Big data analytics firm “7 out of 1,000” announced that “green onion kimchi” ranked high on the list of words, whose meaning changed most significantly for the first six months of this year. In some sense, it is hard to say that the meaning of “green onion kimchi” has changed upside down because the word for a salted Korean side dish idiomatically describes a person who looks extremely exhausted but some new keywords have been associated with it, according to the research team.
As early as in January and February, “green onion kimchi” was searched in association with “must-eat places” and other keywords related to food and cuisine. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread widely throughout March, the word was newly associated with “COVID-19” and “mommy.” As people have spent longer hours home with their family, housewives have accordingly found that they have more chores to deal with, getting so tired that they just look like “green onion kimchi” sagging in salt. The research team argues that this has led to a more frequent use of the phrasal idiom than before.
“Dalgona” is another attention-gathering keyword in the sea of big data during the post-COVID-19 era. With sugar mixed with soda in it, “dalgona” used to be one of the most popular street junk foods in Korea. It has recently been upgraded to be a popular type of coffee as coffee powder, sugar and milk are added to mimic the flavor of the original version.
Then, what makes “dalgona coffee” a most searched word amid the COVID-19 pandemic? In March when social distancing was strictly observed across the country, the word was searched more frequently by more than 500 times than usual according to the big data research team. It takes a great deal of work and effort to make a cup of “dalgona coffee.” So much so that, it is jokingly said that you have to stir and whirl more than 4,000 times to get just a merely one cup of it. That is, as COVID-19 has locked people down home for boringly long hours, they have rather tried to find something time- and effort- consuming so that they can kill time just as “dalgona-coffee” making.
“There has been a great change in what people see as their priority since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” according to “7 out of 1000.” For example, the research team looked at Korean nouns that may imply what people think of as important. It has turned out that “immunity,” which used to be as low as in fifth to sixth place between 2017 and 2019, has surpassed “competence” and “ability,” the reigning words on the ranking, in 2020.
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