Run BTS Episode 148

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 148.

English title: BTS Interior Design Part 1

Korean title: 방탄 인테리어 1

Watch it here:

Timestamp 1:21

V suggests that the 맏라인 be team captains, and then Hobi refers to Jin and Yoongi as his “맏형 bros”, and then offscreen, I think Namjoon shortens it to “맏bro”.

As many know, age plays a huge factor in determining relationships and social hierarchy in Korea. Because of this there are many words used to refer to and address other people, that we don’t have in English.

The word 형 [hyung] is 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.

The word 맏형 [madhyung] refers to the oldest member in a group of boys or men. Therefore Jin is the 맏형 of BTS.

V has taken the 맏 portion of the word 맏형, which is the portion that means “oldest” and cobbled it together with the Konglish word 라인, meaning “line” to refer to Yoongi and Jin as the “oldest members line”. Hobi adds the English word “bros” onto 맏형, and then Namjoon removes the 형 part, because it’s redundant if “bros” is there.

Timestamp 5:31

The subtitles refer to RM as “Sexy Brain RM”. Most ARMY are familiar with the expression, because it’s used a lot in BTS content, but of course it’s not a real expression in English to refer to someone as a “sexy brain”. In Korean, however, there is such an expression.

The original expression is 뇌섹남, and it is an abbreviation of 뇌가 섹시한 남자, which literally means “a man with a sexy brain”, but the expression’s meaning has been broadened to refer to any smart person, regardless of gender.

뇌 = brain

섹시하다 = to be sexy

남자 = man

In this caption, they’ve replaced the final syllable – 남 – with 몬. The 몬 comes from the first syllable of 몬스터 which is the Konglish word “monster”.

Timestamp 7:29

Jimin gives the answer 접이식 문 to the question about bar and café doors. 접이식 문 literally means “folding doors”, but as you can tell from this episode, English terms reign supreme in the world of interior decorating in South Korea. So he’s wrong, and the English term “folding door” is right, even though they mean the exact same thing.

접다 = to fold

-식 = refers to the method, means, form of something

문 = a door

Timestamp 23:53

RM is from the city of Ilsan just Northwest of Seoul, and therefore he speaks 표준어, or standard Korean. However, he often uses phrases and dialectic tics from the regions that the other members hail from, to their great amusement.

Here he comments on the pretty colour of the chair with 아따, 색깔 이쁘다잉! This is the dialect of 절라도 (Jeolla-do), the province in the southwest of South Korea where j-hope was born and raised.

아따 is a word of exclamation characteristic of the Jeolla-do dialect. It’s sort of like, “gosh” or “gee”.

색깔 = colour

이쁘다 [i-bbeu-da] is a colloquial pronuncation of 예쁘다 [yae-bbeu-da], which means “pretty”. It is not standard Korean, but it’s not unique to Jeolla-do; it’s rather widely used.

The 잉 [ing] sound that RM has added to the end of 이쁘다, and the particular inflection he’s using is classic Jeolla-do dialect. It sort of has the same meaning as the Canadian, “eh?” used to end sentences, which basically means, “don’t you think?”

Run BTS episode 148 Korean wordplay and puns