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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Brought to you by a Chinese character

I believe a while ago I wrote an extremely entertaining post about the etymology of some Korean scatological terms.

Well, recently, another one has come to the foreground in my life. I hereby introduce to you:


(pronounced like "chop," but with a j)

I would make it a million times bigger if I knew how.

It's the Chinese character for "mixed up" and it's in some of my favorite Korean words, like:

Jap-chae (mixed vegetables,): an excellent veganifiable dish made of sweet potato noodles, thin-sliced spinach, carrots, onions, mushrooms, peppers, all tossed with a light sesame oil dressing.
Jap-gok (mixed grain): rice and split legumes of various kinds, all mixed together. So much healthier than white rice!
Jap-peullaseuteek (mixed plastic): the bin where you throw out your unrecyclable recyclables
Jap-cho (mixed grass): weeds
Jap-nom (mixed indecent fellow): bastard, son-of-a-bitch

And, most recently
Jap-saeng-gak (mixed thoughts): monkey mind, ie random, distracting thoughts that come up of their own accord while you're working or meditating.

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