Small words of great significance

Another day with language exchange. We somehow came to discuss small words that are useful in colloqual Korean.

These are some of my favorite words. They can be used in so many situations, and their meaning can change quite a bit based on the situation.

You probably already know them, but let’s go over them one more time:

헐 ~ an expression of surprise. You might add “no way!” in English.

대박 ~ comes from the Chinese character 大 for “big” or “great” and 박. Together they mean something big. However, with a change in intonation it can also be used to show sympathy in the case of situations that are not “great”. This can also be done by combining with 헐: 헐 대박…

진짜?? ~ really?? Another expression of surprise.

글쎄 ~ a lovely word with so many meanings. Want to say “hmmm, let me think” in a genuinely thoughtful way? 글쎄 is the word. Want to say “I couldn’t care less…”? 글쎄 is the word! It’s all in the intonation and facial expressions.

Evil tongues say that guys who have overly talkative girlfriends basically just need three words to keep her happily talking with minimum interaction: 헐, 대박, and 진짜? They can even be combined into a single sentence: 헐 대박 진짜??

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