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Expletive languages at National Assembly

Posted November. 19, 2014 07:43,   


In Korea, a man with muscle is often called "fist" or "shoulder." This is a synecdoche to describe a person with parts of a body. When Korea was under Japanese colony, the word "ggangpae" referring to gangster didn`t exist. Kim Du-han, boss of a Korean gang in the Japanese colonial era, was called "shoulder." The word "ggangpae" was first used to describe people who conspired with political authorities and behaved violently when the society was in confusion after Korea`s independence from Japan. "Ggangpae" is believed to have combined "gang" from gangster and "pae," a Chinese word meaning gang. Yet this is not accurate as the origin of slangs are always uncertain.

"Yangachi," or bully, has a different table of descent. "Yangachi" is said to be a short word for "dongnyangachi," which means a beggar. Beggar got an image of being poor and evil in the 19th century. People in extreme poverty who became more impoverished due to power politics hung out in groups in marketplaces, interfering with merchants and taking away food. The word "ttegeoji," or beggars going around in a bunch, appeared this time around. Even after modernization, "ttegeoji" survived as ragmen. These beggars were called "yangachi" and to this day "yangachi" came to refer bullies who mimic "ggangpae."

At the National Assembly`s Special Committee on Budget and Accounts on Monday, pros and cons arguments continued on one of President Park Geun-hye`s creative economy budgets. While in talks, Rep. Kim Jin-tae of the ruling Saenuri Party hit the table with his fist saying, "stop" and in response, Rep. Kang Chang-il of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, "Why the hell are you provoking a quarrel while I`m speaking? You ggangpae. Why are you hitting the table? You yangachi."

There would be no end if one tries to go into details of who caused the quarrel. Kang cursed when Kim hit the table, and Kim hit the table because Rep. Lee Choon-suk who is assistant administrator of the main opposition party unnecessarily demanded for adjournment and took a slow-down attitude. Lee could argue that he did so because the Saenuri Party made an unfeasible budget demand. Though one can question whose fault is bigger, to the public this is just about who is ggangpae and who is yangachi.