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 (han-geul, “Great script, Korean script”) in South Korea and 조선글 (joseon-geul, “Korean script”) in North Korea.
ㅁ • (m)
- 미음 (mieum, “mieum”), a jamo (letter) of the alphabet of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the bilabial nasal (/m/)
In the North Korean order, ㅁ (m) is the fifth jamo. In the South Korean order, it is the seventh.
- ㅂ (b) (in traditional account)
-ㅁ • (-m)
- -ness; -tion; -ment
-ㅁ • (-m)
- (formal) the act of, the process of, -ing; the status of, being ~, to be ~; that ~
- (suffix making 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.
- Neohui moduga itorok yeppeumeun neohui ma-eumi kkaekkeuthagi ttaemuniranda.
- It is because your minds are so clean that all of you are this beautiful!
- 갚다 (갚으니) (gapda (gapeuni), “to repay”) + ㅁ (m): 갚음 (gapeum, “repaying”)
- 쉽다 (쉬우니) (swipda (swiuni), “to be easy”) + ㅁ (m): 쉬움 (swium, “being easy”)
- 살다 (사니/살면) (salda (sani/salmyeon), “to live”) + ㅁ (m): 삶 (sam, “life”)
The suffix 기 (gi), or an adjective clause modifying a noun are much preferred to ㅁ (m).
- E.g. 라면은 계란을 푸는 게 더 먹기 좋아.
- Ramyeoneun gyeraneul puneun ge deo meokgi joa.
- Ramen is better for eating, if you add an egg.
- 기 (gi)