Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ulterior motives: 꽃뱀 and 백마

Last night I had a skype conversation with my Italki language partner (confusing as it may sound I have a professional tutor, an informal tutor, and a language partner). We have done video calls every weekend for a while, and we always manage to find something interesting to talk about. After giving up on talking about the impending “Brexit” EU referendum (yes, seriously), since it was admittedly way too advanced for my level of Korean, and my Korean was a complete shambles yesterday, we went on to talk about something lighter: my upcoming trip to Korea and dating/relationships.

Talking about the expectations of men and women in Denmark, Korea, and the US respectively was how I learned the term 꽃뱀: A gold-digger. Literally a “flower snake” it’s  the kind of woman who targets men based on their wealth rather than their splendid personality.

Obviously women don’t have exclusive rights to ulterior motives, and since I’m going to Korea in about two months, he asked me somewhat apologetically “have you heard this word?” [백마 showed up in the chat]. I admitted to having heard about “the white horse”.

“Riding the white horse” (백마를 타다) is a pretty crude Korean expression which is used about some Korean men’s desire to find a white girlfriend… for a night at least… to try it as if it were some sort of adventure – and for bragging rights among their buddies.

Telling me about this was meant as a sort of warning against the Korean guys with less than noble intentions so his surprised reaction was hilarious when I already knew about it. Apparently I have surprised him multiple times by knowing about certain historical events as well as some of the less admirable aspects of some Koreans’ mentality. However, knowing the term 백마 was obviously unexpected and caused a laughing “who do you normally hang out with?!”

While I do appreciate the warning, I doubt that will be a problem during my trip 😀