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Old-School Korean Puns for Beginners

Puns were a very popular and were commonly used back in the day. Today, puns may have lost a bit of edge but they are still used today. Today, puns are referred to as ‘ajae gag’, (‘ajae’ / 아재, meaning old man) since they aren’t as common with today’s youth. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ignore their meanings 🙂
Korean puns are based on two different definitions of a word (double meaning), and can be a great learning tool when you are practicing your Korean vocabulary. Below are 2 examples of Korean puns for beginners. 

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Who is the Poorest King in the World?


Q: 세상에서 가장 가난한 왕은? [Sae-sang-eh-suh ka-jang ka-nan-han wang-un?]

    Who is the poorest king in the world?

A: 최저임금 [Chae-juh im-kum]

    Minimum wage

Im-kum has two meanings: King and wage.

Chae-juh-im-kum can mean both ‘the lowest (최저 [Chae-juh]) king’, or ‘lowest/minimum wage’.  

King chess piece

What is the Most Expensive Bird?


Q: 세상에서 가장 비싼 새는? [Sae-sang-eh-suh ga-jang bi-ssan sae-nun?]

    What is the most expensive bird?

A: 백조 [Baek-jo]

    A swan

Baek-jo can mean two different things: it can mean ‘swan’, but it can also mean ‘one hundred trillion’. Baek means ‘a hundred’, and Jo means ‘a trillion’. 

Paper swan

Korean Puns and More on LingQ

Do you feel like you have mastered the art of Korean puns, and have become a true ajae? Just kidding!

The examples I’ve shown you are relatively easy but are great to give your Korean comedic skills a kick start.

Speaking of easy, LingQ has a ton of easy-to-follow Korean content to help you study. There are hundreds of hours of guided courses that fall under a variety of topics.

Learn Korean on LingQ

Practice your reading and listening skills by going through each course. The benefit of using LingQ is that every new word you come across, you can pull up its meaning and save it right then and there without having to open another window. This keeps your rhythm in tact and is less distracting which is beneficial if you want a good study session.

Learn Korean on LingQ
Learn Korean with the LingQ podcast

Import your favorite Korean content into LingQ

Can’t seem to find what you’re looking for in LingQ’s lesson library? No problem, import the content your interested in! Check out LingQ today to discover how to learn Korean from content you love!

As long as you have the transcript (audio is a big bonus too), you can create interactive LingQ lessons from your favorite blogs, YouTube channels and much more.

In fact, check out LingQ’s article and learn how to import K-Pop music into LingQ and improve your language skills.

As you can see below, here’s a LingQ lesson using a recent BTS song. The lyrics, audio, and video are all there ready to go.

Check out LingQ today to discover how to learn Korean from content you love!
How You Can Use Your Favorite KPop Lyrics to Study Korean

Good luck!


Short Writer Bio:

Julie Yoon has been teaching Korean and English in formal and informal settings for ten years. She has been learning French as a third language.

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