English-Korean loanwords

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The term Konglish in linguistics refers to English words, or words derived from English, that are used in Korean. This includes macaronic or hybrid English-Korean words. The term Konglish can also refer more pejoratively to Korean-accented English or English marked by lexical, collocational, and grammatical L2 errors by Korean learners of English, which is not the focus of this article.

These words or word blends (portmanteaus) have entered Korean, often with different meanings than the original English. However, Koreans learners may often be unaware of the fact that the Konglish words have different meanings or usages than the original English words, or that the Konglish word is a purely Korean invention and does not exist in English. A famous example is the Korean word 화아팅 'hwaiting', from the English word fighting; in Korean, it is used as a cheer, like "go team" or "be strong" or "good luck" - which are rather different from the original English meaning. An example of a pure lexical invention is the Korean 스킨십 'skinship,' which does not exist in English; this is a word blend of English elements, and refers to affectionate touching (between friends or romantic partners) or what some psychologists in the 1970s called "skin hunger" - the need or desire to receive or give friendly physical contact, such as between friends, as well as between romantic partners. Below is a list of the more common examples that could be problematic for learners.

Konglish term English source Korean meaning
더츠 페이 Dutch pay go Dutch, split the bill
다이어트 diet go on a diet, to diet
리모컨 remote control remote control
매니큐어 manicure nail care
미팅 meeting dating, esp. a group date or group blind date
멀티탭 multi-tab power strip (electrical)
비닐 vinyl (a type of plastic; chemical name) plastic, plastic wrap / wrapping
사이다 cider (fermented or unfermented spiced apple drink) lemon / lime soda (like 7-Up, Sprite)
사인 sign signature, to sign
샤프 sharp (pencil company) mechanical pencil
스킨십 skinship physical touch or affection (hard to translate well, actually)
오토바이 auto + bike motorcycle
와이셔츠 Y-shirt dress shirt, button-up shirt
원피스 one-piece dress (one-piece or full-length dress; In English, ‘one-piece’ is an adj. that can refer to any kind of garment, e.g., a swimsuit, or a type of baby clothing)
커닝 cunning cheating (e.g.c on a test)
콘센트 concentric (circle) electrical outlet, plugin
토스트 toast toasted breakfast sandwich (toast is heated bread; 토스트 = a toast or grilled sandwich)
팬티 panty (women's underwear) men's or women's underwear
핫도그 hot dog corndog
화아팅 fighting go team!; be strong!; good luck!
핸드 폰 hand phone cellphone
핸들 handle steering wheel
헌팅 hunting flirting, picking up women
호치키스 Hotchkiss (company name) stapler
FM (army) field manual self-intro; a type of self-introduction (e.g, at a retreat, MT, huisik) where people go around the table and each person stands up to shout out an enthusiastic self-introduction or greeting, and maybe some cheer for one's team (in English, FM refers only to FM radio)
MT membership training class, company or group outing or retreat (for team / social bonding, and often, drinking)
AS, 에프터 서비스 after service customer service (mainly, for repairing a defective product; this works differently in Korea than in Western countries)
오므라이스 omelet + rice fried rice wrapped in fried egg
에어컨 air + con-(ditioner) air conditioner, air conditioning, AC
원룸 one room efficiency / studio apartment
원샷 one shot bottoms up!, cheers (for drinking alcohol shots)
팬시 fancy stationery

Note: The Korean term 아르바이트 'arubait' is from the German Arbeit, not from English. This is the normal German word for work, but in Korean it refers to temporary or part-time work.