[TALKING TRENDS] 'Gilppangleo'

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[TALKING TRENDS] 'Gilppangleo'

Seo Jeong-min
The author is a senior reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.
Although mandatory mask wearing outdoors was lifted on May 2, many still wear face masks on the street. This is probably because people are worrying about the resurgence of Covid-19, but some say that they’re doing so due to gilppangleo
“Gilppangleo” refers to those who smoke on the street. People who smoke on the sidewalk, outside of non-smoking areas or buildings are nothing new. But, passing by those gilppangleo without wearing a mask still makes us frown.
In fact, the smell of cigarettes is not just a simple problem that causes repulsion and makes people want to shun it. The damage caused by passive smoking is evident. We cannot help but make a face when we think about smokers on the street hawking spit on the sidewalk and making everything dirty.

The newly-coined word gilppangleo is a combination of the Korean word gilppang and the English suffix -er. Ppang means to attack or harm and gil means street or road. Simply put, gilppang is slang for street attack and a gilppangleo is a street attacker.
A while ago, an article that singer and actor IU was “shoulder-ppang” at the Cannes Film Festival went viral. It was said that a French influencer bumped into IU while passing her. In Korea, a number of internet users considered this as an act of racism and violence, which was very rude. Dambaebbang describes a cigar burn, using the Korean word for a cigarette, dambae and ppang.
In a nut shell, the word gilbbangleo means more than just a smoker on the street. It implicates that they are potential perpetrators who can attack or cause harm to others. If you’re a smoker, try to think about others before claiming that “smoking is a matter of personal preference.”

BY SEO JEONG-MIN [meantree@joongang.co.kr]
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