Run BTS Episode 137

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 137.

English title: Variety Quiz Show Part 2

Watch it here:

For a breakdown of the team names, read my post on episode 136.


Those who aren’t new to my site know that I am not a fan of romanization. There are two reasons for this.

One: Learning hangul is actually not that difficult or that time-consuming. You can do it in anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days, and then you know it, and you don’t need romanization.

Two: Romanization is not precise. Korean letters don’t have a 1 to 1 relationship with the Roman alphabet we use in English. For example, the letter ㄱ sounds like a K at the beginning of a phrase or word, but like a G when it appears in the middle of a word. And the letter ㄲ, which is romanized as “gg”, is actually just a hard “G” sound, but delivered with a bit more force, which also causes a slight change to the rhythym of the word.

The lack of precision in romanization is what makes this game the guys are playing fun. They’ve romanized the lyrics to some of their songs, then gotten a text-to-voice service to read the romanization aloud. The result sounds almost nothing like the original Korean.

Timestamp 16:36

RM confesses he heard the English words “how many” when the voice said 하루만 (ha-roo-man). You can hear how they sort of sound similar.

Timestamp 17:49

Jung Kook thinks he hears 내 움직임 바로 이상간 [nae oom-jig-im ba-ro ee-sang-gan].

내 = me, my

움직임 = a movement

바로 = exactly, precisely, the very one

이상간 is not a word

They learn later that this is the line in 흥탄소년단 (Boyz With Fun) that goes 지금 바로 이 순간 [jee-geum ba-ro ee soon-gan], which means, “Right now at this exact moment.”

지금 =now

바로 = exactly, precisely, the very one

이 = this, these

순간 = a moment

Timestamp 26:24

For some reason Weverse subs doesn’t offer the English translation, but Jung Kook guesses the DNA lyrics that j-hope is acting out are: 이런 게 말로만 듣던 사랑이란 감정일까, which means “Could this be the emotion called ‘love’ that I’ve only ever heard about?”

As they zero in on the correct line from DNA, they take turns misremembering the lyrics slightly. First, RM guesses 이렇게 내 심장은 널 향해 뛰니까, which means, “Because my heart runs toward you like this.”

Then Jin guesses 애초부터 내 심장은 너에게 뛰니까, which means, “Because from the beginning my heart runs to you.” He then replaces the 뛰 in the last word with 가 to change the meaning to “…goes to you”.

The correct answer was a hybrid of RM’s and Jin’s answers, and RM puts in together: 애초부터 내 심장은 널 향해 뛰니까, meaning “Because from the beginning, my heart runs toward you.”

애초 = the beginning

-부터 = from X, since X (애초부터)

내 = my, me

심장 = a heart

너 = you

향하다 = to head towards, to go in the direction of

뛰다 = to run

-니까 = because X (뛰니까)

Timestamp 28:31

The captions onscreen say “RG? RG!” and the Weverse subs “translate” it as “You know? I know!” Here’s why.

The Korean word for “to know” is 알다. If you take the last syllable off, you are left with the root, with is just 알.

If you add -지 to the root of a word in Korean, it can take a couple of different meanings. First of all, if you pose it as a sort of question/statement, it means, “You know?”, “Right?”, “Don’t you agree?” sort of.

If someone asks you a question and you include -지 in your response, it means, “Of course X!”.

Now remember that in Korean they usually drop pronouns and just use context to assume who is being spoken about in a sentence. So without even using the words “I” or “you”, you can have the following conversation just by repeating the same word twice:

알지? = You know, right?

알지! = Of course I know!

알지 is romanized as [al-jee], but the letter ㄹ in the first syllable is pronounced somewhere between an R and an L sound, and changes slightly depending on where in the word it is found. Therefore, it is correct to say that the word 알지 sounds like the English letters “RG” said in sequence.

That’s why it says “RG? RG!” on the screen.

Timestamp 29:43

Jung Kook guesses the correct line from “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, but slightly misquotes it: 니가 준 날개는 악마의 것. Sweet 앞엔 우선은 bitter bitter, which means, “The wings you gave me are the devil’s. In front of ‘sweet’, first of all there’s ‘bitter, bitter’.” They give him the point, since the only thing he did wrong was add the word 우선, meaning, “first of all” into the lyrics, and I think he only needed to guess the first half of it anyway.

Here is a list of all the non-BTS songs from during the quiz game, in order of appearance:

가지마, 가지마 (Don’t Go, Don’t Go) by 브라운아지 (Brown Eyes

Timeless by SG워너비 (SG WANNABE)

야생화 (Wild Flower) by 박효신 (Park Hyo Shin)

Friday Night by god

총맞은것처럼 (Like Being Shot by a Bullet) by 백지영 (Baek Ji Young)

(Affection) by 영턱스클럽 (Young Turks Club)

멋쟁이 토마토 (Dandy Tomato)

팔안 마음 하얀 마음 (Blue Hearts, White Hearts)

솜사탕 (Cotton Candy)

예쁜 아기 곰 (Pretty Baby Bear)

Run BTS episode 137 Korean wordplay and puns