Sunday, January 30, 2005

What does 바야흐로 mean?

According to my dictionary, 바야흐로 has two meanings. Here is what my dictionary says:
1 [한창] at the height ; in full swing[operation]; [바로] just; really; truly. ¶ 바야흐로 봄이다 Spring is really here./We are now in the midst of spring. 바야흐로 딸기철이다 Strawberries are now in season. 가보니 바야흐로 싸움이 한창이었다 I found them at the height of quarrel.

2 [이제 곧] about to ; on the point[brink/verge] of ; almost; nearly. ¶ 해가 바야흐로 지려고 하고 있다 The sun is about to sink[set]. 꽃봉오리가 바야흐로 벌어지려고 한다 The buds are just ready to burst. 바야흐로 승리를 위해 나아갈 순간이다 This is the moment to go for victory.
I do not like this word because it is too long and sounds foreign in orgin. In fact, the "로" at the end of the word reminds be of Japanese, for some reason. I have tried to find information on the orgin of this word, but have been unsuccessful. The only thing I can say about it is that when it is used to mean "be about to," it is almost always followed by the "-려 하다" ending.

If anyone has any information on the orgin of this word, I would be interested to hear it.


  1. I know of no expression in Japanese that resembles 바야흐로. Is there no 한자 for it? Maybe it's native Korean?

  2. No, there are no Chinese characters for the word. It may be a pure Korean word, but it just sounds strange to me.

  3. 바야흐로 is Korean in origin I think. At least it shows up in the bible, which tends to avoid non-korean words (외태어) in normal vocabulary use.

  4. 바야흐로 is Korean. The similar word that is ending '로' is 그러므로. '로' is not a suffix.

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  6. I'm memorizing 바야흐로 right now. It's an adverb. I understand 바야흐로 as 'now is exactly the time for...' (from your examples: spring, time for a big fight to happen, etc.)


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