Dozens of Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary

By US Desk
Fri, 10, 21

The Korean culture wave has swept through the editorial offices of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which has added more than 20 new words of Korean origin to its latest edition....


The Korean culture wave has swept through the editorial offices of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which has added more than 20 new words of Korean origin to its latest edition.

The “definitive record of the English language” included words alluding to the global popularity of the country’s music and cuisine, plus one or two whose roots in the Korean language may be less obvious.

The new words include hallyu - the Korean original for the wave of pop culture that has made BTS one of the world’s most popular bands and Squid Game the Netflix sensation of 2021.

“The increase in international interest in South Korea and its popular culture, esp. as represented by the global success of South Korean music, film, television, fashion, and food,” the dictionary says in its definition. “Also: South Korean popular culture and entertainment itself. Frequently as a modifier, as in hallyu craze, hallyu fan, hallyu star.”

New food-related entries include bulgogi – thin slices of beef or pork – and chimaek – Korean-style fried chicken and beer. Traditional culture is represented by hanbok – formal attire worn by both men and women – and Hangul, the Korean alphabet devised by King Sejong in 1443.

Aegyo, a certain kind of cuteness or charm considered characteristically Korean, has been included as both a noun and adjective. There is room, too, for mukbang, or livestreams of people eating extraordinary amounts of food while talking to the online audience.

The inclusion of “skinship” is more surprising. Commonly used in South Korea, where it is rendered as seukinsip, and Japan (sukinshippu) it captures the emotional bond that comes from close physical contact between a parent and child, lovers and friends, the dictionary said.

The OED said the inclusion of so many Korean words was recognition of a shift in language usage beyond the English-speaking world.

Sweden’s Saturday-only candy tradition

Dozens of Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary

Swedes are so into the norm of buying and eating candy on Saturdays they’ve even got a special word for it: lördagsgodis, which literally translates to ‘Saturday sweets’.

The lördagsgodis concept dates to the 1950s. Swedish medical authorities began recommending sweets as a once-a-week treat, to try and limit rising cases of tooth decay as the country became richer. The trend evolved into the beloved family-oriented activity that exists today.

This penny candy is a sweet treat for anyone looking to unwind from the week. But cultural commentators and economists alike argue there’s a lot more to be learned from the lördagsgodis tradition – particularly, it encourages children to start thinking about weekly budgeting, and feeds into a culture that champions independence from a young age.

Six out of 10 parents surveyed said they and their children had some form of agreement about what their money should be used for. There’s strong evidence that encouraging financial responsibility from a young age is connected to healthy saving habits.

It’s important to put Swedes’ spending habits in the context of the country’s long history of social welfare and a culture that promotes individualism and independence at all ages. Education is free and healthcare is state subsidised in Sweden, which can help reduce families’ financial pressures. Plus, all parents, regardless of income, are entitled to a monthly child benefit until their child turns 16. This gives practically everyone the possibility to either save for their children or give them a weekly or monthly allowance in a way that simply isn’t possible in many other societies.

When Swedish children turn 16, the state stops paying child benefit to their parents and starts giving them the same amount directly as a form of study grant, as long as they remain in education. Swedes typically leave their family home at the age of just 18 or 19, earlier than most Europeans.