When your friend is ordering pizza over the phone, hearing them say the word handjob tends to stick out – especially when they are ordering pizza in Korean. After briefly considering the possibility of Korean pizza parlours with happy endings, I shook my head and assumed my crass mind had mangled some Korean words into this bizarre result. But then I heard her say handjob again on the phone. What follows is the resulting conversation…
“Did you say handjob on the phone?”
“Yes, handjob pizza.”
“It means tasty pizza.”
“Wait, are you saying the words hand and job?”
“No, I’m saying hands up!” (Friend does the thumbs up sign)
“That’s thumbs up, not hands up. Besides it sounds like you are saying handjob.”
“What does handjob mean?”
My miming skills were sufficient to clear up the difference between handjob and thumbs up/hands up, to which I received a loud ewwww from my friend. In the end, the pizza wasn’t very good – neither thumbs up good nor hands up good and definitely not handjob good.
Other Konglish (Korean-English) words:
Fighting – in a good way
Fighting, usually written 화이팅 or 파이팅, does not involve throwing punches but means to support someone or something. During World Cup 2014, there were many posters for Korea! Fighting! to show support for the Korean football team. You can also message someone 화이팅~! to say you support them – these are words of encouragement! Koreans can’t say the letter F, so it sounds more like pighting than fighting.
Lemonade was logically separated into its 2 main constituents: Lemons and Ade – the latter I assume is the ice and sugar. You can get all kinds of Ade: Grapefruit Ade (자몽에이드), Blueberry Ade (블루 베리 에이드), and of course the original Lemon Ade (레몬에이드). I suppose it makes sense since Gator Ade and Power Ade exist. Also Ade in Korea are usually carbonated.
Somehow Service just means that something is free. When a waitress refills your bibimbap and says service, it means what she’s giving you is free. A counter marked as service in a restaurant is where you can load up on more side dishes (반찬).
물티슈 Mool Tissue
Mool means water in Korean and a tissue is a tissue so a mool tissue is a moist toilette. Pretty much every restaurant gives you a moist toilette before you eat.
셀카 Sel Ka
Walk into any cafe in Korea (90% of stores in Korea are mobile phone stores or cafes), and you’re likely to see a girl in her 20s spending about 20 continuous minutes doing Sel Ka. Sel Ka is short for Self Camera and just means #selfie. I imagine Koreans say SelKa because they can’t say the letter f and selpi might sound stupid.
한드폰 Hand Pon
A handeuppon (Hand Phone) is the Korean word for mobile phone. It reminds me of the German word for mobile phone, Handy. Mein Handy ist Kaputt!
If you’re interested in more Konglish terms check out http://koreanselfstudyisntlame.blogspot.kr/2010/02/ultimate-konglish-list.html.
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