Run BTS Episode 155

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 155.

English title: Finale Part 2

Korean title: 피날레 2

Watch it here:

Timestamp 1:26

In one of the quiz questions, they refer to the kkakdugi (깍두기) that Jung Kook and j-hope made in episode 35. 깍두기 is diced radish kimchi. You can read more about it here.

Timestamp 3:47

The Korean title of the song “Paradise” is 낙원 [nag-weon]. To act it out, RM has split it in half and acted out each syllable on its own.

The word 낙 refers to falling, so he throws himself to the floor.

He then holds up a finger to represent the English word “one”, which sounds very much like 원.

Timestamp 4:38

Jipsin (짚신) are shoes made of straw that were worn in the Joseon period, mostly by the common and lower classes. You can read more here.

짚 = straw

신 = shoes

Timestamp 14:36

j-hope mishears the word “bizarre” as “barbell”, because they sound similar in Korean.

엽기 [yeob-gi] = “bizareness”, which of course is not a real English word

역기 [yeog-gi] = a barbell

Timestamp 18:38

The prompt Jin and Yoongi have been given for their photo jump is 해탈. Weverse translates it as “given up”. It is commonly used this way too, but the actual original meaning of 해탈 is “nirvana“. When they show the photo, they caption it 해탈의 경지, which Weverse translates as “As done as can be”, but actually means “Nirvana attained”. This is why when RM looks at the picture he says, “I saw a monk today”.

Timestamp 24:59

Since RM has learned that his forbidden word is 엉덩이 [eong-deong-ee], meaning “butt”, he tries to play it safe by saying 응덩이 [eung-deong-ee] instead. This is not a word.

Timestamp 25:10

RM’s argument involves the word 덩이 [deong-ee], which makes up the last two syllables of the word “butt” in Korean. On its own, 덩이 means a lump, or a mass of something. He argues that a single watermelon is called a 덩이, and a snowball is called a 눈덩이 (눈 = snow), so therefore an 엉덩이 is a single thing, not two things.

Timestamp 26:59

As they continue to argue over whether or not the word 덩이 always refers to just one lump of something, RM argues that if 엉덩이 referred to only 1 buttcheek, then a whole butt would be called 쌍덩이. 쌍 means a pair, a couple. For example, the letter ㅅ is called 시읏 [shi-eut], but the letter ㅆ is called 쌍시읏 [ssang-shi-eut], meaning “double shi-eut”.

Other words that have 쌍 in them:

쌍둥이 = twins

쌍꺼풀 = double eyelids

쌍날 = a double-edged blade

Timestamp 29:05

Master debater RM is at it again. This time he argues that the earth, being one single thing, is described as round. In Korean, “round” is 둥근 [doong-geun]. He then points out that the gluteus in Korean is 둔근 [doon-geun], which sounds very similar to “round”, therefore it should likewise be seen as a single entity.

V is very moved by this nonsense argument, so Jin reminds him at 29:34 that the first syllable in 둔근 and 둥근 are not actually the same.

Timestamp 31:24

Just like the guys did last episode, in this episode Suga talks about the meaning of the comma the staff have placed after the word “Run BTS” on their cue cards.

The word for “comma” in Korean is 쉼표, which actually means “rest mark”. Suga points out that it’s a comma, not a period. The Korean word for “period” is 마침표, and it literally means, “ending mark”.

쉼 = rest

표 = a mark, a sign

마치다 = to finish, to complete. The noun form is 마침.

Timestamp 32:42

One of the mini games they play is muk-jji-ppa, which is a variation of rock paper scissors. You can learn how it’s played here.

Timestamp 34:32

V accidentally addresses j-hope in 반말 (casual language), and j-hope calls him out on it.

Age plays a huge role in Korean culture and social hierarchy, and it is considered extremely rude to speak to someone born before your birthyear in casual language without their express permission.

Depending on whether you’re speaking in casual language or respectful language, there are different words for “I/me” and “you”. In casual language, “I/me” = 나 and “you” = 너. In respectful language, “I/me” = “저”, though if you are quite close with the person you’re speaking to, you can refer to yourself as 나. The logic is that it’s not a problem if you speak about yourself without extra respect, you just shouldn’t speak about others that way.

However, the word “you” is quite complicated. There is a high-respect form of the word “you”. That word is 당신, but you must be very careful about using it. In fact, typically, the word “you” doesn’t get used at all when speaking in high respect. In most cases you would use the title or designation of the person you’re speaking to instead of the word “you”. For example, when speaking to your teacher, you’d say “Teacher said the test wasn’t until next week.” instead of “You said the test wasn’t until next week.” When speaking to your older brother (if you’re a guy), you’d say “Does hyung want some breakfast?”

To get really deep into this, in fact, the Korean language tends to drop pronouns altogether, so commonly you might say the person’s title or designation, and then leave pronouns out of the sentence completely, because it’s obvious who you’re talking about. Let’s reword the two examples I just gave:

“Teacher, [you] said the test wasn’t until next week.”

“Hyung, [you] want some breakfast?”

Anyway, V and j-hope are being goofy together, and I think they may even be quoting something that was originally in casual language, and V gets caught up in the moment and says 너 instead of 형 to j-hope. j-hope calls him out on it, but not angrily, because he knows V wasn’t doing it to be disrespectful, and V immediately apologizes.

This gives us just a taste of how important this concept of age and respect is in Korean culture, when a relationship between two guys as close as V and j-hope still requires that, as the younger of the pair, V maintain that respectful tone in the way he addresses j-hope.

Timestamp 40:14

Just as ARMY wrote acrostic poems and the staff put them all over the house for BTS to look at last episode, now the guys themselves are writing acrostic poems.

A Korean acrostic poem works a little differently than an English one. Because the hangul writing system separates letters into syllables, its acrostic poems also do the same. In English, an acrostic poem involves writing all the letters in a word vertically and then next to each letter, writing a word that begins with that letter. Usually it’s no more than a single word. For example:

B ring

T he

S oul

In Korean, you write syllables vertically down the left, not individual letters. Then a word or sentence, or even just part of a sentence is created starting with each syllable. The final result may be one logical flowing sentence or paragraph, where in English the words written for each letter are often not connected to one another (though in my example, they are).

The name for this kind of poem in Korean is __행시.

행 = line

시 = poem.

The blank is filled with however many syllables the original word is.

In this case, they’re making an acrostic poem with 달려라 방탄 쉼, (Run BTS Rest), so it would be called a 육행시, or “6 line poem”. 육 = 6.

I won’t break down the linguistics of each poem. If your Korean is advanced enough that you’d get something out of the experience of reading them in Korean, you can use the Weverse Korean subs. I’ll keep it high-level here.

Most of the guys bend the rules a little in their poems by occasionally using words that sound very similar to the given syllable rather than actually using the given syllable. There are a few cases of 여 [yeo] instead of 려 [lyeo], for example, and a case or two of 나 [na] or 아 [a] being used where it should be 라 [ra].

Jin’s ridiculous fart poem baffles the guys for a moment because he says just half of the word “carbon dioxide” and then pauses. He ends his 방 line with 이산화, which is only half a word and confuses RM, but j-hope quickly catches on to what he is doing and prompts him with 탄 so he can finish the word, which he has split between two lines: 이산화탄소. This means “carbon dioxide”.

At 45:20 the guys are all amazed by Suga’s fakeout in his poem with “‘That’s the end,’ …. is what I almost said.” It is pretty slick, but it’s even more slick in Korean, because due to sentence structure, he didn’t have to reorder the sentence at all to make it work.

“I _____ almost said.” is the correct way to order the sentence that, in English, we would order as “I almost said _____.” Plus, in Korean, pronouns are usually dropped, so “‘That’s the end,’ almost said” is the correct way to say “I almost said, “that’s the end.'”.

Run BTS episode 155 Korean wordplay and puns explained