Feeling so pissed but don’t know how to say it in Korean? Or maybe you’re curious about that funny swear word you kept hearing in Kdramas?
Learning Korean curse words, or 욕 (yok) as the locals call it, can be a fun way to understand the language. Many of these terms even have interesting origins. You’ll have a blast learning their usage and history.
But let’s get this straight first: we certainly don’t encourage you to say these words. Keep in mind that this article is for educational purposes only. You don’t want to earn a bad rep from your Korean friends.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Now here are the 23 bad words in Hangul you should know.
1. 씨발 (shi-bal)
Translation: Fuck / Damn
This is definitely one of the most common Korean curse words. Originally meaning “whore,” 씨발 is an interjection that can be used in a lot of situations. Think of it like saying “Fuck!” in English.
You’ll hear this all the time in Korean dramas and variety shows. Like when Ko Mun Young went ballistic when she almost drove through a deer.
2. 새끼 (sae-ggi)
새끼 actually means young animal. That makes its original meaning very innocent. But it’s a different story when you use it to call another person!
Calling someone 새끼 is like calling them an asshole. The woman version is 년 (nyeon), which means bitch.
They’re usually combined with other terms to come up with more curse words. You’ll read about them in the next numbers.
3. 개새끼 (gae-sae-kki)
Translation: Son of a bitch / Jerk
This word is a combination of the words 개 (dog) and the previous term 새끼 (offspring). Again, the dogs and baby animals are innocent. But when combined, 개새끼 comes to mean jerk or son of a bitch.
Jeon Yeo Been’s character said this best (repeatedly!) when she was confronting the ill-tempered director at Be Melodramatic.
4. 개년 (gae-nyeon)
개년 is the female variation of 개새끼. That said, it often refers to women.
But you should never use this swear word. It’s a very derogatory and offensive word, especially if you’re a man.
We repeat: this word should never come out of your mouth. Not even jokingly! Koreans may not want to befriend you if you do.
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5. 미친 새끼 (mi-chin-sae-ggi)
Translation: Crazy son of a bitch
Here’s another curse word for when someone’s being a jerk.
You already know what 새끼 means. Meanwhile, 미친 means crazy. So you get a swear for someone being a crazy jerk or sone of a bitch.
6. 미친놈 / 미친년 (mi-chin-nom / mi-chin-nyeon)
Translation: Crazy bastard / Crazy bitch
These two are just like 미친 새끼. But here, 미친 gets paired with 놈 (bastard) or 년 (bitch).
Note that these are very rude words. They’re not even used among friends, so be careful with these terms!
7. 씨발새끼 (shi-bal-sae-ggi)
Translation: Fucking son of a bitch
This one’s like a more intense 씨발. It’s used in very intense situations. Like when you’re so outraged at someone.
8. 씨발년 (ssi-bal-nyeon)
Translation: Fucking bitch
Female version of 씨발새끼. Again, it’s often used towards women.
9. 호로새끼 / 호로자식 (ho-ro-sae-ggi / ho-ro-ja-shik)
Translation: Bastard son / bastard child
Another variant of 새끼. It’s a pretty common curse word that you’ll also hear all the time.
10. 빈대새끼 (bin-dae-sae-ggi)
Know that friend who always leeches off on you? Especially when it comes to money?
Koreans have a word for them: 빈대새끼. The word 빈대 literally means those blood-sucking bed bugs. Combined with 새끼, you get that 빈대새끼 means something like parasite.
11. 지랄 (ji-ral)
Caught someone lying? 지랄 is used to to call out someone’s bluff when you think they’re obviously lying. A more intense version is 좆지랄 (jot-ji-ral).
지랄 is a very old word that actually means ‘seizure.’ Koreans associate it with madness. Think of it as calling someone out for acting or speaking abnormally.
You’ll often hear Koreans use this when calling out bluffing politicians.
12. 좆됐어 (joj-dwae-sseo)
Translation: I’m fucked
Sometimes we suddenly realize that we’re in deep trouble. Forgot to study for a big exam tomorrow? Lost your phone and wallet somewhere? 좆됐어 works perfect for those situations.
Unlike the other terms, 좆됐어 isn’t use to curse at someone else. It’s like an interjection used to describe how screwed you are.
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13. 존나 (jon-na)
Saw something that you almost said the f-word? Koreans have their own version of the f-word, too.
Many Korean swear words related to 좆, or penis. 존나 is one of them, which literally means “a penis falling out of the body.”
존나 is like the adverb “really” in English. It’s added to other words to express the intensity of the situation.
Think of it like adding “fucking” to your sentence. As in “fucking hard” or “fucking funny.”
14. 병신새끼 (byeong-shin-sae-kki)
Translation: Motherfucker / Asshole
Nope, we haven’t ran out of -새끼 curse words yet. 병신새끼 is similar to asshole or motherfucker.
15. 쌍놈 / 쌍년 (ssang-nom / ssang-nyeon)
Translation: Low born bastard / bitch
This curse word is similar to 병신새끼. But it’s even more insulting because you’re calling someone low-class.
16. 또라이 (tto-ra-i)
Translation: Moron / Psycho
What’s a Kdrama without 또라이? We know you hear this a lot in Korean shows.
또라이 is translated as “moron.” It’s not very insulting nowadays, and Koreans even use it to tease their friends.
17. 죽을래? (ju-geul-lae?)
Translation: Do you want to die?
Another curse word we’re sure you’ve heard in Kdramas before.
Asking someone if they want to die might seem like a super serious question. But Koreans also use this to playfully threaten their friends when they’re teasing each other. Even babies know how to say this during fights!
Other times, they can also say this during serious fights. So it’s best avoid using this around people you’re not close with!
18. 병신 (byeong-shin)
병신 is a derogatory word that means ‘handicapped.’ It originally refers to a person who got sitck in the past.
But today, Koreans use this term just as how English speakers would say ‘idiot.’ It’s not a super intense word, and Koreans even use this endearingly to mock their friends.
19. 닥쳐 (dak-cheo)
Translation: Shut up
This isn’t a very intense curse word. But don’t get us wrong – it’s still offensive.
20. 조까 (jot-kka)
Translation: Fuck you
조까 is another curse word that came from 좆. Think of this as saying “Fuck you” in Korean – as in with your middle finger held up.
21. 바보 (ba-bo)
Translation: Dumb or stupid
Another one made popular by Kdramas. In many contexts, 바보 isn’t a very intense curse word anymore. Friends use this to insult each other playfully, just like BTS to Jimin!
22. 쌍 (shang)
쌍 is used in same way like shibal. It’s an interjection that you can use in almost any situation.
23. 꺼져 (ggeo-jyeo)
Translation: Fuck off
This might be our final word for the list. But this is definitely the last thing we want our readers to do!
Depending on the context, 꺼져 can be a very rude term. It’s usually said when you want someone annoying to get lost. Like when bosses get mad at their employees.
Still, it’s also heard mockingly around friends. You definitely want to be sure of the context if you’re trying to use this word!
And that concludes our list!
As you’ve seen, Korean curse words come in a huge variety. Some are so bad that you should avoid saying them at all costs. But others can even be used endearingly around friends.
Still, if you don’t know much Korean yet, it’s best to keep away from these curse words. But if you’re feeling playful or you think you’re ready to speak a bit like the locals, go on.
And again, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Want to learn more Korean words? We also have a nice blog post about 20 Inspirational Korean Sayings.