8 Romantic Korean Phrases You Must Know for Valentine’s Day!

While young Koreans may not use the terms “Netflix and chill” or “OTP” to describe their love lives, they definitely have their own of-the-moment slang that they use to talk about their boyfriends, girlfriends, or dating situation. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, how about learning some romantic lingo? Let’s check them out below!

Mil-dang (밀당)


Mil-da (밀다, to push) + dang-gi-da (당기다, to pull)

Literally means “the push and pull of a relationship.” “Mil-dang” is used to indicate the situation when one person pretends that s/he is less interested in you than s/he really is. It mainly refers to a way of making you more interested in him/her at the start of a romantic relationship. The appropriate English counterpart would be “to play hard to get.”

Sseom ta-da (썸 타다)


Sseom-dding (썸띵, something) + ta-da (타다, to ride)

“Sseom ta-da” is used to describe the situation when there is something going on and good chemistry with a girl/guy, but s/he is not quite your girlfriend or boyfriend yet!

Mo-tae solo (모태 솔로)

Mo-tae (모태, mother’s womb) + solo (솔로, solo)

“Mo-tae solo” is a word that combines “mother’s womb” with “solo.” It is used to indicate someone who has never dated and has not been in a relationship… since coming out of the mother’s womb. (That’s fine, we say! Enjoy your time as a single lady or man!)

Sing-koong-ha-da (심쿵하다)

Sim-jang (심장, heart) + koong (쿵, thump-thump, the sound your heart makes as it beats) + ha-da (하다, to do)

Indicates the situation when someone or something is attractive enough to make your heart beat faster. Think about your bias. That’s the feeling!

Poom-jeol-nyeo (품절녀) / Poom-jeol-nam (품절남)

Poom-jeol (품절, sold-out) + nyeo (녀, woman)/nam (남, man)

Literally mean “sold-out woman” and “sold-out man.” They refer to a person who has just got married, become a wife or husband, and therefore are off the market for dating or marriage. So sad!

Bol-mae (볼매)

Bol-su-rok (볼수록, the more you see/meet) + mae-ryeok eet-neun (매력 있는, more and more attractive)

Haven’t you ever met someone who didn’t look attractive and charming at first, but becomes more attractive as you get to know him/her? That person is definitely bol-mae.

Hoon-nyeo (훈녀) / Hoon-nam (훈남)

Hoon-hoon-han (훈훈한, heartwarming, kind) + yeo-ja (여자, woman)/nam-ja (남자, man)

Literally means the charming wo/man who makes your heart warm. Usually, people who are referred to as hoon-nyeo/hoon-nam are more attractive and kind as opposed to being physically good-looking.

Dol-sing-nyeo (돌싱녀) / Dol-sing-nam (돌싱남)


Dol-ah-on (돌아온, coming back) + sin-geul (싱글, single) + yeo-ja (여자, woman)/nam-ja (남자, man)

Refers to a divorced woman and man, respectively.

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