Thursday, January 06, 2005

What does 다반사 mean?

다반사(茶飯事) means "an everyday occurence; a daily event." It is an abbreviation of 항다반사(恒茶飯事), which literally means, "an incident as common as tea and rice." In other words, 다반사 is used to refer to something that occurs as frequently as "drinking tea" and "eating rice," which is something people in Korea and other places do everyday.

Some Koreans precede 다반사 with "일상" or "일상의," which means "daily." However, since 다반사 already has "daily" in its meaning, the expression "일상의 다반사" is redundant. Use 다반사 without 일상.

Here is an example sentence from my dictionary:

요즈음 살인 사건이 다반사로 일어난다.
Murders are daily events these days.


  1. This is a pretty cool blog you have here. Thanks for sharing Korean.


  2. Welcome! Looking forward to reading your content.


  3. Cool blog, I'll definitely be checking it out from time to time.

  4. My Korean lab co-worker said that the hanja for 다 means "more" (多).

  5. Never mind. He looked it up; you're right!

  6. This is a blog to frequent in the future - thanks for starting this!

    I would have understood the following sentence in the most current Chosun Ilbo editorial without seeing this entry, but without thinking or knowing what's behind the word 다반사:
    그러나 남북관계에서는 당연한 일이 당연하게 이루어지지 않은 것이 다반사였다.

  7. Today I discovered that the same expression is used in Japanese. My dictionary defines 日常茶飯事 as "everyday occurance" and just 茶飯事 as "common occurance". Maybe that's the difference (and hence not redundant).

  8. Tae Kim,

    Yes, that might explain it. Thank you for sharing.

    Do the Japanese also say, 항다반사(恒茶飯事)?


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