It seems to be a trend in Korea to shorten every single phrase possible in Korean culture, and that itself has become its own slang! Even in the K-pop industry and the Korean Entertainment world, we often see phrases shortened, and as English speakers, we go "HUH?" because it makes absolutely no sense! It's so crazy how quickly Millenials & more specifically Generation Z, are coming up with these abbreviations that the older generation simply cannot keep up!
Let's check out some shortened acronyms that we can find commonly in K-pop, Korean Entertainment & the abbreviation-loving country itself!
Ah-Ah (아아) - Iced Americano
Yes, we can commonly hear customers in cafes ordering "ah-ahs." It is literally a shortened version of saying iced americano.
Shim-Koong (심쿵) - Heart is Beating
This phrase directly translates into "Beating Heart," and we even saw it in AOA's song "Heart Attack" as the Korean title was "Shim Koong Hae," which would translate into "My Heart is Beating."
JMT - JonMatTaeng
Inssa & Assa - Insider & Outside
A more commonly used abbreviation, especially in social circles, inssa literally means "insider," and "assa" literally means "outsider." Basically, are you cool or not? Are you in the loop or not? That's all it's asking, but it's become such a widely used abbreviation today.
ManJjitNam - Cha Eun Woo
Just Kidding, it doesn't define Cha Eun Woo, BUT it does characterize him. ManJjitNam is a shortened abbreviation of "Manhwa Jjit Go Na On Namja." Manhwa means comic, and Jjit Go On literally means ripped out. It basically means someone who's so good-looking as if he was ripped out straight from a comic book. And of course, ASTRO's Cha Eun Woo is nicknamed ManJjitNam, and he clearly deserves that title!
WuhLaBal - Work-Life Balance
This phrase was created in an effort to create more of a work-life balance atmosphere in the very work-centered Korean environment. Fortunately, work-life balance has been getting better with systematic reforms (such as the 52-hour workweek reform), but it is still something many working-class Koreans aim to achieve, and they always talk about it!
There are countless acronyms and abbreviations, including some probably being created at this very moment, and sometimes it may be a little too much for you, or it may not even make sense to you. But, it doesn't seem like this abbreviating culture will end any time soon. Don't worry -- even native Koreans have to study the new abbreviations as the number of abbreviations is simply overwhelming. The least we can do is acknowledge it and try before we completely ignore it!
Are there some abbreviations that you want to share with us? Maybe one that you saw on television or K-pop! Let us know in the comments below!