If you are a fan of the new Netflix rave, Squid Game or a K-Pop fan, you most probably have some level of Korean influence in your life.
Well, that influence has transcended pop culture into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). There are now 26 new words of Korean origin in its latest edition.
The OED, which prides itself on being the ‘accepted authority on the English language’ said in a statement that these additions mean:
we are all riding the crest of the Korean wave.
With words drawn from Korean food, music, beauty products and dramas, the OED said the addition of the words was an acknowledgement and recognition of the language shift that English speakers are experiencing.
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.
The latest update of the OED includes the prefix K-, which is an abbreviation for 'Korean' and is combined with other words to form nouns relating to South Korea and its popular culture.
So there is K-drama, K-Pop - included in 2016 - Style, K-Beauty, etc., all of which are hugely successful industries throughout the world.
A non-K word which has been added as well is ‘hallyu’, meaning ‘Korean wave.
It generally refers to South Korean pop culture and entertainment. The dictionary definition of this word is:
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. It could also mean South Korean popular culture and entertainment itself. Frequently as a modifier, as in hallyu craze, hallyu fan, hallyu star.
K for Cuisine
Some popular Korean dishes have also been added to the dictionary.
They include ‘banchan’ (small side dishes of pickles and vegetables served with rice), ‘bulgogi’ (thin slices of beef or pork which are marinated then grilled or stir-fried), and kimbap, (cooked rice and other ingredients wrapped in a sheet of seaweed and cut into bite-sized slices).