Korean texting codes


Speed is the key to survival in Korea. From food delivery to the pace of life, Korea’s hasty culture is now unstoppable. This need for speed extends to texting as well – Koreans are always coming up with new abbreviations to get their points across quickly yet effectively. 

While abbreviations in the form of words are common, numerical abbreviations are something else. To get started, memorise these 10 simple Korean texting codes that will help you save time and keep up with Korea’s latest messaging style. 


1. 700


Korean texting codes - 700 which means cute
Image credit: @bts.bighitofficial

The number “700” became widely known to the public as a trendy term when it appeared in JTBC’s Knowing Bros, a variety show featuring Yoo Joon-sang, Kim Se-jung and Cho Byung-kyu.

“700” represents “ㄱㅇㅇ”, which is an abbreviation for “귀여워” (gwi-yeo-wo). This translates to “cute”. 

The next time you text about cute oppas with your friends, use “700” to express how adorable they are.


2. 1004 


Korean texting codes - 1004 which means angel
Image credit: @iluvyub

“1004” (cheon-sa) is a homophone of the word “angel” in Korean. 

“천사데이” (cheon-sa-dae-ee), which means “angel’s day”, is used to refer to the birthdays of idols that fall on 4th October. 

Some idols who are born on “angel’s day” include Kim Yu-bin from Wonder Girls and Yoon Jeong-han from Seventeen.


3. 5959


Korean texting codes - 5959 which is used to express how much you adore someone, or used when you want to comfort them
Image credit: @nct_dream

“5” is pronounced o, while “9” is pronounced guin Korean. Together, “5959” sounds like o-gu-o-gu.” It’s typically used to express how much you adore someone or how adorable they are. 

For example, when your friend or partner sends a selfie, you can reply with “5959” as a response to their cuteness. 

Another instance of using “5959” (o-gu-o-gu) is when you want to comfort someone. For example, when your friend sends a text about having had a bad day, you can reply with “5959” as a way of expressing sympathy.


4. 머선129 


Korean texting codes - 머선129 which means what's going on?
Image adapted from: JTBC Entertainment

“머선129” (meo-seon-il-ee-gu) is actually a phrase in the Gyeongsang dialect. “머선” (meo-seon) means “무슨” (moo-seun; what) in the standard Seoul dialect, while “129” is read as “일이구” (il-ee-gu). 

Hence, when you read “머선129” (meo-seon-il-ee-gu) out loud, it means “what’s going on?” or “what’s the matter?” 

This is usually used to express dismay. For example, when there’s a sudden rise in community Covid-19 cases, you can say “머선129” (meo-seon-il-ee-gu) to convey how appalled you are.


5. 하2 


Korean texting codes - 하2 which refers to hi
Image credit: @hee_ya_124

“하2” (ha-ee) simply means “hi”. “하” is pronounced ha, and “2” is read as ee in Korean. Put them together and it sounds like ha-eeor “hi”. 

You can send a text with “하2” (ha-ee) as a cute way of greeting or starting a conversation with your friend. 


6. 빠2 


Korean texting codes - 빠2 which refers to bye
Image credit: @primula._.m0desta

Similar “하2” (ha-ee), “빠2” (bba-ee) is the equivalent of “bye” in English. “빠” is pronouncedbba, while the number “2” is read as ee”. When you combine these two, it sounds like bba-eea cute way of saying “bye”.

Although “빠2” is used in texting, many Koreans also say it in real life when they’re bidding goodbye to their friends. 


7. 8282 


Korean texting codes - 8282 which means hurry hurry
Image credit: @iammingki

“8282” is read as pal-ee-pal-ee in Korean. When said out loud, it sounds similar to “빨리빨리” (bbal-lee-bbal-lee), which means “quick quick”. 

In 2013, Davichi released a song titled 8282, and it’s one of their most popular songs till date

The next time your friend is running late, send a text urging them with “8282”.


8. 7942 


Korean texting codes - 7942 which means we are just friends
Image credit: @bumkeyk

“7942” can be read as chil-gu-sa-ee in numerical Korean. 

It’s an abbreviation for “친구사이” (chin-gu-sa-ee), which sounds similar to “7942” (chil-gu-sa-ee). “친구” (chin-gu) means “friend” and “사이” (sa-ee) means “relationship”. Hence, “7942” simply means “just friends”.

This is often used when someone asks if you’re in a relationship with a friend. You can reply with “7942” to express that the two of you are just friends, and nothing more. 


9. 1도 ~몰라/없어 


Korean texting codes - 1도 ~몰라/없어 
Image credit: @official.apink2011

“1도 몰라” (il-do-mol-la) is a popular wordplay coined by Henry from MBC’s Real Men

“1도 몰라” (il-do-mol-la) roughly translates to “I don’t have a single clue”.

When your friend asks you a question that you have no answer to, you can reply with “1도 몰라”. Many Koreans even say “1도 몰라” (il-do-mol-la) in real life when they’re communicating with their friends! 

The term is so popular that it was incorporated in the title of Apink’s song 1도 없어 (il-do-eob-seo), which translates to “there’s nothing.” 


10. 0순위


Korean texting codes - 0순위
Image adapted from: 디글 :Diggle

“0순위” (yeong-soon-wee) is a numeronym that express how someone is the top priority in your life. 

For the most important person in your life, the number “1” may not be enough to express just how much they mean to you. That’s why “0” is used, because it comes before “1”. “순위” (soon-wee) means “ranking”, so when you put “0” and “순위” together, you get a slang term that emphasises the importance of someone or something.


Simple texting Korean codes


It seems like the days of cryptic pager codes are making a subtle comeback in the form of Korean texting codes. They are easy to use in everyday messages, even for people who aren’t fluent in Korean, as they mostly involve numbers instead of actual Korean characters. They are also great to use when you want to impress your Korean friends – even locals may be unfamiliar with a handful of these texting codes! 

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Cover image adapted from: MBCdrama

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