Korean Texting (for 2022) // 47 Slang Terms for Texting From ㅋㅋ to ㄱㅅ 🇰🇷

Korean Texting, a Beginner’s Guide

Just made friends online and need to learn more about Korean Texting?

Did someone text you “ㄱㅅ”, “ㅇㅇ”, or even “OTL” and you have no idea what that means?

You’re in the right place!

Here you’ll learn more about how to text with a Korean keyboard, what abbreviations and slang you should use, and we’ll even review your Hangul skills.

As newcomers in the Korean language community, learning how to type in Korean can be kind of overwhelming as it involves a completely different alphabet, but we’ve got your back!

Jump to the section you’d like to more about, and make sure to check out our Flexi Classes for a 7 Day Free Trial of our Online Korean Courses if you haven’t signed up already.

Korean Texting | Korean Alphabet Review

Korean Texting | Using a Korean Keyboard

Korean Texting | Text Slangs

Korean Texting | Number Slangs

Korean Texting | Emoticons

Korean Texting | Hangul Review

First things first.

You won’t be able to text in Korean if you don’t know about Hangul!

Here’s a quick recap of the Korean Alphabet, if you’re already a master of Hangul, you can directly skip to the next chapter.

Are you just starting out with Korean?

Check out the Full Guide to Hangul here, and learn how to read the Korean alphabet step by step.

Now, for the Hangul recap:

HangulSoundExample WordEnglish
g/k가방 (ka bang)Bag
n노래 (no rae)Song
d/t대한민국 (dae han min gug)South Korea
l/r라면 (ra myeon)Ramen
m엄마 (eom ma)Mum
p/b밥 (bap)Banana
s사과 (sa gwa)Apple
silent “ng”방 (bang)Room
j지도 (ji do)Map
ch친구 (chin gu)Friend
k커피 (ko pi)Coffee
t토마토 (to ma to)Tomato
p팔 (pal)Arm
h하늘 (ha neul)Sky
a차 (cha)Car
ya약속 (yak sok)Promise
eo버스 (bo sseu)Bus
yeo여자 (yo ja)Woman
o봄 (bom)Spring
yo요리사 (yo li sa)Cook/Chef
u문 (mun)Door
yu휴가 (hyu ga)Holidays
eu아이스크림 (ah e seu keu lim)Ice Cream
i아이 (a i)Child
kk꿀 (kkul)Honey
tt딸 (ddal)Daughter
pp아빠 (appa)Dad
ss쑥 (ssuk)Mugwort (Korean Plant)
ts짜장면 (jja jang myeon)Black Bean Noodles
ae개미 (kae mi)Ant
yae얘기 (yae gi)Story
e가게 (ka ge)Store
ye시계 (si gye)Watch
wa사과 (sa gwa)Apple
wae돼지 (dwae ji)Pork
oe괴물 (goe mul)Monster
weo고마워 (go ma weo)Thank You
wae외삼촌 (oe sam chon)Uncle
wi귀 (gwi)Ear
ui의사 (ui sa)Doctor

Then to complete the line-up the Complex Consonants:

  • ㄳ gs [g] – We only pronounce the [g] sound
  • ㄵ nj [nj] – We pronounce it as [nj]
  • ㄶ nh [nh] – We pronounce it as [nh]
  • ㄺ lg [g] – We only pronounce the [g] sound
  • ㄻ lm [m] – We only pronounce the [m] sound
  • ㄼ lb [b] – We only pronounce the [b] sound
  • ㄽ ls [s] – We only pronounce the [s] sound
  • ㄾ lt [t] – We only pronounce the [t] sound
  • ㄿ lp [p] – We only pronounce the [p] sound
  • ㅀ lh [h] – We only pronounce the [h] sound
  • ㅄ ps [p] – We only pronounce the [p] sound
The Korean Alphabet | A Complete and Definitive Guide to Hangul 한글 Thumbnail

The Korean Alphabet | A Complete and Definitive Guide to Hangul 한글

Learning Korean? Need to understand the Korean Alphabet? This complete guide will tell you everything about the 14 consonant letters and 10 vowels of Hangul

Korean Texting | Using a Korean Keyboard

Let’s start with the serious stuff.

We’re not going to lie to you, learning how to use a Korean keyboard is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s not the hardest either.

Do you remember when you first started using a laptop and had to look for each letters to type?

It will be the same thing with a Korean keyboard, you’ll need some time to get used to it and learn the placement of each letter.

The simple thing about the Korean keyboard is that all you do is select the consonant and vowel you want using simply the corresponding keys.

The difficult thing is that the corresponding keys are in entirely different positions to a normal QWERTY keyboard.

However, it does kind of make sense once you look at the positioning of the vowels and consonants, so it makes it pretty simple to get used to… 

After you’ve got used to it (further tips here) you just need to memorise where the punctuation is too.

From then on, it’s pretty simple! 

WANT MORE? | Check out our Full Guide to the Korean Keyboard here for more details about keyboards for Windows & IOS, as well as tips and tricks to make it an easier process for you!

List of Korean Text Slang

Now the fun part!

This is probably the part you’ve been looking for from the beginning!

Here’s a list of Korean Text Slang used daily in South Korea, with explanations when needed.

Let us know in the comments if you already knew some of them!

Make sure to check the explanations of each slang term below to also get their variations.

SlangFull wordMeaning
ㅋㅋ크크LOL
ㅎㅎㅎ하하하Hahaha / hihihi
ㅍㅎㅎ푸하하LMAO
ㅉㅉ쯧쯧Tsk, tsk
ㅇㅇYes
ㅇㅈ인정Agreed
ㅇㅋ오케이OK
ㅇㅋㄷㅋ오키도키Okey-dokey
ㄴㄴ노노No
ㅈㅅ죄송Sorry
ㄱㅅ감사Thanks
ㅎㅇ하이Hi
ㅂㅂ바이바이Bye bye
ㄱㄱ고고Let’s go
ㅊㅋ축하해요Congrats
ㅅㅇㅊㅋ생일축하해Happy birthday
ㄱ ㅊ괜찮아It’s ok
ㅅㄱ수고하세요Good work
ㅇ ㄷ어디Where
어케어떻게How
ㅇ?왜?Why
ㅁㄹ몰라IDK
ㄹㄷ레디Ready
ㅇㄴ인남Waking up
ㅁㅊ미친Crazy
ㅎㄹWhat the..
ㄷㄷ덜덜Expresses fear
ㅅㅂ시발F!ck
ㄲㅈ꺼져Go away
ㄷㅊ닥쳐Shut up
ㄷㅈㄹ뒤질래Wanna die?

ㅋㅋ (sound of laughter)

This slang comes from 크크 (kuh-kuh).

The English equivalent would be “LOL” or “hahaha”.

You can add as many ㅋ as you’d like, know that the more ㅋ there are, the funnier you find the situation or joke.

ㅎㅎㅎ (hahaha)

Korean Texting

This slang comes from 하하하 (ha-ha-ha) or 히히히 (hi-hi-hi).

It is pretty much the same as ㅋㅋ, but perhaps indicates a softer tone, or laugh. 

Again, you can add as many ㅎ you’d like, knowing that the more you include, the funnier you think the conversation is.

ㅍㅎㅎ (puhaha)

This slang comes from the sound of laughing out loud 푸하하, which is stronger than ㅋㅋ and ㅎㅎ.

It shows a genuine reaction to something you find extremely funny, like LMAO in English.

ㅉㅉ (tsk tsk)

This slang is short for 쯧쯧 (jjeutjjeut) meaning “tsk tsk”.

It is used to express disapproval or annoyance over something that just happened, or that someone did.

ㅇㅇ (yes)

ㅇㅇ is the abbreviated version of 응 (to pronounce “eung”, which is an informal way of saying “yes.” 

네 is another informal, but more proper way to say Yes in Korean.

The use of ㅇㅇ is even more informal and sounds friendlier.

ㅇㅋ (OK)

This slang comes from the English work OK, which is written 오케이 (o-keh-e) in Korean.

ㅇㅋ is taken from the first two syllables of the transliterated word, and means the same thing in English.

Easy!

ㅇㅈ (agreed)

ㅇㅈ is very similar in meaning to ㅇㅋ and ㅇㅇ but is used in a different context.

ㅇㅈ comes from 인정 (in-jeong), which literally means to admit, to recognise. It is then used to agree with someone else’s statement.

It can also be used as a question “ㅇㅈ?” to ask the approval, agreement of someone.

ㅇㅋㄷㅋ (okey-dokey)

ㅇㅋㄷㅋ or in full letters, 오키도키 (o-ki-do-ki) is the cute version of ㅇㅋ.

ㄴㄴ (no no)

This slang comes from 노노 (no-no), which is a transliteration of the English words “no no.”

It simply means no, and negates a statement.

ㅈㅅ (sorry)

ㅈㅅ is short for 죄송 (joesong) which means “sorry”.

This is a very informal way to apologise for something.

The proper, and more formal way would be 죄송합니다 (formal high) or 죄송해요 (informal high).

ㄱㅅ (thanks)

Korean Texting

This slang comes 감사 (gahm-sa), this is an informal way of saying thank you.

The full word and more formal way to thank someone is 감사합니다 (formal high) or 고마워요 (informal).

BONUS || There is a ‘cute version’ for saying thanks: 고마웡 (go-ma-woong). Add “~” behind to emphasise the cuteness, as it is read as if you were dragging the last sound.

ㅎㅇ (hi)

This slang comes from the transliteration of the English word “Hi”, 하이 (ha-ee) in Korean.

A nice and short way to greet your friends!

ㅂㅂ/ㅃㅃ (bye-bye)

This slang comes from the transliteration of “Bye-bye” in Korean, 바이바이 (ba-ee ba-ee), with the cuter version 빠이빠이 (ppai-ppai).

Other variations you can use:

  • ㅂㅇ
  • ㅂㅇㅂㅇ
  • ㅂㅂ
  • ㅂ2ㅂ2
  • ㅂ2

Why two, you might ask?

“이” also means “two” in Korean so people just replace this syllable with the number!

End your conversation with either one of these slang words next time!

Korean Numbers // Discover the Two Numbering Systems Used (with Quiz) Thumbnail

Korean Numbers // Discover the Two Numbering Systems Used (with Quiz)

There are two numbering systems in Korean. Native and Sino-Korean numbers. Both are not used in the same instances. We’ll teach you when to use them.

ㄱㄱ (let’s go)

This slang comes from 고고 (go-go), which is a way to nudge someone to get out or do something.

ㅊㅋ (congrats)

Korean Texting

This slang comes from 축하해요 (chuk-ha-hae-yo), which means “Congratulations”.

축하 is another informal and common way to congratulate friends on something, which leads us to the following slang variation:

  • ㅊㅋㅊㅋ, which short for 축하축하! (chukachuka). Don’t forget to use it with an exclamation mark!

ㅅㅇㅊㅋ (happy birthday)

ㅅㅇㅊㅋ comes from “생일축하해” (saeng-il-chuk-ha-hae), meaning “Happy Birthday” in Korean.

A variation of this Korean text slang you can use is 생일ㅊㅋ.

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Korean Birthday Traditions | A Full Guide to Special Birthdays & Wishes

Little did you know, there exist many Korean birthday traditions. And were you aware that Korean people do not age on their birthday? Intriguing!

ㄱㅊ (it’s ok)

This slang comes from 괜찮아 (kwaen-chan-a), meaning “It’s ok” in Korean.

It is similar to the way you would use “k” to respond to someone in English.

ㅅㄱ (good work)

This slang comes from 수고하세요 (su-go-ha-se-yo), which means “Good work” in English.

It is commonly used with friends or colleagues at the end of a work day.

ㅁㄹ (I don’t know)

This slang comes from 몰라 (mol-la), which means “I don’t know”.

In English the equivalent would be “idk”, short for I don’t know.

ㄹㄷ (ready)

This slang comes from the transliteration of “Ready” in Korean, 레디 (redi).

It is usually used to ask the other person if they are ready to go, or do something.

ㅇㄷ (where)

This slang comes from 어디 (eo-di), meaning “Where” in English.

It is used to ask the other person where they are, or where is something.

ㅇ? (why?)

This slang is the short form of 왜?, which means “Why?” in English.

It’s that simple.

 어케 (How)

어케 is the short version of 어떻게 (eotteoke).

It means “How” in English.

ㅇㄴ (waking up)

This slang comes from the word 인남 (innam), which is itself an abbreviation for 일어나다 (ireonada), the verb for “To wake up”.

It is used to express the fact we just woke up, and perhaps explain why we took so long to text back!

ㅁㅊ (crazy)

ㅁㅊ is short for 미친 (michin), which means “Crazy” in English.

It is used when the other person speaking says something that doesn’t make any sense or is exaggerated.

잼게 (have fun)

Another abbreviated word! This one comes from 재미있게 (jae-mi-it-ge), meaning “Having fun” in English.

This one has an actual antonym: 노잼, meaning “no fun”.

BTS Seoul Tour || 22 Places ARMYs Must Visit (in 2022) Thumbnail

BTS Seoul Tour || 22 Places ARMYs Must Visit (in 2022)

Make the most of your trip to South Korea and start your BTS Seoul Tour with our list of places to visit! All maps are included for your convenience.

헉! (OMG)

This slang, 헉 (huk) comes from the sound one makes when surprised or shocked about something.

The English slang OMG would be the best equivalent, it can also convey the feeling of “no way” or “wow!”.

ㅎㄹ (What the..)

ㅎㄹ is short for 헐 (heol), which is an expression of disappointment or surprise.

The meaning is similar to 헉! .

ㄷㄷ (expression of fear)

This slang comes from 덜덜 (deol-deol), meaning “shivering”.

It is used to express fear or shock, something that might give you the creeps.

ㅇㅈㄴ / OTL (defeated)

This slang is a special one, as it is not a word but rather an emoticon.

The shape of the letters, both Korean or Latin, represent a kneeling person!

  • The head (ㅇ or O) is down
  • The torso and arms to the ground (ㅈ or T)
  • The legs are bent kneeling (ㄴ or N)

Using this slang expresses a sense of defeat and disappointment, in a big way.

WANT MORE? | Check the next chapter for more emoticons.

Korean Texting

BONUS // SWEAR WORDS

We cannot finish this chapter without mentioning a couple Korean swear words for texting!

  • ㅅㅂ = 시발 (f!ck)
  • ㄲㅈ = 꺼져 (go away)
  • ㄷㅊ = 닥쳐 (shut up)
  • ㄷㅈㄹ = 뒤질래 (wanna die?)
  • ㅗ = looks like a middle finger
  • ㅗ ㅗ = two middle fingers

Be mindful when using these though of course…

Korean Number Slang

Many languages across the world use this kind of text code, so it is not surprising the same is true in Korean.

Try to use these next time you text a friend:

Number SlangMeaningOriginalExplanations
하2Hi하이하 is pronounced “ha”
2 is 이 “ee” in Korean
감4Thank you감사4 is pronounced 사 in Korean
바2Bye바이바 is pronounced “ba”
2 is 이 “ee” in Korean
밥5Stupid바보바 is pronounced “ba”
5 is 오 (o) in Korean
미5I hate you미워미 is pronounced “mi”
5 is 오 (o) in Korean
700Cute귀여워Looks like ㄱㅇㅇ, which is short for 귀여워 (gwi-yeo-wo), cute
1004Angel천사1000 is 천 (cheon)
4 is 사 (sa) four
8282Do it quickly빨리빨리8 is 팔 (pal)
2 is 이 (i)
10C미Diligently열심히10 is 열 (yeol)
C is pronounced 씨
미 is pronounced mi
091012Study hard공부 열심히 해0 is 공 (gong)
9 is 구 (gu)
10 is 열 (yeol)
12 is 십이 (sibi)

It’s not just Korean as we mentioned above. Fancy learning more? Check out these Chinese Number Slang terms.

Korean Emoticons

Ever seen these super cute faces made with Hangul letters?

They are called emoticons, and are a fantastic way to express your feelings, just like you would do with emojis.

There are a LOT of them, so we chose to list only those that include Korean letters.

Smiling Faces

Let’s start with the happy ones first! All of these emoticons can be created with the Korean keyboard.

  • ^ㅇ^
  • ^ㅂ^
  • ‘ㅂ’
  • (^ㅇ^)
  • *(^ㅇ^)*

Crying Eyes

The vowels ㅠ (yu) and ㅜ (u) looks like a closed eyelid with tears streaming, it is easy to use them to express sadness.

  • ㅠㅠ
  • ㅜㅜ
  • ㅠ_ㅠ
  • ㅜ_ㅜ
  • ㅜ.ㅜ
  • ;ㅅ;

Shocked Faces

As you’ll have seen we have a square and a circle shaped letter in the Hangul Alphabet. Creating faces with them is simple!

These Korean emoticons express shock, amazement or surprise:

  • ㅇㅁㅇ
  • ㅇㅅㅇ
  • ㅁㅅㅁ

Disgusted Face

This is an all time favourite, the disgusted/vomiting face.

We’ve seen the ㅠ (yu) letter can represent a closed eyelid with tears, but how about a drooling mouth?!

You’ll see it better like this:

 0ㅠ0

Remember OTL from before? The person kneeling face down? Here he is vomiting as well:

요TL

Once you see it, you cannot unsee it.

And we come to the end of our article about Korean Texting and Korean Text Slang, you are now all set to start typing Korean to your friends!

Make sure to check out our Korean Courses to speed up your progress:

FAQ’s

How do you text in Korean?

Korean texting is not all that different from other countries.

The goal being to convey your message in the shortest way possible. This involves text slang of course!

Korean Text Slang are words you already know, but written in a shorter form or with letters only.

Some examples:

ㅋㅋ (kk) is a laughing sound

ㅇㅋ means ok, and comes from 오케이

ㅈㅅ means sorry, and comes from 죄송

ㄱㅅ means thank you, and comes from 감사

What are some examples of Korean Text Slang?

The most common Korean text slang you’ll encounter:

ㅋㅋ (kk) is a laughing sound

ㅇㅋ means ok, and comes from 오케이

ㅈㅅ means sorry, and comes from 죄송

ㄱㅅ means thank you, and comes from 감사

ㅊㅋ means congrats, and comes from 축하해요

ㅇ? means why?, and comes from 왜?

Make sure to check out our list for many more Korean slang.

What is the most used Korean messaging app?

Koreans usually all use Kakaotalk to text each other.

Download on the Google Play Store.

Download on the Apple Store.

What does ㅠ mean in Korean texting?

The letter ㅠ alone in Korean texting means to cry.

Indeed, the vowels ㅠ (yu) and ㅜ (u) looks like a closed eyelid with tears streaming, it is easy to use them to express sadness.

What is the equivalent of LOL in Korean texting?

The equivalent of LOL in Korean text slang would be ㅋㅋ.

Add as many ㅋ as you want the funnier you think something is.

What does 700 mean in Korean texting?

700 looks like ㄱㅇㅇ, which is short for 귀여워 (gwi-yeo-wo), meaning “cute”.

Koreans use many number slangs, such as 8282 (do it quickly) or 091012 (study hard).

Want More From LTL?

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We offer a 7 day free trial to all online students where you can study Korean 24/7.

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We even offer incredible homestay experiences in Seoul too.

To top it all off, it certainly doesn’t just end with Korean, in fact we also teach: 

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