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First attested in the Yongbi eocheonga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as  (Yale: koc). The change to a tense consonant initial occurred as this word ("flower") was frequently used as the second part of a compound noun denoting a specific flower (eg. 연꽃 (yeonkkot)), in which the connecting genitive -ㅅ- (-s-) formed a "-sk-" medial cluster with koc, which developed into "-kk-" in Modern Korean. This development in compound nouns was generalised to koc as well.[1]


  • (in most circumstances) IPA(key): [k͈ot̚]
  • (before a vowel) IPA(key): [k͈ot͡ɕʰ]



  1. (botany) flower; flowering plant
    • 이 핀다.
      kkoch-i pinda.
      Flowers bloom.
    • 한 송이
      kkot han song-i
      a flower / one flower.
    • 한 다발
      kkot han dabal
      a bunch of flowers
  2. (figuratively) prime; central part; essence


  • (hwa, “flower”, ) (used only in compounds)


  1. ^ Ki-mun Yi, Ki-Moon Lee, S. Robert Ramsey. A History of the Korean Language. Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN 9781139494489.