A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 150.
English title: War of Money Hotel Staycation Part 1
Korean title: 쩐의 전쟁 호캉스 1
Watch it here: https://weverse.io/bts/media/9903
The word 호캉스 is included in the title, and it means “staycation”. As in English, it is a portmanteau of 2 words.
The first word is 호텔, which is Konglish, and means “hotel”.
The second word is 바캉스, which is a hangul spelling of the French word “vacance”, meaning “vacation”.
V takes the 호 from 호캉스 [ho-kang-seu] and swaps in 룸 instead. This is the Konglish word “room” and it changes the meaning to something like “roomcation”.
j-hope then switches to whole thing to 혹한스 [hog-han-seu]. 혹한 means “bitter coldness” or a “cold snap”. The 스 at the end adds no extra meaning on its own, but is a sound the guys often add to their words just to be silly.
j-hope uses a Korean expression here in praising Jung Kook. He says, 우리 팀이지만 팔 안으로 굽는 게 아니라 진짜. The literal translation is “He’s on our team, but this isn’t a matter of my arm bending inwards, seriously.”
The expression used is 팔이 안으로 굽다 which means for the arm to bend inward. It’s a proverb that means people care more for, or stick up for those who are close to them. In other words, that people are biased. So the meaning of j-hope’s sentence is that even though Jung Kook is a member of his own group, he’s not being biased when he says he’s amazing.
j-hope then plays with the expression’s literal translation by bending his arm and straightening it and adding, 바깥으로도, which basically means, “it bends outward too”.
우리 = we, us, our
팀 = team
-이지만 = “X, but…” or “although X”
팔 = an arm
안 = the inside of something
-으로 = towards X, to X
굽다 = to bend, to curve
아니다 = to not be X (X being the preceding noun)
진짜 = seriously, really
RM mishears the name of the game as “sumo”. The actual word the PD is using is 수도 [soo-do] which means “capital city”.
Prompt: 가는 날이…
Meaning: “The day I go….”
V correctly completes it with …장 날이다, which means “…is market day.”
So the complete proverb is 가는 날이 장날이다.
가다 = to go
날 = a day
장 = a market
This is a proverb that refers to having bad luck with timing. Imagine you head to the big city 200 hundred years ago to get things done, but it’s market day and as a result the streets are so packed you can’t even move, and you’re unable to get your errands done. Or you finally booked some vacation days and you’re going to the tropics, but then it rains the whole time you’re there, even though it was sunny the day before you got there. That’s the kind of situation this proverb is referring to.
Meaning: “Even dog poop…”
Jin correctly completes it with …약에 슬려면 없다 which is translated on Weverse as “…is rare in times of need” but literally translates to “…isn’t there when you want to use it as medicine.”
So the complete proverb is 개똥도 약에 슬려면 없다.
개 = a dog
똥 = poop
-도 = X too, even X (개똥도)
약 = medicine
-에 = at X, on X. In this case “as X”. (약에)
슬리다 = to be used
-려면 = if you want to do X (슬려면)
없다 = to not be found, not exist
As you might be able to guess, this is a proverb that means even things that don’t seem valuable have value in the right circumstances.
Meaning: “From a small creek…”
They can’t decide who should be first to answer it, so they move on, but the proverb is 개천에서 용 나다, which means, “From a small creek a dragon rises.”
개천 = a small stream or creek
-에서 = out of X (게천에서)
용 = a dragon
나다 = to rise, to appear
This proverb is used to refer to someone from humble beginnings making something great of themselves. Suga also uses this expression in the lyrics of Daechwita.
Prompt: 공든 탑이…
Meaning: “A tower built with great effort…”
V’s guess is …훨씬 쉽게 무너진다 which means “… collapses much more easily.”
Jin then seems to guess just …무너진다 which means “…collapses” and they give him the point, but I wonder if the PD misheard him, because they’ve put the correct full expression in the on-screen captions: 공든 탑이 무너지랴 which means, “Would a tower built with great effort collapse?”
It is somewhat common in Korean, instead of stating something like this, to ask it as a rhetorical question. For example, instead of saying something like, “No one would ever pay that much for a bag!” they would phrase it like, “Where is someone who would pay that much for a bag?” and the obvious implied answer is “nowhere”. The meaning is that no one on earth would pay that much for a bag.
So in this case, the question “Would a tower built with great effort collapse?” is rhetorical because the obvious answer is “no”, so the real meaning behind the question is, “A tower built with great effort doesn’t just collapse.”
The meaning of the proverb is that hard work always pays off.
공들다 = to require much labour or effort
탑 = a tower
무너지다 = to collapse
The next few questions they answer are all about abbreviated phrases, which here are technically called portmanteaus, but I’ll just stick with “abbreviations”. For a little more info on how Koreans regularly form these abbreviations, read my Run BTS Language Primer.
Anyway, I think they explain this first one pretty well in the actual episode.
Abbreviation: 박박 [bak bak]
I think it’s V who offers up the answer “The sound of you scratching your head.”
Korean has lots of little onomatopoeic words and mimetic words that we don’t have in English. One of them is 빡빡 [bbak bbak], which means “scrubbingly” or “scratchingly” sort of and that’s the word V is using in his guess. It sounds almost identical to 박박, except in 빡빡 you spit out those b sounds a little harder.
He also tries out the following:
박에 박는다, meaning to smash into a gourd or to hammer something into a gourd.
박 = gourd
박다 = to hammer, to drive a screw in, to smash into something
Jimin then gifts us with 박지민 보면 박수 절로 나온다, meaning “When you see Park Jimin, you can’t help but applaud.” The hangul spelling of Jimin’s surname is 박, and the Korean word for applause is 박수 [bak-soo].
The correct answer is that it’s an abbreviation of 대박 대박 [daebak daebak]. The word 대박 means “awesome”.
Timestamp 12:24 – 14:33
I think it’s Jin who says off-camera 당구 못 치는 사람, meaning “a person who is bad at pool”.
당구 = pool, billiards
못 = to not be good at X or to not be able to do X, X being the following verb
치다 = to hit, to strike, or to play a game that involves hitting or striking things
사람 = a person
j-hope starts off with 당장… which means “immediately” or “right away” and then trails off. Throughout this section, the word 당장 is repeated multiple times by multiple members.
Jimin ventures a guess with 당하고도 모르면 치 바보. This roughly translates to, “If after having that happen to you you still don’t get it, geez, what a fool.”
당하다 is a word used to indicate that something negative has happened to you. Many Korean verbs consist of a noun plus 하다, which means “to do”. But for most negative verbs, you can replace the 하다 with 당하다 to mean that that bad thing happened to you. For example 학대하다 means to abuse or mistreat, but if you say 학대 당하다 it means to be abused or mistreated.
모르다 = to not know
-면 = if/when X (모르면)
치 is basically a “tsk”, the equivalent of a disappointed tongue click
바보 = a fool, an idiot
j-hope asks if the 치 syllable refers to 치킨, which is a Konglish word that comes from the English word “chicken” but in Korean is used to refer specifically to fried chicken.
At 13:22ish j-hope offers up 당장 모여 치킨, or “Get together right now [for] fried chicken.”
모이다 = to gather, to get together
Suga tries 당장 모든 치킨 which isn’t a sentence, but means “Right now, all fried chicken.”
모든 = each, every, all
V’s next guess adds a word to j-hope’s latest guess, and creates 당장 모여 치킨 먹자, which means, “Let’s get together right now and eat fried chicken.”
먹다 = to eat
-자 = “Let’s do X” (먹자)
At 13:50 the PD gives them a hint, telling them that the first syllable, 당, stands for 당근. This opens up a whole new can of worms for translation.
당근 [dang-geun] means “carrot”
The adjective 당연하다, means to be natural, obvious, reasonable. It is often used in the conjugated form 당연하지 [dang-yeon-ha-ji] to mean “Obviously!” or “Of course!”
Because 당근 and 당연 sound so similar, it’s become a fun little gimmick, instead of 당연하지, to say 당근이지 [dang-geun-i-ji] which means, “It’s a carrot, of course.” This is sometimes further shortened to just 당근, so if someone asks a question to which the answer is “Obviously!” or “Of course!”, a Korean young person may respond with “Carrot!”
V tries again with 당근이지, 모두에게… Let’s translate the carrot part of that as “Obviously” instead, and therefore V’s sentence means, “Obviously, to everyone…”
모두 = all, everyone
-에게 = to X, for X
While V is thinking, RM says this in the background, and then Suga picks up on it and repeats it as a real guess: 당근 모이면 치킨이지. Again, he’s said carrot, but let’s ignore that and translate it as, “Obviously when you get together, it’s fried chicken.” (meaning that fried chicken is the way to go when you get together)
V’s response: “How do you get fried chicken when you gather carrots?!” Looks like he’s interpreting the carrot line literally.
The PD tells Suga that -면, or the word “when” is incorrect.
RM finally lands on the right answer before they move on: 당근 모든 치킨, which means “Carrot (or ‘obviously’) any fried chicken.”
In other words, after all that, the conclusion is that if someone asks you what kind of fried chicken they should order, you can respond with 당모치! to indicate that you’re okay with any kind of fried chicken. Sounds awfully specific to me, and I’m kind of on Jimin’s side when he goes on his little rant about full sentences at the end of this question.
Jimin guesses correctly with 알아서 잘 딱 깔끔하고 센스있게, which they’ve translated well as “nicely and neatly at your discretion”.
알다 = to know, but when you use it like this: 알아서 ______하다 it means to figure it out and do something on your own, to take care of something.
잘 = “well”, as in to do something well
딱 doesn’t have a translatable meaning, but adds a feeling of getting something just so, hitting the nail right on the head, etc, depending on the context.
깔끔하다 = to be clean, neat
-고 = X and (깔끔하고)
센스 is a Konglish word, that comes from the word “sense”.
있다 = to be found, to exist. Therefore the expression 센스 있다, or “to have sense” means to have discretion, to be reasonable, to be able to read the room and not do something unfitting, sort of.
Timestamp 15:35 – 16:51
V tries 주식 불가, which means “no stocks available”.
주식 = stocks
불가 is short for 불가능하다, which means “to be impossible”
V’s next guess is 주식이 불 타요, which means “My stocks are on fire.”
불 = fire
타다 = to burn, to blaze
Suga tries 주말 외출 불가, meaning “No weekend outing allowed.”
주말 = weekend
외출 = an outing
Jimin then tries 주말에 불러, meaning “Call me on the weekend.”
-에 = at X, on X (주말에)
부르다 = to call (aloud, not over the phone)
Suga tries 주문 불가, meaning “No order allowed”.
주문 = an order (at a restaurant or something, not like “That’s an order!”)
V tries 주기적으로 불 타요, meaning “it’s on fire periodically.”
주기적 = to be periodic
After the they’re told that it’s four syllables, structured 주__ 불__, V tries again with 주모 불나! which they’ve translated as “Aunt, there’s a fire”, but that’s not quite correct. 주모 actually means a woman who serves alcohol at a bar. V’s sentence could be translated as “Barmaid, there’s a fire!” or “The barmaid’s on fire!” Jin has clearly interpreted it as the latter, since his actual reply is “Dude, why would you set the barmaid on fire?”
Suga takes one last crack at it with 주거 불가, meaning “no habitation” or “inhabitable”.
주거 = the act of dwelling or habitation.
Jin finally gives them the correct answer, which is 주소 불러, meaning “Tell me your address.”
주소 = an address.
Timestamp 16:56 – 17:58
V starts off with 오늘 놀면… meaning “If you play today…” but doesn’t get to finish, because he’s already wrong.
오늘 = today
놀다 = to play
-면 = if/when X (놀면)
Jin provides the hint that the 오 of the first syllable is an “oh” of amazement. Then RM basically accidentally spits out the answer with 오! 놀 잘 아는 놈 as he’s thinking aloud, and makes the greatest face I’ve ever seen when he realizes what he’s just done.
Suga finishes RM’s sentence to come up with the correct answer, which is 오! 놀 줄 아는 놈인가? This translates to, “Oh! Is this someone who knows how to play?” The closer, but less literal meaning is what they’ve got in the subs. It’s referring to someone who knows how to have a good time. This is another example of Korean using a question to state something that isn’t really a question.
줄 알다 = to know how to do X (X being the preceding word)
놈 = a guy, a person
-인가 = one of several ways to form a question
Suga nails it with 점심 메뉴 추천, meaning, “lunch recommendations”
점심 = lunch
메뉴 = menu. This doesn’t refer to a physical menu like you see in a restaurant, but to the food you’re eating.
추천 = a recommendation
Prompt: 다 된 죽에…
Meaning: “Into nearly cooked porridge…”
다 = all, completely (when used with 되다 like this, it means “nearly”)
되다 = means “to become”, but in this context it would mean for the porridge to be done, ready to eat
죽 = porridge
-에 = in X, on X, to X (죽에)
After accidentally saying 밥 (rice) instead of 죽 (porridge), Jimin corrects himself and guesses 다 된 죽에 재 뿌린다 which means, “sprinkling ash onto nearly cooked porridge”
재 = ash.
뿌리다 = to sprinkle
He’s incorrect. As Jin informs us, he’s confused this expression with the expression 다 된 밥에 재 뿌린다, which means “sprinkling ash onto nearly cooked rice” and means to ruin a perfectly good thing.
V tries the guess 다 된 죽에 간장 한 스푼, which means, “One spoon of soy sauce in nearly cooked porridge.”
간장 = soy sauce
한 = one
스푼 = a spoon
In response to this, RM alters the phrase from the second-last abbreviation they solved, changing it to 오, 먹을 줄 아는 놈인가? meaning “Oh, is this someone who knows how to eat?” Jung Kook takes that and abbreviates it to 오먹아놈, and they all trade that back and forth for a minute.
At 19:27 RM gives the correct answer: 다 된 죽에 코 빠뜨린다, which means to let your nose drip into nearly cooked porridge. As the subtitles tell us, it means to ruin something that’s basically a done deal, by making one poor judgment call.
코 = a nose
빠뜨리다 = to drop, to let something fall
When Suga responds to this with his line about how it’s okay to just eat a bit of snot, RM throws their newly coined phrase back at him again: 오 좀 먹을 줄 아는 놈인가?, meaning “Oh, is this someone who knows how to eat?”
Prompt: 까마귀 날자…
Meaning: “When the crow flies…”
Jimin guesses it correctly right away: 까마귀 날자 배 떨어진다, meaning “When the crow flies, the pear falls.”
까마귀 = a crow
날다 = to fly
-자 = once X happens (날자)
배 = a pear
떨어지다 = to fall, to drop
This expression means that just because of coincidental timing, you are unfairly suspected of something that you had nothing to do with.
Prompt: 황소 뒷걸음질 치다가…
Meaning: “The bull backs up, and…”
Jimin’s guess: 황소 뒷걸음질 치다가 발차기 맞으면 진짜 아파요, 여러분.
Meaning: “If a bull backs ups and you get kicked, it really hurts, you guys!”
황소 = a bull
뒷걸음질 = the act of stepping backwards
치다 = to strike, to do
발차기 = a kick
진짜 = really, seriously
아프다 = to hurt
여러분 = everyone, you guys
V whips out his farming knowledge to muse 황소 뒷걸음치면 이거 앉던데 which means, “When a bull backs up, it sits down.”
Eventually they abandon this one, but the full expression is 황소 뒷걸음질 치다가 쥐를 잡게 된다 which means, “A bull backs up and accidentally nabs a rat.” It means to accidentally accomplish something good while doing something else.
쥐 = a rat
-게 되다 = to end up doing X, but sort of as though doing X wasn’t really the original intention.
V suggests playing 훈미정음. 훈미정음 is an exercise where they are given two letters, and have to come up with words whose syllables begin with those letters. For example, in English you could be given the letters “bs” and come up “bedskirt”, “bullshit”, “bassoon”, etc.
Puzzle 1: ㄱ ㄴ
ㄱ can roughly be associated with our English G sound, and ㄴ with our N sound.
Jimin misunderstands what they’re doing, and instead of making words using those letters, he spits out different letters instead. I have no idea what game he thinks they’re playing. He then asks if they’re doing the 초성 game. 초성 means the first letter or first sound of a syllable in the Korean language.
Puzzle 1 goes unsolved.
Puzzle 2: ㄷ ㅈ
ㄷ can roughly be associated with our English D sound, and ㅈ with our J sound.
V answers with 독종 [dog-jong], which means “tenacity”, and 도전 [do-jeon], which means a challenge, or the act of undertaking a challenge.
Still shaky on the rules, Jimin offers 된장 [dwaen-jang], which means “soybean paste”. It’s a correct answer, but V already won this round, so they move on.
Puzzle 3: ㅍ ㅁ
ㅍ makes a P sound, and ㅁ makes an M sound.
As V shouts his name, he jumbles his words and accidentally creates a new name for himself. Here’s how:
Since there’s no V sound in Korean, V’s stage name is spelled 뷔 [bwi]. The name of the letter ㅁ is 미음 [mi-eum]. V tries to say 뷔, but the letter 미음 pops out with it, resulting in 비음 [bi-eum].
V’s answers are 피망 [pi-mang], which means “bell peppers”, and 퓨마 [pyoo-ma], which is obviously a puma.
In the background, RM suggests “Post Malone”, since his first name would start with ㅍ and his last name with ㅁ if you were to spell his name in hangul.