ⓒ YD Ahn
Partly Serious (R), Partly Facetious (J)
한국속담을 영어로 옮겨 보았다.
일부는 의역하거나 해당하는 서양속담을 인용한 것이고,
나머지는 장난삼아 직역한 것이다.
가는 말이 고와야 오는 말이 곱다: (R) Eye for eye, ear for ear
(J) Speak nicely to others, and be spoken nicely, too.
Compliment for compliment, condemnation for condemnation
가랑비에 옷 젖는 줄 모른다: (R) A slow decline may lead one to an extinction.
(J) A drizzle can make you wet.
가만 있으면 중간은 간다: (R) Promise something and become its captive.
(J) Remain quiet when unsure.
가물에 콩 나듯: (R) Few and far between
(J) Like bean sprouting in a drought
가시방석: (R) A hot seat
(J) A thorny mat
"가장 타락한 공무원도 가장 깨끗한 장사치보다 낫다는 말이 있다" (정상명 인용):
(R) → 맑은 물엔 고기가 모이지 않는다.
(J) A corrupt public servant is cleaner than an honest businesswoman.
가재는 게 편: (R) Friends are friends.
(J) A lobster always sides with a crab.
가지 많은 나무 바람 잘 날 없다. (R) More businesses, more frequent headackes; More children, more troubles
(J) A tree with too many branches cannot stand still.
간에 기별도 안간다: (R) You've never even touched the tip of my fingers: Ripples in an ocean
(J) To try to save the Titanic with a teaspoon
갈 데까지 가다: (R) To push the envelop to the limit
(J) To reach the endpoint
강 건너 불(火災): (R) To sit on one's hands; To take as other people's business
(J) A fire across the river
까마귀 날자 배 떨어 진다 (烏飛梨落): (R) To blame someone for a sheer coincidence
To take correlation for causality
(J) Pears fall down to the earth as crows fly off the tree.
개같이 벌어서 정승같이 쓰다: (R) There is no such thing as a bad businss
as long as you make money from it.
(J) Money does not have a color, if not black.
Earn money like a devil, expend it like an angel.
개구리 올챙이 적 생각 못한다: (R) Human memory couldn't be shorter.
(J) A frog never empathizes with a tadpole.
개똥도 약에 쓰려면 없다: (R) An air bag works all the time except in an accident.
(J) Trash is everywhere except when you need a kindler.
개밥에 도토리: (R) Sand in the oyster
(J) Nuts in the dog food
개천에서 용나다: (R) A big frog in a small pond
(J) A dragon from a ditch
거름지고 장에 가다: (R) To jump on the bandwagon without knowing whereto
(J) To follow neighbors to the marketplace with fertilizers in the carrier
거 봐라, 내가 뭐랬니: See, I told you so! (Rush Limbaugh)
걱정도 팔자: To worry for worry's sake
겉똑똑이: Penny wise, pound foolish
걷지도 못하면서 날려고 한다: (R) You must walk before you can run.
(J) Trying to fly before walking.
게도 구럭도 다 놓치다 → 구전지훼
겪어 본 놈이 낫다: Experience is the only valid teacher. (J. Pfeffer)
견원지간 (犬猿之間): (R) Cat-and-dog
경적필패 (輕敵必敗): Underrate your enemy and get beaten
계란으로 바위치기: (R) Whether the pitcher strikes the stone, or the stone the piticher, it's bad for the pitcher.
(J) To strike a stone with an egg
계륵 (鷄肋): (R) A white elephant
(J) A chicken rib
꼬리가 길면 밟힌다: (R) The pitcher goes too often to the well.
(J) The longer the tail, the easier trodden upon.
고무신 거꾸로 신다: (R) To turn one's back to
(J) To show one's heels to
To leave a male friend in military duty
고양이에게 생선 가게 맡기다: (R) To put a fox in charge of the chicken coop
(J) To have a cat keep an eye on the fish store
고장난명 (孤掌難鳴): (R) It takes two to make a love affair.
(J) You need two hands to clap.
고진감래 (苦盡甘來): (R) No pain, no gain
(J) Sweet is eventually to take the place of sour.
곡식은 주인 발자국 소리를 듣고 큰다: (R) Results depend upon commitment and enthusiasm.
(J) Crops grow to the music of the farmer's footsteps.
공공연한 비밀: An open secret
공수래 공수거 (空手來 空手去): I was not; I was; I am not; I don't care. (Epicurus)
공자님 앞에 문자쓰기: (R) To preach to the converted
(J) To explain Confucianism to Coufucius
(Variation) 포클레인 앞에서 삽질하기: To show to a Poclain how to shovel
뻔데기 앞에서 주름잡기: To make wrinkles in front of a worm
붕어에게 수영 강습: To teach a fish how to swim
과유불급 (過猶不及) (孔子): (R) More can be less. (P. Samuelson)
Too much water drowned the miller.
(J) Excesiveness is no better than shortness.
To go a little too far is as bad as not going far enough. (Lin Yutang)
구더기 무서워 장못 담그다: (R) To avoid a venture for fear of negligible risk
(J) Not to prepare a thanksgiving turkey, afraid of flies
Not to make soy sauce, fearful of worms
구사일생: (R) A near go
(J) one survival with nine deaths
구슬이 서 말이라도 꿰야 보배라: (R) You need the critical mass.
(J) Beads, however many, cannot make a necklace without a lace.
구전지훼 (求全之毁) (孟子): The perfect is the enemy of the good. (Moliere)
국 쏟고 화상 입고: (R) To make a double wammy
(J) To spill the soup and get burnt
궁즉통(窮卽通): (R) Necessity is the mother of invention.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
(J) A need begets a way
굼벵이도 구르는 재주는 있다: (R) Everyon has one's own merit.
(J) A tumblebug is an expert when it comes to tumbling.
꿩 대신 닭: (R) Half a loaf is better than none.
(J) To take Madonna in Marilyn's stead
꿩 먹고 알 먹고: (R) Tail, you lose and head, I win: To have your cake and eat it, too
(J) To enjoy the meat of a pheasant and its eggs, too.
To catch a swordfish while yachtinig
꿩잡는 것이 매: (R) The winner is the one who gets the thing done:
It's the walk not the talk that matters.
It's the excution, stupid.
(J) It's the hawk, not the lion, that catches the pheasant.
귀신을 속여라: (R) C'mon, don't even think about fooling me.
(J) Try to cheat the god!
귀에 걸면 귀걸이, 코에 걸면 코걸이: (J) An earring in the ear, a nosering in the nose
그 나물에 그 밥: (R) All garbage!
(J) The bad, the dirty, and the ugly
긁어 부스럼: To stir up a hornet's nest
↔ Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
금과옥조(金科玉條): The golden rule
금상첨화 (錦上添花): (R) Icing on the cake; To add luster to beauty
(J) To print flowers on the silk
기는 놈 위에 나는 놈, 나는 놈 위에 기는 놈: (R) only God can win over any one in every contest.
(J) A crawler should be beaten by a runner, who in turn is to be beaten by a flyer.
기대가 크면 실망도 크다: Expect big and get disappointed big.
기소불욕 물시어인 (己所不欲 勿施於人) (孔子):
Thou shalt not treat others in the way thou wouldst not like to be treated.
Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. (Lin Yutang)
기소욕립 입인, 기소욕달 달인 (孔子): Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
길고 짧은 것은 대어 봐야: (R) It takes a fight to know who's the stronger.
What gets measured is what gets managed.
(J) Who can tell which is the longer without measurement?
나 싫은 것 남도 싫다 → 기소불욕 물시어인
나이를 헛 먹다: Aged without enlightment
남산골 샌님: (R) A no-nonsense novice
(J) A naivete from Namsangol (a school district in the past)
남의 떡이 커 보인다: The grass is greener elsewhere.
남의 제사에 감 놓아라 배 놓아라 한다: (R) Unwelcome involvement in other people's business
(J) To suggest this and that at a third party's ceremony
→ 오지랖이 넓다
난형난제: Diamond cut diamond
날벼락(마른 하늘의 번개) → 청천벽력
낫 놓고 기역자도 모른다: (R) Not even to be able to read A or B
(J) Not to know standing by a pole what the letter "I" is like
낮 말은 새가 듣고 밤 말은 쥐가 듣는다: (R) Walls have ears.
Pitchers have ears.
(J) Birds have eyes and mice have ears.
내가 하면 로맨스, 네가 하면 스캔들: What I practice is romance, what you do is adultery.
내리 사랑: Love as well as water flows downward.
내 돈은 나의 것, 네 돈도 나의 것: Head I win, tail you lose.
노느니 염불하지: Rather praying than doing nothing. (Who knows your wish may come true.)
농반진반(弄半眞半): Half jokingly half seriously
누구로부터나 배울 것은 있다 → 삼인행 필유아사
누울 자리 보고 발 뻣기: (R) Where you stand depends on where you sit.
(J) To stretch one's feet only where there is enough room
누워서 침뱉기: (R) Curses come home to roost.
(J) To spit lying on one's back/ To prick one's own eye
누이 좋고 매부 좋고: (R) An ill-motivated compromise
(J) What is good for my sister is good for my brother-in-law
눈가리고 아웅하다: To take a fig leaf
눈에 콩깍지가 씌다: (R) To get blind in love
(J) one's eyes are covered with bean hulls when in love.
님 보고 뽕 따고: (R) To hit multiple bottom lines
(J) Dating while working: To pick mulberry leaves while at the same time dating
Prof. Gregory Mankiw's job of teaching economics
다 된 밥에 코 빠뜨리다: (R) To ruin a job just before the final touch
(J) To put nose drippings into a coffee cup just before taking
다 된 밥에 재뿌리기: (R) To rain on the parade
(J) To spread ash over someone else's dinner table
닭살 돋다: To get hives
닭의 모가지를 비틀어도 새벽은 온다: (R) Yon cannot make any difference by killing the messenger.
(J) It dawns even without the rooster's signaling.
때리는 시어미보다 말리는 시누이가 더 밉다: (R) The ugly is more disgusting than the bad.
(J) A mediating sister-in-law is uglier than a beating mother-in-law.
대마불가폐 (大馬不可廢): Too big to let fail
대마불사 (大馬不死): Too big to fail
대마도 두 집 못나면 죽는다: (R) There are things that are more important than the size.
(J) No breath, no life.
떡 본 김에 제사 지내다: (R) The tail wags the dog.
(J) To hold an aniversary ritual as a scapegoat is available.
떡줄 사람 생각도 않는데 김치국부터 마신다: (R) To count one's chickens before they hatch
(J) To drink soda without rice cakes in sight
도랑 치고 가재 잡고: (R) → 님 보고 뽕 따고
(J) To clear the waterway while catching (freshwater) lobsters
도둑 맞으려면 개도 안 짓는다: (R) Murphy's law = What can happen will happen. (Watch out!)
(J) one's dog doesn't bark even when a burglar breaks into.
도둑이 제발 저리다: (R) A dishonest man tends to give himself away.
(J) A thief feels his feet numbed on his own (and has difficulty walking).
도토리 키 재기: (R) Contest among minors
(J) Stature contest among dwarves
돈 값이 O 값: A nickel ain't worth a dime. (Yogi Berra)
돈에는 꼬리표가 없다: (R) Money has no odor.
Pecunia non olet.
(J) Money has no tag.
Money has no ethic.
돌다리도 두드리다: (R) To cross the river feeling the stones
동냥은 못 줘도 쪽박은 깨지말라: (R) Never hurt her if not helping.
(J) If you are not rendering alms to a panhandler, never break her tool.
O 뀐 놈이 성낸다 → 적반하장
O 묻은 개, 겨 묻은 개 나무란다: (R) Appeal from the people drunk to the people sober
(J) A robber blames a burglar for a crime.
동상이몽 (同床異夢): Different dreams on the same bed
되로 주고 말로 받다: (R) A zap paid with an uppercut
(J) Offend in trickles to be offended in torrents
된장인지, O 인지: (R) Not to be able to tell the moon from the sun
(J) Not to be able to tell the (stinky!) from the soy-bean paste (된장)
될성부른 나무는 떡잎부터 알아본다: (R) Yon can tell, at the age of five. who she will become.
(J) The seed leaves tell what plant it will become.
두목 마음이지: It's the boss who makes the call !
뒤로 넘어져도 코가 깨진다: Murphy's Law; What can happen will happen.
뛰어야 벼룩: (R) A novice never outperforms an expert.
(J) The flea can jump up no higher than a flea can.
뒷북치기 → 행차뒤의 나발
뜨거운 맛을 보다: (R) To underrate a rival and get seriously hurt
(J) To get burnt by the boiling soup
뜻이 있으면 길이 있다: Where there is a will, there is a way.
등잔 밑이 어둡다: (R) one has one's own blind spot.
(J) It's darkest down below the lamp-post.
마누라 이쁘면 처가집 말뚝 보고 절한다: (R) If his wife is lovely, he'll be flattering all in-laws.
(J) When his wife is lovely, he'll bow to pillars of her house.
마누라 도망 가고 처음: (R) A surprising pleasure in quite a long while
(J) First affair after one's wife's runaway
말도 안되는 소리: (R) That doesn't make sense: That's an oxymoron.
(J) Your saying was just noise.
말이야 좋지: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
A bad means for a good cause (Milton Friedman)
맑은 물엔 고기가 모이지 않는다: (R) A secular success requires manipulation
(J) A pure water fosters few fish.
Naivete (naïveté) will rarely get you money.
매도 먼저 맞는 것이 낫다: The sooner the hardship, the shorter the pain; ; First done first relieved
The sooner the hardship, the earlier the relief.
매뚜기도 한철: (R) Every dog has its day.
(J) The summer is a locust's heyday.
매사는 불여튼튼: You'd better multiple-check a mattter to make sure, silly may it appear.
머리칼이 쭈뼜해지다: To be made one's hair stand on end
먹지 못할 감, 찔러나 본다: (R) Sure or unsure, try it.: If unavailable, ruin it.
(J) Whether the persimon avails or not, you'd be better-off testing it.
며느리가 미우면 발뒤꿈치도 밉다: (R) If you hate one, you dislike everything of her.
(J) If one dislike her daughter-in-law, even her hills look ugly.
명불허전 (名不虛傳): A fame never comes for nothing; A fame is a fame.
명약관화 (明若觀火): (R) Surefire
(J) As clear and sure as a fire
모난 돌이 정(釘) 맞는다: (R) It's the outstanding nail that gets the hammer. (from Japan)
The sprouting whale gets harpooned. (from Nowray)
Quacking ducks get shot. (from China)
(J) It's a sharp edge that gets the chisel.
모로 가도 서울만 가면 된다: (R) All roads lead to Rome.
The end justifies the means.
(J) It matters little which route to take, as long as you get to Seoul.
모르는 게 약: Ignorance is bliss.
모진 놈 옆에 있다 벼락 맞다:
(R) Avoid making company with a bad guy, or you'll get reckoned together with him.
(J) Don't stand by a sinful guy. If so, you'll share the lightening from the heaven.
목까지 차오르다: Up to the hilt
목구멍이 포도청: (R) Desperation recognizes no law.
(J) The maw is the master.
목 마른 놈이 샘판다: (R) It's the hungry baby who cries.
(J) It's the thirsty person who digs a well.
목소리 큰 놈이 이긴다: (R) Charlatans win over sages.
(J) A higher tone reaches further away.
못나도 내 낭군: (W. Churchill) Democracy is the worst form of government except for those others that have been tried.
(M. Thatcher) There is no alternative.
(R) Every human being is defective.
It's the spirit of care, stupid.
(J) I should and would stand with his defects, only because he's my sweetheart.
못된 싹은 미리 잘라야: To get rid of a trouble before it gets big
못된 송아지 엉덩이에 뿔난다: (R) You say A, he does B.
(J) A maverick grows horns in the ass.
못 먹는 감 찔러나 보다: (R) ① To ask Beatrice for a date
② To make a scar on someone else's diamond
(J) To prick someone else's persimmon
못 먹어도 고(go): I'll go for it whatever it takes.
무소식이 희소식: No news is good news.
물과 기름: Oil and water; Oil and vinegar
물맛 나쁘다고 쪽박은 깨지 말라: Don't throw the baby away with the bath water.
물불을 가리지 않다: To go for it through fire and water
물에 빠진 사람 구해 줬더니 보따리 내놓으라 한다:
Save a man from drowning, you are responsible to him for life. (From China)
미봉책 (微縫策): (R) A stopgap measure
(J) To rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic
미운 놈 떡 하나 더 주다: (R) To pander to one's enemy
(J) To give more favors to a hated person
믿거나 말거나: Believe it or not!
믿는 도끼에 발등 찍힌다: (R) Don't over-trust others, however trustworthy you think they are.
(J) A ten year-old ax may betray you and hit your foot.
밑져봐야 본전: Nothing to lose
바늘 가는 데에 실 간다: (R) Eternal mates; Consistent company; Voila, friends are friends!
(J) As the needle goes, so does the thread.
바늘 도둑이 소 도둑 되다: (R) A bad habit ever grows worse.
(J) Steal a needle, and steal a cow next time.
반식자 우환(半識者憂患): Learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one. (Moliere)
반면교사(反面敎師): To learn from the villain
발등의 불: (R) Dead urgent
(J) A fire on the foot
밥값도 못하다: Not to earn one's keep
방귀가 잦으면 O 싼다: Degree becomes kind; The plural of anecdote is data.
Drippings develop into a shower: Trickles into a torrent.
배고픈 것은 참아도 배아픔은 안 된다: (J) Hunger is bearable while stomach-ache is not.
(Korean-style jealousy, or just human?)
"배고픈 변호사는 사자보다 위험하다" (김평우 인용): (R) Ethical lawyer is an oxymoron.
(J) A hungry lawyer is more dangerous than a lion.
배나무 아래서 갓끈 고치지 말고, 외밭에서 신발끈 매지말라:
(R) Better not to invite suspicion on your own
(J) Don't change hats under a pear tree, never fix shoe-strings on a melon field.
백면서생 (白面書生): (R) A novice from the ivory tower
(J) A pale-faced novice fresh out of the school
백문이 불여일견 (百聞 不如一見): Seeing is believing.
A photo is worth a thousand words. (Da Hsuan Feng)
백짓장도 맞들면 낫다: (R) A helping hand always helps.
A group is smater than the smartest in the group.
Two heads are better than one.
(J) Two is better than one even in lifting a clean sheet of paper.
백척간두(百尺竿頭): (R) on the cusp of / on the brink of
(J) At the tip of a 100-yard pole
번갯 불에 콩 구워먹 듯: (R) To do a thing at a blink/ As quick as a lightening
(J) Like roasting coffee beans on a lightening
뻔데기 앞에서 주름잡기 → 공자님 앞에서 문자쓰기
벼룩의 간을 꺼내다: (R) To expoit the poorest
(J) To take a penny from a panhandler
To extract a flea's liver to eat
변죽을 울리다: To beat around the bush
보고도 못 본척: To turn a blind eye; To sit on one's hands
보기 좋은 떡이 맛도 좋다: (R) The better in appearance, the better valuable in substance
The better structured, the better prepared.
(J) The more colorful the cake, the more delicious.
본말전도 (本末轉倒): Preposterous; Upside down; Priority reversed
부뚜막의 소금도 집어 넣어야 짜다: (R) Walk the talk, or nothing will be done.
(J) Salt in a jar cannot season your soup however close it may be.
뿌린 대로 거두리라 → 인과응보
부전자전 (父傳子傳): Like father, like son
불감청 고소원(不敢請 固所願): (R) More than welcome
(J) To receive an offer while hesitating to request
불난 집에 부채질: (R) To pour oil on the flame; To add fuels to the fire
(J) To fan a burning house
불장난하다: To play with fire
붕어에게 수영 강습 → 공자님 앞에 문자쓰기
비 맞은 중처럼 중얼거리다: (J) To keep grumling like a monk soaked in the rain
비행기 태우다: (R) To exalt a person to the skies
(J) To put a person in the airplane
빈대 잡다 초가삼간 태우다: (R) To throw away the baby with the bath water
(J) To burn the cottage down to eradicate bedbugs.
빈집에 소 들어가다: (R) Unexpectedly to make a great fortune/ To hit the Jackpot
(J) A big cow dumped into an empty barn
빛이 강하면 그늘도 짙다: (J) The brighter the light, the darker the shade.
빛 좋은 개살구: A lemon
사공이 많으면 배가 산으로 간다: (R) Everyone's responsibility, no one's job.
An excess of cooks spoils the broth.
(J) Too many sailors will lead the boat to the mountain.
사돈 남말하네: Your fault is no smaller than mine.
사람나고 돈 났지, 돈나고 사람 났더냐: A humanity consideration takes precidence over a finance one.
사랑에 눈멀다: To become blind when in love.
사랑엔 국경이 없다: Love recognizes no border.
사면초가 (四面楚歌): (R)Cul-de-sac
(J) Surrounded by the enemy's home songs.
사상누각 (砂上樓閣): (R) A house of cards
(J) A pavillion on the sand
사업을 하자면 기(欺)는 몰라도 사(詐 혹은 邪)는 필요하다 (박태현):
(R) → 맑은 물엔 고기가 모이지 않는다
(J) Manipulation, if not deception, is a must conducting business.
Marketing is misleading. (Remember Positioning, the Battle for Your Mind?)
사위는 백년지객. Son in law is a perennial guest.
사촌이 논사면 배 아프다: (R) Jealousy is between acquaintances.
(J) My tummy starts to ache when my cousin makes a fortune.
싸움은 말리고 흥정은 붙여라: The broker gets half the merit in a difficult deal.
산 부모보다 죽은 조상이 더 무섭다: (J) Deceased ancesters are more fearful than living parents.
살 같은 세월: (R) Time flies like an arrow.
살얼음 밟가: Skating on a thin ice.
삼인행 필유아사 (三人行 必有我師焉): (R) Wisdom of the crowd
The group is smarter than the smartest person in the group.
(J) Whenever walking in a company of three, I can always find my teacher among them.
(Confucius → Translation by Lin Yutang)
상전벽해 (桑田碧海): (R) A catastrophe
(J) A mulberry field to turn into a sea
상처에 소금 뿌리기: To rub salt in the wound
새발의 피 → 창해일속
서당개 삼년이면 풍월을 읊는다: (R) Keep watching and you'll be able to do it yourself.
(J) A school dog barks A, B, C in three years.
A church dog will sing hymns in three years.
서방 죽고 처음 → 마누라 도망 가고 처음
서울이 북쪽이요, 건너다 보면 절터 → 척하면 삼척
선무당이 사람 잡는다: A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one. (Moliere)
설상가상 (雪上加霜): (R) To add insult to injury
(J) Too add frost to snow
세살 버릇 여든까지 간다: (R) A bad habit die hard.
(L) Make a habit at three, and live together with it forever.
세월 이기는 장사 없다: (J) No one can outlast the time.
세월이 약: (R) Human memory is short.
(J) Time is the best cure for a sad incident.
셋만 되어도 편 가른다: Two's company, three's none
소 뒷걸음 치다 쥐잡기: (R) Hit or miss
(J) A cow retreats and kills a rat.
소 잃고 외양간 고치기: (R) To lock the barn after the horse is stolen
(J) To mend the fence after the cattle has run away
속빈 강정 → 빛 좋은 개살구
손바닥으로 하늘 가리기: (J) To cover up the sky with one's palm
손에 피를 묻히다: (R) To make one's hands dirty
(J) To get one's hands covered with blood
손뼉도 마주 쳐야 소리가 난다 → 고장난명
손톱 밑의 가시: (R) A thorn in the flesh
(J) Thorns under the finger nails
쇠귀에 경 읽기 (牛耳讀經): (R) To turn a deaf ear to
To listen to the preacher with fingers in the ears
(J) To read the bible to a cow; To preach to the ears of a cow
쉽게 번 돈은 쉽게 나간다: Easy money leads to easy spending.
쓸개 빠진 사람: (R) A silly person
(J) A person without the gall
시거든 떫지나 말지: (R) Nothing but disgusting
(J) Not only ugly but also stinky; Bitter as well as sour
시작은 미약하나 끝은 창대하다: An amazing end from a humble beginning, aka a free-market economy
(Persuit of self-interest results in human prosperity, according to Adam Smith.)
시작이 반이다: A good beginning is half done.
시장이 반찬이다: Hunger is the best sauce.
식은 죽 먹기: (R) A piece of cake; A cinch
To knock down a strawman
(J) As easy as eating cooled soup
신물이 나다: Enough is enough.
신토불이: The soil and the body are not two but one.
Local food is better for a local body than imported is.
실낱 같은 희망: A silver lining in the cloud/ A light in the tunnel
십년 공부 나무아미타불: A small negligence ruins ten-year efforts.
아니 땐 굴뚝에 연기 나랴: No smoke without a fire.
아무리 바빠고 바늘 허리 꿰어 못 쓴다: (R) Haste does not get anything done.
(J) You have to put a thread through the ear of a needle before sewing.
아전인수: (R0 Every miller draws water to his own mill.
앓느니 죽지: (R) Better not to be overly coutious
(J) Rather to die than to suffer; To choose death over humiliation
애들 싸움이 어른 싸움되다: A kids' fight develops into a parents'.
양자택일 (兩者擇一): A tradeoff situation; You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
양지가 있으면 음지도 있다: What gets the sunshine leaves a shade; A light makes shadows.
Every silver lining has a cloud.
언 발에 오줌 누기: (R) → 간에 기별도 안간다.
(J) To unfreeze one's feet by pissing on them
엎드려 절받기: A forced compliment
엎질러진 물: (R) It is no use crying over spilt milk.
(J) Water spilt over
엎친데 덮치다: one misfortune rides upon another's back.
To hit a double wammy.
열번 찍어 안 넘어가는 나무 없다: (R) Be persistent and you'll get it.
(J) Keep axing and get the tree down.
엿장수 마음대로: (R) It's up to him; It's her judgment call.
(J) It's totally up to him how freguently a candy-seller yells.
옛말 치고 그런 말 없다: (R) Conventional wisdoms are wiser than you think they are.
(J) Proverbs give you wisdom, (which is a proverb in itself).
오뉴월 하루 볕이 무섭다: Experience reveals itself.
오도 가도 못하다 → 진퇴유곡
오십보 백보: (R) A sin is a sin.
(J) A burglar may not blame a robber for a sinful act.
(J) A fifty-step retreater from the front is no less a cowardice than a hundred-step one.
"오야" 마음이지 → 두목 마음이지
오유지족 (吾唯之足): Contentment is better than riches.
오월동주 (吳越同舟): (R) An unexpected encouter with an enemy
(J) Napoleon gets in a small boat to come across Nelson.
옥(玉) 의 티: (R) A fly in the ointment
(J) A spot in jade
옹야 옹야 하면 할아버지 수염 뽑는다: (R) Spare the rod and spoil the child.
(J) Pamper your granddaughter and she'll pull your mustache off.
완벽한 정책은 없다: Every coin has two tails.
왕사불구 (往事不咎) (孔子): Let bygones be bygones.
용두사미 (龍頭蛇尾): (R) A flash in the pan
(J) A dragon in talk, a snake in walk
우는 아기 젖 준다: (R) The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Go for it, or you wouldn't get it.
(J) It's the crying baby who gets the milk.
우물 안의 개구리 (井底蛙): (R) A person with a myopic perspective
(J) A frog in a well
우물에서 숭늉 찾다: (R) To pick a name for a baby at engagement
(J) To ask for a cup of coffee at the time of sowing
우물을 파면 하나만 파라: (R) A rolling stone gathers no moss.
(J) Drill only one hole to make a well.
윗물이 맑아야 아랫물이 맑다: (R) The fish rots from the head. (From China)
(J) The downstream cannot be clearner than the upstream.
유유상종 (類類相從): Birds of a feather flock together.
유전무죄 무전유죄 (有錢無罪 無錢有罪): (R) Inocent with influence, guilty without
(J) Not guilty with money, guilty without
음지가 있으면 양지도 있다: Every cloud has a silver lining.
이구동성: (R) A consensual saying
(J) An identical remark from different mouths
이기는 놈이 장땡이다: (R) It's the result. Period. -Jack Welch-
(J) It's the jackpot that makes the call.
이름 값을 하다 → 명불허전
이심전심(以心傳心): (R) Like people like mind
(J) Communication without ｅxpression
이판사판: (R) Life or death; A life-or-death game
→ 죽기 아니면 까무러 치기
2% 부족하다: For want of a nail; Yet to hit the critical mass
인간사 새옹지마 (人間事 塞翁之馬): (R) You never know a misfortune will turn into a fortune.
(J) You never know your lost horse may return with company.
인과응보 (因果應報): As you sow, so you will reap; Nemesis
일석이조 (一石二鳥): To kill two birds with one stone
입맛이 쓰다: A bad taste in mouth
자가당착(自家撞着), 자기모순(自己矛盾): Self-contradiction
자라보고 놀란 가슴, 솥두껑 보고 놀란다: (R) once bit twice shy.
(J) once scared by a turtle, twice by a black kettle lid
자의반 타의반 (自意半 他意半): (R) Half-willingly; Half-heartedly
(J) Half from my will half by some else's
작은 고추가 맵다: (R) Small is beautiful.
(J) The shorter the penis, the more prolific.
잘 하려다 탈 낸다 → 구전지훼
재주는 곰이 넘고 돈은 중국인이 번다: (R) Watch out the Chinese are business-savvy !
(J) It's the bear that makes the trick in a show, and it's the Chinese that takes the money.
적반하장: (R) To blame the victim
(J) The burglar condemns the home owner for weak security.
절반의 성공: The glass half full and half empty
젊어서 고생은 사서도 한다: (R) The youth mature throgh hardships.
(J) You may well intentionally take hardships when young.
정곡(正鵠)을 찌르다: To hit a nail on the head
제눈에 안경: (R) one has one's own prejudice.
(J) Different people wear glasses of different colors.
제 발등 찍기: To shoot oneself in the foot
제 버릇 개 못 준다: A bad habit dies hard.
좋든 싫든: Like it or not!
좋은 것이 좋다: (R) It's safest to follow the majority.
(J) Good is good.
죽기 아니면 까무러 치기: (R) Ready for the worst case
(J) Get burned or get killed; Killed or stunned
죽은 자식 불알 만지기: (R) To argue about bygones
(J) To try to revive a dead son
쥐구멍에도 볕들 날 있다: (R) Every cloud has a silver lining.
(J) The sun may shine onto a remote rat habitat.
지렁이도 밟으면 꿈틀한다: (R) Even a child will fight back if you keep teasing him.
(J) Even an earthworm responds to your action.
(J) Even Michelle will turn mad at you if you keep stalking her.
지피지기 백전불태 (知彼知己 百戰不殆): (R) Conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and you will make it.
(J) Know thy enemy and thyself, thou shallt be safe in one hundred battles out of one hundred.
진인사대천명(盡人事待天命): (R) Never mind the uncontrollable.
(J) Do your best and wait for your destiny from the heaven.
진퇴유곡 (進退幽谷): : (R) Between two fires; In a dilemma
(J) In a dead-blocked valley
짚신도 짝이 있다: (R) Every Jack has his Jill.
(J) All shoes are made in pair.
찻잔 속의 태풍: (R) A short drizzle in a drought
(J) A storm in a teacup
창과 방패: A fight between a quality spear and a quailty shield
창해일속 (蒼海一粟): A drop in the ocean (or bucket)
처삼촌 묘에 벌초하듯: (R) To do something half-heartedly
(J) Like taking care of an uncle-in-law's tomb
처녀가 애를 낳아도 할말은 있다: (R) one can find an excuse for anything.
Even Judas Iscariot has something to say.
(J) An unmarried girl can on her own justify her giving birth to a baby.
처음엔 다 그런 거야: The first trouble is the most painful.
척하면 삼척, 건너다 보면 절터: (R) A surefire thing
(J) Everywhere is an ideal site for a temple on the mountain across the river.
천 길 물속은 알아도 한 길 사람 마음은 모른다: (R) A human mind couldn't be harder to know.
(J) A ten-mile deep ocean is clearer to see through than a one-inch human mind.
천리 길도 한 걸음부터: (R) One should learn to walk before running.
(J) Ten-mile excursion starts with a single step, the first one.
천지개벽 (天地開闢): (R) Cataclysm; A sea change
(J) A complete change in the heaven as well as the earth
천지 분간을 못 한다: Unable to tell the moon from the sun.
청천벽력 (靑天霹靂): A bolt out of the the blue
A thunderclap out of a clear sky (Engles to Marx)
초록은 동색 → 유유상종
추수 전에는 풍년을 말하지 말라: Don't crow before you get out of the woods.
침소봉대: (R) Extreme exaggeration
(J) To make up a pole out of a pin
칼을 뽑았으면 무우라도 베어야: (R) You have to do something if you have been to be doing a thing.
(J) You should cut at least a radish if yo've pulled your sword out.
칼자루를 쥐다: To hold the sword by the hilt
콩심은 데에 콩나고 팥심은 데에 팥난다: Like father, like son
Garbage in, garbage out
콩인지 팥인지: (R) A lemon or an orange
(J) A soy-bean or a red-bean
큰형님 마음이지 → 두목 마음이지
태산명동 서일필 (泰山鳴動 鼠一匹): (R) Goliath wins a peanut at the end of a serious battle.
(J) only one rat is killed in what you cliam to be a catastrophe.
털어서 먼지 안나는 사람 없다: (R) Everyone has her own point of shame.
(J) Everyone makes his own dust.
Even Angelina Jolie goes to the restroom periodically.
티끌모아 태산: (R) A nickel saved is also a nickel earned/ A mountain out of molehills
(J) Keep piling dust and you wiil make a mountain.
팔방미인: (R) Jack of all trades, master of none; A fox as opposed to a hedgehog
(J) Somebody to everyone is nobody to any one.
팔불출 (八不出): Eight dumbest things to do (prasing oneself, one's spouse, one's child, etc.)
팔은 안으로 굽는다: (R) To favor the favorate
(J) The arm bends inward.
포클레인 앞에서 삽질하기 → 공자님 앞에서 문자쓰기
피는 물보다 진하다: Blood is thicker than water.
하나는 알고 둘은 모르다: Penny wise, pound foolish
하늘을 보아야 별을 따지: (R) It takes two to make a baby.
(J) Look up to the sky, or you cannot catch a star.
하늘이 무너져도 솓아날 구멍은 있다: (R) Every cloud has a silver lining.
(J) God will save you even when the sky collapses.
하루 강아지 범 무서운 줄 모른다: (R) An ignorant does not recognize a great man.
(J) A new-born puppy is not afraid of a tiger.
한눈을 팔다: Asleep at the switch
한마디 말로 천냥 빛을 갚는다: (R) Words can move mountains.
(J) Candid words can have a big debt discharged from you.
한 번 속지, 두 번씩이랴: Fool me once shame on you, fool my twice shame on me.
한 술 밥에 배부르랴: Never expect the first spoon of rice will quench your hunger.
해가 서쪽에서 뜨겠다: (R) It couldn't be more surprising !
(J) No more credible than the sun rising in the west
행차 뒤의 나발: (R) Warming-up after the match
(J) Trumpeting after the parade: A warning siren after the carpet bombing
형만한 아우 없다 ① → 내리 사랑
② → 오뉴월 하루볕이 무섭다.
호가호위 (狐假虎威): An ass in a lion's skin
호강에 받쳐서 요강에 O 싸다: Watch out over-comfort may lead you to an abusurd act.
호떡 집에 불난 것처럼: To react like a Chicken Little
호미로 막을 일을 가래로 막는다: (R) A trickle into a torrent
(J) Use a pistol today, or a cannon tomorrow (a missile the day after tomorrow)
호사다마 (好事多魔): Law of unintended consequences
Good news rarely comes good alone.
후래자 삼배: Three drinks in a row for a late comer
후생가외 (後生可畏): Being ready to defer to younger genetaions
화불단행 (禍不單行): Misfortunes never come single.
화살 같은 세월 → 살 같은 세월
화장실 나오는 마음은 들어갈 때와 다르다: (R) Human minds are fickle and selfish.
(J) Different mindset getting out of the toilet than getting in
홧김에 서방질: (J) To ruin oneself as a way of revenge on someone else.
(R) Angry at husbund, and a sex with a passer-by.
흘러간 물은 돌이킬 수 없다: Let bygones be bygones.
흙 속의 진주: (R) Diamond in the rough
(J) Pearl in the mud