'Oppa', 'Bulgogi' & 'Mukbang' among 26 Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary


Alfie Kwa | October 06, 2021, 06:41 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Hallyu or Korean wave, referring to the South Korean pop culture, has become so widespread that both words have been added into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

On Sept, 6, OED announced that there are more than 20 Korean words added to its September 2021 update.

New words added

Names of popular Korean food are also added to the dictionary.

This includes bulgogi (thin slices of beef or pork which are marinated and then grilled or stir-fried), banchan (a side dish of vegetables served along with rice), chimaek (fried chicken served with beer), and japchae (a dish with sweet potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables).

Common phrases you hear in K-dramas including aegyo (a certain kind of cuteness or charm), daebak (an interjection expressing enthusiastic approval), and "fighting!" (to express encouragement, incitement, or support) are also added.

The update also includes a set of respectful forms of address used in Korean-speaking contexts like noona (used by a male speaker to address his older sister or older female friend), oppa (used by a female speaker to address her older brother, older male friend, or boyfriend) and unni (used by a female speaker to address her older sister or older female friend).

The full update of new words can be found on OED's blog.

Hopping on the Korean wave

With K-dramas like "Descendants of The Sun", "Crash Landing on You" and the latest "Squid Game", and K-pop groups like Blackpink and BTS taking the world by storm, OED said, "We are all riding the crest of the Korean wave."

The South Korean film, "Parasite" also made history for being the first non-English language film to win the Oscars.

In addition, South Korean beauty and fashion trends are also adopted by people worldwide.

With the Korean influence being stronger than ever, OED concluded that Hallyu is a worldwide phenomenon.

OED wrote:

"That is how a country where English is not a majority language, and where it plays no official role, can have such an impact on modern English vocabulary. The adoption and development of these Korean words in English also demonstrate how lexical innovation is no longer confined to the traditional centres of English in the United Kingdom and the United States..."

Top image via BTS/IG and oxfordreference.com