More than 20 words of Korean origin including ‘hallyu’ and ‘banchan’ have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in its September update. 

“South Korea’s cultural and consumer products are highly sought-after in Asia and beyond, and it is through English, the global lingua franca, that it sells these products to the rest of the world.”

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“That is how a country where English is not a main language, and where it plays no official role, can have such an impact on modern English vocabulary. The current K-trend, encompassing K-pop, K-drama, K-beauty, K-food and K-style, introduces new vocabulary that is quickly adopted by English speakers across the globe,” The OED website ( said. 

The words range across categories of food to entertainment to lifestyle. Here is a list:

1) Hallyu : It is used to describe the phenomenon, which refers to the “Korean wave” of entertainment that has swept across Asia and across the world

2) Banchan : It is a small side dish of vegetables, served along with rice as part of a typical Korean meal

3) Bulgogi: These are thin slices of beef or pork that are marinated and grilled or stir-fried

4) Dongchimi: It is a type of kimchi made with radish and typically also containing napa cabbage.

5) Hanbok: It is the traditional Korean costume worn by both men and women

6) Aegyo: It is a type of cuteness or charm considered characteristically Korean

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7) Mukbang: It is a video featuring a person eating large amounts of food and talking to an audience.

8) Chimaek: It is fried chicken served with beer

9) Kimbap: It is a Korean dish consisting of cooked rice and other ingredients wrapped in a sheet of seaweed and cut into bite-sized slices

10) Daebak: Something lucrative or desirable, especially when acquired or found by chance; a windfall, a jackpot

11) Fighting: In Korea and Korean contexts, it is expressing encouragement, incitement, or support

12) Japchae: A Korean dish consisting of cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch, stir-fried with vegetables and other ingredients, and typically seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil

13) K- : Forming nouns relating to South Korea and its (popular) culture, as K-beauty, K-culture, K-food, K-style, etc

14) K-drama: A television series in the Korean language and produced in South Korea. Also: such series collectively

15) Korean wave: The rise of international interest in South Korea and its popular culture which took place in the late 20th and 21st centuries, esp. as represented by the global success of Korean music, film, television, fashion, and food

16) Nooa: In Korean-speaking contexts – a boy’s or man’s elder sister. Also as a respectful form of address or term of endearment, and in extended use with reference to an older female friend

17) Oppa: a)  In Korean-speaking contexts: a girl’s or woman’s elder brother. Also as a respectful form of address or term of endearment, and in extended use with reference to an older male friend or boyfriend. b) An attractive South Korean man, especially a famous or popular actor or singer

18) Pc bang: An establishment with multiple computer terminals providing access to the internet for a fee, usually for gaming

19) Samgyeopsal: A Korean dish of thinly sliced pork belly, usually served raw to be cooked by the diner on a tabletop grill

20) Skinship: in Japanese and Korean contexts: touching or close physical contact between parent and child or (esp. in later use) between lovers or friends, used to express affection or strengthen an emotional bond

21) Tang soo do: A Korean martial art using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, similar to karate

22) Trot: A genre of Korean popular music characterized by repetitive rhythms and emotional lyrics, combining a traditional Korean singing style with influences from Japanese, European, and American popular music. Also (and in earliest use) as a modifier, as in trot music, trot song, etc

23) Unni: In Korean-speaking contexts: a girl’s or woman’s elder sister. Also as a respectful form of address or term of endearment, and in extended use with reference to an older female friend or an admired actress or singer.

24) Galbi: Galbi, galbi-gui, or grilled ribs is a type of gui in Korean cuisine.

25) Konglish: A mixture of Korean and English, esp. an informal hybrid language spoken by Koreans, incorporating elements of Korean and English