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Expressions #11 – Bugs and Old People

92-3-foot-beard 93-tree-climbing94-larva95-earthworm96-grub97-syngman-rhee98-berry-lover99-skirt-wind100-ajumma

Of the expressions today, my favorites are:

  • Number 2: Tree climbing
  • Number 6: Farting Presidents
  • Number 9: Proud Conservatives
  • Number 10: Ajummas

#2: Tree climbing

Whenever I see something that tells me “You can’t” I immediately think “I will!” I like to surprise people. I like to work hard to accomplish my goals, and I don’t like anyone to tell me “Stop daydreaming.” Man would never have made it to the moon if we’d “stopped daydreaming.”

#6: Farting Presidents

It’s just interesting to see how other countries ridicule their politicians. I’ve seen enough of shoe-throwing at Bush, and Joker Obama.

#9: Proud Conservatives

While this idea is still true in many ways, I just wonder how often this expression is actually spoken. One of my friends recently posted this comment on Facebook:

Still used in more of a “don’t let your look exceed your grasp” meaning.

Here are 9 differences between (conservative) men and Korean women:

  1. Few women work in high government or public offices
  2. Mothers find it hard to go back to work – it’s hard to find an office job after having kids
  3. Men hate selling insurance – so most insurance sellers are ajummas
  4. Husbands focus primarily on work – often staying long hours in the office
  5. Wives are given the entirety of household duties – including most of the childrearing
  6. (Conservative) Men don’t enter the kitchen
  7. Women do all the cooking and dishes
  8. (Conservative) Fathers don’t go to parent-teacher conferences
  9. (Some conservative) men consider it below their dignity to carry a shopping basket

#10: Ajummas

Of course, everybody loves the ajumma stereotypes. Perhaps you’ve heard about “Ajumma Power”? Be sure to show some love to the ajummas you meet today!

  1. Married
  2. Often a street vendor, restaurant worker, or middle-aged housewife
  3. Loud and bustling
  4. Wears mismatched clothes – especially baggy flower pants, little makeup, and a visor or towel wrapped around their heads
  5. Hard working and aggressive
  6. They carry goods on their heads
  7. Raucous and cuss out rude men
  8. Many from poor backgrounds – but eager to educate their own children
  9. Push and shove through a crowd to get priority seating

Which expression is your favorite? Or perhaps you’ve got a really interesting ajumma story. I always love to hear about those. Leave us a comment below with your story or opinion.

**These expressions are from How Koreans Talk: A Collection of Expressions.For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.

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