Gari Ledyard proposes that ㅁ (m) was derived from the lower part of ㅂ (b). The traditional account* holds that its form is the outline of the mouth, 口形 (it is nearly identical with the Chinese pictographic character for mouth, 口), and Ledyard feels this consideration may have determined the final forms of ㅂ and ㅁ.
* Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye "Explanations and Examples of the Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People" (1446), defining and explaining the script now known as 한글 (Hangeul, “Great script, Korean script”) in South Korea and 조선글 (joseon'geul, “Korean script”) in North Korea.
- 미음 (mieum), a jamo (letter) of the alphabet of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the bilabial nasal (IPA(key): /m/)
In both North and South Korean order, ㅁ (m) is the fifth jamo. (ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ 'ㅁ')
- ㅂ (b) (in traditional account)
- -ness; -tion; -ment
- ㅁ (m) is directly appended to a verb/adjective stem that ends with a vowel or a consonant ㄹ (l) to derive a noun.
- (formal)the act of, the process of, -ing; the status of, being ~, to be ~; that ~
- ㅁ (m) is directly appended to a verb/adjective stem that ends with a vowel or a consonant ㄹ (l) to make it a gerund or a noun clause.
- 우리가 만남은 결코 우연이 아니다. (Uriga mannameun gyeolko uyeoni anida., “That we've met is never an accident.”)
- 그는 신이 그를 축복하심을 확신한다. (Geuneun sini geureul chukbokhasimeul hwaksinhanda., “He is convinced that the God blesses him.”)
- 너희 모두가 이토록 예쁨은 너희 마음이 깨끗하기 때문이란다. (It is because your minds are so clean that all of you are this beautiful!)
- 갚다(갚으니) (gapda(gapeu-ni), “to repay”) + ㅁ (m): 갚음 (gapeu-m, “repaying”)
- 쉽다(쉬우니) (swipda(swiu-ni), “to be easy”) + ㅁ (m): 쉬움 (swiu-m, “being easy”)
A noun derived by appending ㅁ (m) to a verb or an adjective is different from predicate of a noun clause made by ㅁ (m) in that the former is recorded in the dictionary, while the latter is not. Plus, in making a noun clause, a suffix 기 (gi) or an adjective clause modifying a noun like 것 (geot, “a thing”) are highly preferred to ㅁ (m).
- 음 (eum)
- 기 (gi)