Korean slang

Korean slang #2: 읽씹, 안 읽씹

Today we dive into 2 slang words used when talking about messaging people. Learned about this word pretty recently when I discovered this song – which is a nice bop by the way, highly recommended.


읽씹 = 읽다 (to read) + 씹다 (to chew)
–> you read this person’s message but then chewed it, i.e. moved on.

In English this would be “to leave someone on read” or basically to ignore after reading. The Korean slang has the same implications: it can be done either intentionally or unintentionally by the message reader and the end result is a very annoyed message sender.


안 읽씹 = 안 (negative) + 읽다 (to read) + 씹다 (to chew)/
–> you didn’t read this person message [and so neither did you chew it/move on] — the ~negative form of 읽씹

This is similar to the expression “to ghost someone” in English, you’re just flat out ignoring someone’s messages.
Some Korean definitions I have seen say that 안 읽씹 can be used when you read the messages from your notifications preview but do not go into the app as to not make the messages appear as truly read. You don’t want to leave someone on read, but you don’t want to acknowledge their message either, i.e. you’re ghosting them!


left on read

If you read [the message] you have to reply


The whole leave on read and ghosting themes have been used a lot of times in kpop lyrics, sometimes referring the 1 that appears next to an unread message on Kakaotalk then disappears once the person has read it.

For example in BTS’ Boy In Luv:

메신저 확인해놓고 누르지 않는 너의 행위
“일” 자리 없어 […]

You checked your messenger but you’re not pressing [send]
The “1” is gone


As usual if you have any questions or slang explanation requests, leave a comment! 🙂

Previous Korean slang posts:

#1 얼죽아 (Even if I die freezing, ice coffee)