Not even the editorial offices of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is spared by the Korean culture wave. The dictionary has now added over 20 new words of Korean origin to its latest edition. 

The “definitive record of the English language” include words like hallyu, which is the Korean original for the wave of pop culture

“The increase in international interest in South Korea and its popular culture, esp. as represented by the global success of South Korean music, film, television, fashion, and food,” the dictionary says in its definition. “Also: South Korean popular culture and entertainment itself. Frequently as a modifier, as in hallyu craze, hallyu fan, hallyu star.”

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While Kimchi was added in 1976, new food-related entries include bulgogi, which are thin slices of beef or pork and chimaek, which are Korean-style fried chicken and beer. Another word representing traditional culture – Hanbok – was also added. It is basically a  formal attire worn by both men and women.

Hangul, the Korean alphabet devised by King Sejong in 1443, also made it to the dictionary. 

Aegyo, “a certain kind of cuteness or charm considered characteristically Korean”, has been included as both a noun and adjective, reported Guardian. Mukbang, or live streams of people eating huge amounts of food as they talk to the online audience, too made it to the list. 

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The inclusion of “skinship” is pleasant. “Commonly used in South Korea, where it is rendered as seukinsip, and Japan (sukinshippu) it captures the emotional bond that comes from close physical contact between a parent and child, lovers and friends,” the dictionary said.

The OED said, “The adoption and development of these Korean words in English also demonstrate how lexical innovation is no longer confined to the traditional centres of English in the United Kingdom and the United States,” it said.

“They show how Asians in different parts of the continent invent and exchange words within their own local contexts, then introduce these words to the rest of the English-speaking world, thus allowing the Korean wave to continue to ripple on the sea of English words.”