Run BTS Episode 144

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 144.

English title: Run BTS Gayo

Korean title: 달방가요

Watch it here:


가요 [ga-yo] refers to popular music, or to the current music scene.

Timestamp 1:39

In the Hangul writing system, words are written in syllable blocks. When Korean people play word games, the clues often involve the first letter of each syllable, rather than just the first letter of each word. That is also true of the games they’re playing in this episode of Run BTS.

Clue: ㄱㄹㅇㄷㅇ  ㅇㅁㄴ  ㄴㅊㄹ  ㄴㄹㅇ  ㄱ  ㅂㄴㅇ  ㅇㄲ

At 1:40, using the letters from the first two words only, Namjoon spits out 그라아다아 어머니. The first word is not a word, but kind of sounds like 그렇다 [keu-reoh-da], which means “to be like that”. 어머니 = mother

He then uses the letters from the last 3 words in the clue to put together 가, 보노야, 어깨. This is also nonsense, but let’s decipher it anyway.

가다 = “to go”. 가 is what it looks like conjugated into the present tense in informal language.

보노 is not a word, but he is using it as a name here. We can tell because he’s added 야 to the end of it. When speaking informally to someone your age or younger in Korean, you add 야 to their name if it ends in a vowel. This is why you’ll often hear Jin call Yoongi 윤기야 [Yoon-gi-ya].

어깨 = shoulder/shoulders

At 1:50 Jin uses the letters from just the first 2 words to put together 기린 엉덩이 어머나. Weverse has delightfully translated it as “Oh, my. Look at that giraffe’s bottom.”.

기리 = “giraffe” The ㄴ added to it marks it as the topic of the sentence.

엉덩이 = bum/butt

어머나 is an exclamation, kind of like “Oh my goodness”

At 1:59 Jimin and RM agree that they thinks one of the syllables is 곧 [got], meaning “soon”. They are likely talking about the third-last word.

At 2:09, Jimin nails the last two words. I assume he goes on to solve the whole line, but they don’t show us that verbally, just onscreen.

The completed line is: 그리움들이 얼마나 눈처럼 내려야 그 봄날이 올까? This is the last line of the first verse of Spring Day, right before the pre-chorus, and it means: “How much longing has to come down like snow for that spring day to come?”

그리움 = a longing, missing something

-들 = makes a noun plural (그리움들이)

-이 / 가 = marks a word as the subject of the sentence it’s in (그리움들이)

얼마나 = how much

눈 = snow

-처럼 = like X (눈처럼)

내리다 = to descend

-어야 / -아야 = indicates that the clause preceding it must happen in order for the following clause to happen (내려야)

그 = that, those

봄 = spring (the season)

날 = a day

오다 = to come

-ㄹ까 = multiple uses, but in this context it’s used to wonder about something (올까)

Timestamp 2:28

Clue: ㅇㄴ  ㄴ  ㅅㅅㅇ  ㅁㅊㅇ  ㅇㅁㄹ  ㅇㄱㄷ  ㅎㄴ  ㅇㅇ

Jung Kook immediately nails it as the first line from Life Goes On. However, he misses the word 하나, so the others jump in to steal his points.

The full line is: 어느 날 세상이 멈췄어 아무런 예고도 하나 없이. The meaning is “One day the world stopped without even a single warning.”

어느 =one, some, a certain one

날 = a day

세상 = a world

-이 / -가 = marks a word as the subject of the sentence it’s in (세상이)

멈추다 = to stop

아무렇다 = to be any kind of (don’t stress about it. This is one of the harder words to get the hang of)

예고 = a warning

-도 = X too, even X (예고도)

하나 = one

없이 = without

Timestamp 3:11

Clue: ㅁㅇ  ㅇㅎㄷ  ㅍㅇㅎ  ㄱㅇ  ㄴㅁ  ㅇㄷㅁ  ㄷ  ㄴ  ㅈㅇ  ㄷ  ㄱㅇ

The first real attempt at deciphering comes from Jin, who thinks it’s likely that the first word is 마음, which means one’s heart or mind, in the metaphorical or emotional sense.

Jimin is trying to figure out what ㅇㄷㅁ could be, and Suga suggests 어두워 or 어둡다 neither of which quite fit the letters in the clue. 어둡다 = “to be dark”. 어두워 is what it looks like conjugated into the present tense in informal language.

When the PD offers to give them one syllable, they opt for the word that begins with ㅍ. The syllable is 편 [pyeon].

With lightning speed Jin crafts a made-up response that almost matches the syllables of the first 4 words: 뭐야, 왜 형들 편안해? Weverse translates this as “What? Why are you guys feeling so at home?” The translation is a bit closer to, “What’s this? Why are you guys so comfortable?”

뭐 = what, something

왜 = why

형 = a word used by Korean boys and men to refer to or address their biological older brothers, but also any boys or men older then themselves by a narrowish margin, with whom they are close. By “narrowish margin”, I mean probably within 10 years, max 15.

-들 = makes a noun plural (형들)

편안하다 = to be comfortable, at ease

RM solves it at 4:00. 말을 안 해도 편안할 거야. 너만 있다면 다 내 집이 될 거야. This is from the chorus of HOME, and it means “Even if you don’t say anything I’ll be at ease. Just as long as you’re there, everything will become my home.”

말 = words, speech

안 = to not do X, X being the accompanying verb

하다 = to do

-아도 / -어도 = even if X, even though X (안해도)

편안하다 = to be comfortable, at ease

너 = you

-만 = just X, only X (너만)

있다 = to be found, to exist

-다면 = if X (있다면)

다 = all, everything

내 = I, me, my

집 = a house, a home

되다 = to become

Timestamp 4:24

Clue: ㄴㅇㄱ  ㅇㄹㅇ  ㅇㄱㄴ  ㄴㄷ  ㄴㅇ  ㅂㅇㅇㄴㄷ

V uses 3 of the words in the clue to come up with 나 이거 알아 which means “I know this.”

나 = I, me

이거 = this thing, this

알다 = to know. 알아 is what it looks like conjugated into the present tense in informal language.

The other guys add a 요 onto the end of his 알아 to bring it closer to matching the clue. 요 is a particle that can be added to verbs and adjectives to elevate speech from casual to respectful.

For this guess to actually match the beginning of the clue, it would have to be 아라요, not 알아요, but the pronunciation of those two spellings is identical [a-ra-yo] even though only 알아요 is correct.

At 4:35 they play around with the letters in the first word of the clue, since ㄴㅇㄱ looks kind of like someone holding out their arms and bending their right arm up and their left arm down at the elbows.

At 4:44 RM hazards a guess for words 4 and 5: 나도 너의, which isn’t really possible to define on its own. (나도  means “me too” and 너의 means “your”.)

At 4:53 Suga solves it. It’s from 134340. 나에겐 이름이 없구나. 나도 너의 별이있는데. This sort of means, “Oh, I see that I don’t have a name. But I too was your star.”

나 = I, me

-에게 = to X, for X (나에겐)

이름 = a name

없다 = to not be found, not exist

-구나 = indicates that you just realized X, that X is new info to you. It’s sort of like, “Oh, I see that X is the case.” (없구나)

-도 = X too, even X (나도)

너 = you

-의 = indicates possession, like ‘s in English (너의)

별 = star

Timestamp 5:34

Clue: ㅇㅅ  ㄱㅈ  ㅈㄷㅇㄷ  ㅇㄱㄱㄴ  ㅇㄴ

RM starts to say 어서, which means “quickly”, but Jin’s already got the right answer: 이사 가자 정들었던 이곳과는 안녕. This is from Moving On, and it means “Let’s move on. Goodbye to this place that we’ve become attached to.”

이사 = the act of moving from one home to another

가다 = to go

-자 = “Let’s do X” (가자)

정들다 = to form an attachment to something

이 = this, these

곳 = a place

-과 = “with” (이곳과는)

안녕 = hello, goodbye

Timestamp 6:05

Clue: ㄴ  ㅁㄹㄹ  ㅎㅎ  ㄱ  ㅈ  ㅍㄹ  ㅂㄷㅇ  ㄴ  ㅎㄹㅊㄹ  ㅁㅇ

V immediately blurts out 몰라라 호호, using the second and third words from the clue. 몰라 means “I don’t know”, and the 라 doesn’t really add any further meaning. He says 호호 because the letter ㅎ makes the same sound as an H in English, so it is often used to represent laughing really hard. In texts, ㅋㅋㅋ is roughly the equivalent to “lol” and ㅎㅎ is more like “lmao”.

RM guesses that word 5 is 좀, which means “a little bit”, or in certain contexts “please”.

Suga and Jimin guess that the second-last word is 하루처럼, which means “like a day”. That doesn’t really make sense, but Jimin’s logic is that it sounds like, 처음처럼, which means “like the first time”, and is/was the slogan of a popular brand of the Korean alcoholic drink Soju.

하루 = a day

-처럼 = like X

처음 = the first, the beginning

V whispers into Jin’s ear that he thinks words 6 and 7 are 푸른 바다야. This means, “It’s the blue sea.”

푸르다 = to be blue

바다 = the sea

At the same time, RM is musing that words 5 and 6 could be 좀 팔아, which translates as “Please sell it.”

팔다 = to sell. 팔아 is both the present tense informal conjugation of it, and one way of forming the imperative (giving a command).

Suga guesses words 5-7 are 저 파란 불들이, which means “those blue lights”.

저 = those

파랗다 = to be deep blue (can sometimes mean green-blue)

불 = a light

-들 = makes a noun plural (불들이)

At 6:59 j-hope finally puts it together, with some help from V. The answer is 내 미래를 향해 가. 저 푸른 바다와 내 헤르츠를 믿어. It’s from Whalien 52, and it means, “I head towards my future. I believe in the blue sea and my frequency.”

내 = I, me, my

미래 = future

-를 = indicates that X is the object of the sentence (미래를)

향하다 = to head towards

가다 =to go

저 = that, those

푸르다 = to be blue

바다 = the sea

-와 = X and (바다와)

헤르츠 = hertz (Konglish)

믿다 = to believe, to trust

Timestamp 7:45

Clue: ㅅㅅㅉㄹ  ㅅㅂㅇ  ㄸ  ㅅㅂㅉㄹ  ㅍㄷ  ㅅㅅㅉㄹ  ㅅㄱㅇ  ㄸ  ㅇㅅㄷㅈ  ㄱㅎ

V asks the PD to tell them what the ㅉ is in word 1 and 6, but he names the letter incorrectly, leading to Jimin ask what “jji-eut” is.

The letter ㅈ is pronounced like the English “J” sound, but the name of the letter is 지읒 [ji-eut]. The letter ㅉ is the same sound, but pushed out with a bit more force, which is why it’s romanized as “jj”. The name of the letter ㅉ is 상지읒 [sang-ji-eut], meaning “double ji-eut”, but instead of calling it 상지읒, V has called it 찌읒 [jji-eut].

Jung Kook guesses that the ㅉ stands for 짜. If that was the whole word it would mean “salty”, but it’s not, so this 짜 has no meaning on is own.

The 상상짜라 that V follows up with also has no meaning, he’s just mimicking a song that goes 진진짜라, which Jin then sings.

At 8:06 Jung Kook asks for help with the first two letters of words 1 and 6. He calls the letter by it’s name, which is 시읏 [shi-eut].

RM finally gets the whole thing right at 8:53. 수십짜리 신발에 또 수백짜리 패딩. 수십짜리 시계에 또 으스대지 괜히. It’s from Spine Breaker. To keep the translation natural, I’ve translated it as “Shoes worth a bundle, a padded jacket worth hundreds, a watch worth a fortune, and showing off for nothing.” but some of the words are a bit more specific than that.

수십 = tens (the way we’d say “dozens” in English”. 십 = ten)

-짜리 = worth X (수십짜리)

신발 = a shoe

-에 = at X, on X. In this case, “on top of X” (신발에)

또 = additionally, plus

수백 = hundreds (백 = 100)

패딩 = a down-filled jacket. (Konglish)

시계 = a watch

으스대다 = to brag, to show off

괜히 = for nothing, to no avail

Timestamp 11:18

V correctly guesses that the song Jung Kook drew is “Telepathy”. However, the Korean title of the song is 잠시, and all Jung Kook’s clues relate to that word.

잠시 [jam-shi] means “briefly”, “for a moment”. If you add the particle 만, which means “just” or “only”, you get 잠시만, which is the way to say “Hang on a second”, or “just a second” in Korean. This is what Jung Kook is referring to with his first drawing of someone holding up their hand and saying “stop”.

For his second clue, he has drawn a person sleeping and an eye. 잠 [jam] means sleep, so the sleeping person represents the first syllable of 잠시. He’s drawn the eye to represent the English word “see”, but pronounced 시 [shi] as a Korean person would pronounce it. This is the second syllable of 잠시.

Timestamp 17:52

Jimin guesses 낙엽 for RM’s clue. He’s referring to the song called Autumn Leaves in English, which Suga then says, but the Korean title of the song is 고엽, not 낙엽.

낙엽 = a fallen leaf

고엽 = a dead, dried up leaf

Timestamp 18:39

Jung Kook asks if j-hope has drawn a 하회탈. This is a traditional Korean mask. There’s no English name for it, and I couldn’t find an English webpage with information, but here you can see some pictures.

Timestamp 20:00

The PD is telling them about some of the typos Army made while answering the survey. The Weverse translation does a fun job creating typos in the English titles, but of course these typos don’t match the actual ones made in the Korean song titles.

The first one is 적은 것들을 위한 시. This is supposed to the be the Korean title of “Boy With Luv”, which is “A poem for the little things” (작은 것들을 위한 시) However, they’ve mispelled the first word, so now the title means, “A poem for a few things”

작다 = small, little

적다 = a few

The second typo is in “Fire (Burning Up)”, whose Korean title is 불타오르네.

불 = fire

타오르다 = to burn up, to catch on fire

However, someone has accidentally replaced 불 with 볼, which means “cheeks”, creating a new title of “My cheeks are burning up.”

Timestamp 22:37

The Weverse translations use the English expression “to jump on the DNA bandwagon” to translate what Jimin says, but what he actually says in Korean is “I got on the DNA bus” (저 DNA 버스 탔습니다). They use this expression repeatedly throughout the rest of the episode.

저 = I, me (formal language)

버스 = a bus

타다 = to ride

Timestamp 27:16

Many of the guys are writing the Korean title of Mikrokosmos, which is 소우주 [so-oo-joo]. RM has instead drawn a bottle of the popular Korean alcoholic beverage 소주 [so-joo] on his whiteboard and written Soju in English, since it sounds so simliar to 소우주.

Run BTS episode 144 Korean wordplay and puns