There was an interesting article in April by Daehaknaeil (대학내일, a.k.a. UNIV Tomorrow), a weekly college and campus magazine, that introduced words or phrases that would provoke fans each team through an infograph. I thought it would be interesting to share since it provides some information of the recent history of each ballclub. Hopefully, this would help non-Korean fans of the Korea Baseball Championship understand some of the cultural context that may have left you out of the coversation.
The translation was not easy. Most of these words or phrases are just simply too Korean. In other words, if I translated word-for-word (which I did), you would not even get the simplest idea of what it is trying to say. There are also some Konglish or Korean-style English, which would also put a question mark to most of the English-speaking people out there.
Therefore, in order to help your understanding, I will explain each team one-by-one, and add some notes. I will go in order of last season’s standings from last to first. So, use them at will. But, do make sure you are not in enemy territory when mentioning these stuff unless you want to be part of it in the future.
1. Hanwha Eagles
“Stay strong, Buddhist saints!”
The Hanwha Eagles have been stuck in the cellar for four of the past five seasons. The one season they were not, they were tied for sixth… out of eight teams. And, they are currently in last place. Yet, the team has the most loyal fans on Earth, who had endured a total of 400 losses in that five-year span: a point where they have reached Nirvana. Therefore, many call them the “Bodhisattva” or “Buddhist saints” as they will continue to show up at Hanbat Baseball Stadium to watch their team… lose.
“Thank you, Hanwha!”
After a nine-game road trip facing the top contenders, the Hanwha Eagles come to town for a three-game series. You get the idea.
“This is Eagles! = Hanwha Chickens = Chicken (Chick) + Kkolji = ‘Kkolchick’.”
This one is a combination of Korean culture, Konglish, and pun. Koreans tend to create slang through a compound of adding syllables of two or more different words. This ends up sounding pretty odd when an English vocabulary is involved. The only word here you need to know is ‘kkolji’, which is a Korean derogatory word for ‘last place’, and you will probably understand what people are trying to say here. And, the word ‘chick’ is not meant as a sexist term. Koreans take English words very literally.
“Hanwha cham *LOL* pions *LOL*”
Any compliment with a chuckle, giggle or a laugh is an insult to a Hanwha Eagle fan.
“Hanwha Gag Concerts”
Gag Concert is the title of an ongoing Korean television comedy show.
This pretty much sums up how the team has played in the past five seasons. Now every play, move, and even incidents in the dugout goes viral on the net as an episode.
- 지금 야구 보다 화내는 자, 모두 유죄!, Daehaknaeil (issue no. 691), Apr. 22, 2014.
- 한화 ‘선수들은 삭발하고, 관중들은 목탁치고’, Sports Chosun, Apr. 19, 2013.