Run BTS Episode 143

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 143.

English title: Run BTS Books

Korean title: 달방 북스

Watch it here:

Timestamp 1:48

j-hope mentions 떡 [tteok] coming up in the story of the sun and the moon, which is a Korean folk tale. 떡 is a Korean snack cake made with rice. You can read more here.

Timestamp 3:04

Jin guesses that what the tiger said to the mother in the fairy tale of the sun and the moon was 떡 하나 주면 안 잡아먹지, which means, “Give me some rice cake and I won’t eat you.”

V claims this is dialect, but then provides word-for-word the same answer, just with slightly different inflection. He must have misheard what Jin said and thought there was some dialect in it.

Jimin then jokes around that V also used dialect, because his inflection wasn’t “standard Korean” inflection. 

The province of 경상남도, where Suga, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook are from, has a very specific inflection in its dialect, with sentences often dropping down in tone at the end. The standard Korean used in Seoul tends to go up at the end of a sentence. So Jimin jokingly “puts the sentence into standard Korean” by saying the exact same thing V and Jin did, but with his tone rising higher and higher.

When Jin repeats the sentence again, it’s still the exact same sentence he started with, but now he’s – who knows – trying to sound like a tiger? It’s not a dialect thing that he’s doing, that’s for sure. Anyway, he gets it right because he was right to begin with, before they started clowning around with dialects.

Timestamp 4:04

Jimin is trying to remember the word for “shepherd” and keeps coming up with “bully” instead. This is because the two words sound similar in Korean.

Shepherd = 양치기 [yang-chi-gi]

Bully/gangster = 양아치 [yang-a-chi]

The reason he was trying to find the word “shepherd” is that the Korean title for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is 양치기 소년, literally, “The Shepherd Boy”. You might recognize the word for “boy”, since it comes up in 방탄소년단, BTS’s Korean name.

Timestamp 6:17

Jung Kook says he almost guessed 성냥개비 소녀, which translates as “the matchstick girl”, but that is not the Korean title of the story. The correct title, as RM tells him, is 성냥팔이 소녀, which means, “the match seller girl”.

성냥 = a match

개비 = a piece of split wood

성냥개비 = a match stick

-팔이 = a seller of X

소녀 = a girl

Timestamp 6:38

The Korean word for “writer” or “author” is 작가 [jak-ka], which is why Jung Kook plays around with it to make it sound sort of like “JK”, sung to the same tune that they always sing, “JK”. Listen here.

The Weverse English subs translate it as “illustrator”, but the word for illustrator is 작화가 [jak-hwa-ga], which sounds a lot less like “JK”, so I’m pretty sure it was the word 작가 that he was playing with, not 작화가.

Timestamp 10:25

Jin says he can create a story based on any word prompt, so Jung Kook prompts him with 무야호 [moo-ya-ho]. This is not a word, but a pop culture reference. Here’s the context:

There was a popular long-running entertainment program in South Korea called “Infinite Challenge.” The Korean title of “Infinite Challenge” is 무한 도전 [moo-han do-jeon].

무한 = infinite

도전 = a challenge, or the act of rising to meet a challenge

On Infinite Challenge, they used to cry out the name of the show aloud as a sort of cheer, the way BTS does their “bangtan bangtan bang-bangtan” cheer.

On episode 195 of Infinite Challenge, back in 2010, the hosts went to Alaska and dropped in on a couple of elderly Korean American men. They asked the men if they watched Infinite Challenge. One man replied honestly that he didn’t really know what it was. The other man said he watched it a lot.

One of the hosts then asked the man to do their cheer, and prompted him with “무한….” The elderly man clearly didn’t know the show that well, because instead of yelling 무한 도전, he cried, 무야호! [moo-ya-ho] which is just nonsense.

야호 is just a generic yelling sound in Korean, sort of like “Woooo!” As you can see from the story Jin concocts, it’s sort of the type of meaningless yell you might do at the top of a mountain to hear your echo, or just for the joy of yelling.

Anyway, this moment on Infinite Challenge became a pop culture moment, and that’s what Jung Kook is referencing here.  There are no English subs, but you can watch the original video here.

Timestamp 12:06

Jung Kook is once again referring to a cultural moment. Lee Sedol (이세돌) is a former professional Go player. He played a series of Go matches against AlphaGo in 2016.

Read about it here if you like:


Go (korean name: 바둑 / baduk)

Lee Sedol

Timestamp 13:05

The name of the cloud in Jimin’s story is in fact “cloud”. 구름 [goo-reum] means “cloud”.

Timestamp 23:38

As Jimin reads his story aloud, Jung Kook teasingly calls him 용푸른 [Yong-poo-reun]. This is a reference to a radio appearance Jimin and, I think, RM did way back in 2014 where they did a little voice acting for a segment of the show. The name of the character Jimin played at that time was 용푸른.

They showed a 1 second clip of it in a previous Run BTS episode. You can check it out here, starting at 1:07.

Timestamp 27:45

As he’s reading their story aloud, Jin realizes he has accidentally written 머리카닥 [meo-ri-ka-dak] instead of 머리카락 [meo-ri-ka-rak]. What Jin wrote is not a word. However, he probably wrote it because he accidentally mixed up the word “hair” and the word “strand”.

머리카락 = hair

가닥 [ka-dak] = a strand

The spelling and pronunciation of the last two syllables are very similar.

Timestamp 29:04

As Jin and Jung Kook burst out laughing, 3 exploding pastries appear on screen. It’s not as random as it seems.

The expression 빵 터지다 means “to burst out laughing”, but its literal meaning is for bread to explode. So what we’re seeing on-screen is the filling exploding out of 3 cream-stuffed buns.

Run BTS episode 143 Korean wordplay and puns