Korean Profanity | 11 Common Korean Swear Words and Phrases

Korean swear words

When you watch a Korean drama or actually live in Korea, you often hear not only greetings such as 안녕하세요(an-nyeong-ha-se-yo), but also Korean curse words, especially from Korean 아저씨(a-jeo-ssi)!

Out of curiosity and fun, the first foreign words most people learn are curse words, so today we’re going to teach you some common Korean curse words and phrases so you can better understand what the locals are saying! Of course, be aware that these are not words you can just use on others, today it is just for educational purposes only!

Korean Swear Words

1.씨발(Ssi-Bal) – F*ck/ Shit

I’m sure many of you have heard this phrase many times! You can use this word when you are very angry or when something frustrating happens to you. It is the most common and very rude word used by Koreans, and you are strongly advised not to use it in public, as it may lead to unnecessary arguments.

씨발(Ssi-Bal) also sounds very like the pronunciation of ’18’ (십팔 Ship-Pal) in Korean. So the number ’18’ is often used as a replacement for the swear word in situations like chatting online or playing video games.

2.아씨(Aish) – ah..f*ck / ah…shit …

This is a simplified version of 씨발 (Ssi-Bal), which is slightly less serious, but is also considered to be a very rude word. Using 아씨(Aish) can also make people look at you with offended eyes! ! Remember not to use it with strangers.

3.개새끼 (Gae-Sae-Ggi) – bastard, jerk…

In this word, “개” means “dog”; “새끼” literally means “young or baby animals”. So the word 개새끼 means “son of a bitch”, it can also mean “jerk” or “bast*rd”. In Korean dramas, you often see older people using it to scold younger people. Interestingly, it was not originally a dirty word, but used to express loveliness and joy to friends or grandchildren, and to convey the meaning of love.

4.꺼져(Gguh-juh) – get lost, leave me alone, go away

It is a rather rude word to say to someone when you are angry and want them to disappear from your sight right away.But it is also sometimes used to say in jest with family or friends. If you’re not sure of the occasion, it’s best not to use it!

5.젠장 (jen-jang) – Damn! Damn it!

This is a swear word used in an unpleasant situation. Like most other Korean swear words, it is quite serious lexically, but as time goes by, it becomes a light word as it is used less and less with human subjects. Rather than expletives, they are simple exclamations with a strong sense of language. It now appears frequently even in cartoon movies watched by children. When people cannot use the word “씨발((Ssi-Bal)”, they use “젠장 (jen-jang)” instead.

6.지랄 (Jiral) – go nuts,  flip (out), have a fit, bullshit

This is a derogatory remark that has been used in Korea since ancient times. The original meaning is called ziral disease in pure Korean, which refers to epilepsy. It is one of the common slang words used by Koreans. It is used when you think someone is talking nonsense, again the term is extremely uncivilized and should be used with caution.

7.미친놈 (Michin-nom) / 미친년 (Michin-nyeon) – crazy man/ crazy woman

You should have heard this word from many Korean dramas and Korean movies, because this Korean cursing word is very widespread and common in Korea.

It comes from the verb pronunciation “미치다”, which literally means “go crazy[mad, insane],”.”놈” means “man/bastard” and “년” means “woman/bitch”.

8.병신 (Byeonshin) – asshole, idiot, retard

The meaning of the phrase itself started from the disparagement of people with disabilities, and now it only refers to “a person who is crazy”, or “acting like crazy”, but of course, people with actual disabilities are especially offended by this phrase, so it should be used with restraint. It sometimes abbreviated as “ㅂㅅ” , to avoid profanity filtering. 

9.변태 (Byeontae) – pervert

“Metamorphosis” is a term originally used to describe the physical characteristics of an individual, indicating that some organisms do not develop in accordance with the original path of evolution, and there are some developmental deviations.

This is actually quite common in the biological world, such as the absence or addition of certain organs, different appearances at different ages, etc.

This concept has since been extended to describe individuals who are psychologically abnormal, or even very different from the norm. In our society, both those who live in the shadows and want to harm others at any time, and those who have a unique way of being, are basically a psychological perversion.

10.김치녀 (kim-chi-nyeo) 

The derogatory term “김치녀 (kim-chi nyeo)” describes women who are selfish, who only like brand names, and who only value the money of the person they are dating. 녀 means “women, girl”

11.한남총 (han-nam-choong)

“The term “한남충” is actually an abbreviation of 한국 남자 벌레 (Korean men worm), which describes Korean men who make discriminatory remarks against women or commit violence and abuse. However, this term, like 김치녀 (kim-chi-nyeo), is a more radical term that maps a minority group to the entire Korean male and female population.


Korean Swear Phrases

After learning some common Korean curse words, let me tell you some common curse sentences below. They are also often found in Korean dramas!

1.좆됐어 (Jodwaess-eo) – I’m f*cked

This is a phrase you can use when you encounter something that makes you desperate, because the subject is yourself not someone else, so feel free to use it.

2.죽을래? (Jugeullae?) – Do you want to die?

This phrase means “Do you want to die?” Or perhaps more accurately, “Do you want me to kill you?” So you need to be very sure about the situation and the person you’re using it on. Because you’re either trying to start a fight (which is obviously not only informal, but also not a nice thing to say), or you’re very close friends with that person and are teasing them. Example. You find out your best friend is stealing food from your bowl. “죽을래?”

3.미쳤어? (mi-cheo-seo?) – Have you lost your mind?

This phrase is very commonly used when someone does or says something that doesn’t make sense. You can also use it when you joke with your friend, when she eats three burgers in one meal alone and you ask her: “미쳤어?”

4.가서 죽어라 (ga-seo-ju-geo-la) – go to hell/ Drop dead

This is a pretty serious sentence, and generally do not use it on others, unless you are really angry!

There you go! That’s all for today, did you remember? We hear them a lot in TV shows, so if you like watching K-dramas, it’s actually good to know about them. Once again, don’t use them indiscriminately on others! 

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10 months ago

감사합니다, 💐

10 months ago

이건 좋네..진짜 감사합니다

Holly Lynch
Holly Lynch
2 months ago

“ret*rd” is an ableist slur, no one should ever say it. “id*ot” is ableist too and other words like that (e.g. cr*zy) can be ableist too in bad context.

14 days ago

fuck shit bitch dick he he he