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U+BC25, 밥
Composition: + +

Hangul Syllables

미 ←→ 배



First attested in the Hunmin jeongeum haerye (訓民正音解例 / 훈민정음해례), 1446, as Middle Korean 밥〮 (Yale: páp).

Joo (2021) suggests a mimetic origin of this word, as the baby-talk term for 'food' or 'to eat' in many languages tend to be similar to /papa/ or /mama/, some of which may change into the generic term for food.[1] Compare 맘마 (mamma, (childish) food; rice).


Revised Romanization?bap
Revised Romanization (translit.)?bab
Yale Romanization?pap
  • South Gyeongsang (Busan) pitch accent: / 에 /

    Syllables in red take high pitch. This word always takes high pitch and also heightens the next suffixed syllable, unless it is 에.



  1. cooked rice
    Synonym: (honorific) 진지 (jinji)
    먹다bab-eul meokdato eat rice
  2. meal
    Synonyms: 끼니 (kkini), 식사(食事) (siksa), (honorific) 진지 (jinji)
    먹다bab-eul meokdato have a meal
    뭇나? (Gyeongsang dialect)Bap munna?Hello (literally, “Did you eat?”)
  3. feed
    gaebapfeed for dogs; dog food
  4. (figuratively) someone serving as an object of abuse
    ? 자꾸 괴롭혀?
    Nae-ga ni bab-i-nya? Wae jakku goerophyeo?
    Am I your punching bag? Why do you keep bothering me?

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joo, Ian (2021), “The etymology of Korean ssal 'uncooked grain' and pap 'cooked grain'”, in Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale[1], issue 50.1, pages 94-110