSame in Japanese
Cunning (컨닝)Copying during a test
Cutline (커트라인)Cut-off line
Dash (대시)Ask someone outSame in Japanese
DC (디씨)Discount
Di-ca (디카)Digital camera
Driver (드라이버)Screw driver
Dutch pay (더치페이)Splitting the bill
Electronic range (전자렌지)MicrowaveSame in Japanese
Ero (에로)Lewd
Event (이벤트)Dating spectacle (flowers, musical performance in public place)
Event (이벤트)Sale 
Eye shopping (아이쇼핑)Window shoppingSame in Japanese
Fancy (팬시)StationarySame in Japanese
Fighting (화이팅)Cheer up / cheer (at a sporting event) Same in Japanese
Gagman (개그맨)ComedianSame in Japanese
Gagwoman (개그우먼)Female comedian
Game machine (게임기)Game console
Gas range (가스렌지)Gas stoveFrom German
Gibs (깁스)Cast (for broken bones)Same in Japanese
Glamour (글래머)Buxom woman
Goal in (골인)Goal
Hand phone (핸드폰)Cell phoneSame in Japanese
Handle (자동차 핸들)Steering wheel
Healing (힐링)Recuperating / resting
Health (헬스)WorkoutSame in Japanese
Health club (헬스클럽/헬스장)Gym
Hoil (호일)Foil
Holder (홀더)Sleeve for cup (at a café)From German
Hood tee (후드티)Hoodie
Hop (호프)Beer barSame in Japanese
Hotchkiss (호치키스)Stapler
Hotdog (핫도그)Corndog
Hunting (헌팅)Pick up (at a bar/club)From German
Ideologi (이데올로기)IdeologySame in Japanese
Key holder (키홀더)Key chain
Kickboard (킥보드)Kick scooter
Kitchen towel (키친타올)Paper towel
Klaxon (크락션)Car horn
Lens (렌즈)Contacts
Magic (매직)Permanent marker or hair straightening
Maker (메이커)Brand-name
Man to man (맨투맨)Sweat shirtSame in Japanese
Manicure (매니큐어)Nail polish
Mass com (매스컴)Mass media
McDonald (맥도날드)McDonald’s
Meeting (미팅)Blind dateSame in Japanese
Ment (멘트)Comment
Morning call (모닝콜)Wake-up call
MT (엠티)Team building trip
Muffler (머플러/마후라)Scarf (only old people use this)
Multi-tab (멀티탭)Power strip
Night (나이트)Nightclub
Note (노트)NotebookSame in Japanese
Notebook (노트북)Laptop
Officetel (오피스텔)Apartment that can be used as an officeSame in Japanese
One room (원룸)Studio apartmentSame in Japanese
One shot (원샷)Bottoms up
One-piece (원피스)Dress
Open car (오픈카)Convertible
Over (오버)Exaggerate(usually acting overdramatic)
Overeat (오바이트)Vomit
Padding (패딩)Padded down jacket / Coat
Pama (파마)Hair perm
Panty (팬티)Underwear for both genders
Panty-stocking (팬티스타킹)Pantyhose
Pocket ball (포켓볼)Pool / Billiards
Poclain (포크레인)Excavator
Pop Song (팝송)Popular English songSame in Japanese
Pro (프로)PercentSame in Japanese
Punk (펑크)Flat tire
Remocon (리모컨)Remote control
Report (레포트)Term paperSame in Japanese
Ribbon (리본)Bow
Ringer (링거)IV (hospital)Same in Japanese
Rinse (린스)Conditioner
Rotary (로터리)Roundabout
Running machine (러닝머신)Treadmill
Running shirt (러닝셔츠)Undershirt
Salaryman (샐러리맨)Business person
Sale (세일)DiscountSame in Japanese
Sel-ca (셀카)SelfieSame in Japanese
Self (셀프)Self-serviceSame in Japanese
Sense (센스)Wit / Tact
Service (서비스)On the house
Set menu (세트메뉴)Combo
Sharp (샤프)Mechanical pencilSame in Japanese
Sign (싸인)AutographSame in Japanese
Sign pen (싸인펜)Marker pen
Skin (스킨)Toner
Skin scuba (스킨스쿠버)Skin diving / Scuba divingSame in Japanese
Skinship (스킨십)Intimacy
SNSSocial mediaSame in Japanese
Solo (솔로)SingleSame in Japanese
Soul food (소울푸드)Comfort foodSame in Japanese
Stand (스탠드)Desk lampSame in Japanese
Suncream (선크림)Sunscreen/sunblock
Sunting (썬팅)Window tinting
Super (슈퍼)Supermarket / Corner storeSame in Japanese
Talent (탤런트)Actor/actress
Telebi (테레비)TV(older generation uses it)
Two piece (투피스)Skirt or pants and top
Variety (버라이어티)Variety TV show
Villa (빌라)Small condominium(often not upscale)Same in Japanese
Vinyl bag (비닐백)Plastic bag
Vinyl house (비닐하우스)Greenhouse
Visual (비주얼)Appearance
Webtoon (웹툰)Web comic
Whipping cream (휘핑크림)Whipped cream
Working mom (워킹맘)Mother who has a job
Wrap (랩)Plastic wrap
Y-shirt (와이셔츠)Dress shirt

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Did I miss anything?

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Let me know which Konglish terms are your favorite in the comments below!

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