Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is there anything better than the "small comforts" in life?

Is there anything better than the "small comforts" in life?

Yes, of course, the large comforts.

The Chinese character 便 (편) means "편하다," which means "comfortable" or "easy." The character can also be pronounced as "변," but then the meaning changes to "urine" or "feces."

Is it just a coincidence that the literal meanings of 소변 (小便 - urine) and 대변 (feces) are "small comfort" and "large comfort"?

The pure Korean for urine and feces are 오줌 and 똥, respectively, but 소변 and 대변 sound more refined, for some reason.

By the way, if you want to tell a friend that you "want to take a piss" or " want to take a dump," it would be better NOT to say 오줌(소변)을 싸고 싶다 or 똥(대변)을 싸고 싶다 since that would imply that you want to piss in your pants or take a dump in your pants. Even many Koreans mistakenly say 오줌(똥) 싸고 싶다. Instead, you should say 오줌 (소변)을 누고 싶다 and 똥(대변)을 누고 싶다. Also, instead of 누다, you can use the verb 보다.


  1. To say '오줌 or 똥 싸다' is not wrong at all. Just vulgar words that might make someone heard that blush. Actually you can add these expressions to your list of Korean Slangs: '똥 싼 표정', '똥 싸고 싶은 표정', '똥 씹은 표정' - all have the same meaning: very ugly face in perplexing situation. Yes, I'm Korean, and not good at English.

  2. English Learner,

    I did not say that 오줌(똥)을 싸다 was wrong. I said that 오줌(똥)을 싸다 and 오줌(똥)을 누다 had different meanings. 싸다 implies that you have an accident in your pants, and 누다 implies that people go to the restroom and do it the right way. 싸다 is frequently used in relation to little children who frequently have accidents.

    As I said in my post, even many Koreans, especially younger Koreans, do not seem to know the different between 싸다 and 누다.

    Here is a link to a Korean article on the subject:

    [말뜻말맛] 누다와 싸다 / 김수업

  3. Wow, You are right. I didn't know the exact meanings of 싸다 and 누다. I'm ashamed but thank you. I have learned that now. ^-^

  4. Just to let you know, when I googled "똥싸고싶다" your blog entry came out third from the top.

    I just wanted to drop by and mention that, and congratulations.

  5. What is this book about?
    What category is it in?


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