중앙데일리

Don’t worry if you’re called kimchi

A special team member merits a special name

May 12,2003
The following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Mr. Reins, who wrote to us from Seoul:

Q. Mr. Reins:
My 7-year-old son came home one day and told me and my wife that he was kkakdugi. He plays often with his Korean friends, so at first we misunderstood, thinking he ate kkakdugi, a kind of radish kimchi we knew very well. Some time later, he reworded his claim, saying he volunteered to become a kkakdugi while he was playing a ball game. When we asked what that kimchi’s name meant in his game, he told me kkakdugi was a player who played for both sides.

What does a popular Korean kimchi have to do with a ball player?

A. IHT-JAD:
Koreans generally consider kimchi made of Chinese cabbage a must-have side dish in their meals. Kkakdugi, or diced radish kimchi, is still a kind of kimchi, but seasonal and somewhat secondary to regular kimchi. When children play games, they call the neutral player a kkakdugi, reflecting his rare nature. Unlike the odd-man-out in Western culture, a kkakdugi is rarely left out of the game.


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