Sunday, September 06, 2009

Does 빈정거리다 confuse you, too?

빈정거리다 is one of those words that I have looked up a hundred times, yet still have trouble remembering. So, I have decided to write something about it with the hope that it may help me remember the word in the future.

빈정거리다 can mean "to poke fun at," "to ridicule," or "to make sarcastic remarks." I think one reason I always forget the meaning is that 빈정 and 거리다 do not seem a good match for each other. If the word were just 빈정하다, then maybe I could remember it, but the 거리다 suffix confuses me.

The "-거리다" suffix is added to words to give them a sense of repetitiveness. For example, 중얼거리다 means "to murmur," which is "to make a low, continuous, indistinct sound." 두근거리다 means "to pulsate," which is "to expand and contract rhythmically." 비틀거리다 means "to stagger," which is "to move or stand unsteadily." There is repeated sound or movement clearly inherent in the meanings of such words, which makes them good "-거리다" words. However, the repetitiveness in the meaning of 빈정거리다 is not as clear to me.

You can "ridicule" someone repeatedly, or you can do it just one time. You can make two "sacastic remarks," or you can make just one. 비꼬다 is a synonym for 빈정거리다, yet it does not have any 거리다 attached to it. Why? Even if the word "ridicule" has some kind of implied repetitiveness in it, it is not as clear "to me" as it is in many other 거리다 verbs, which may be why it is harder for me to accept and remember it.

Another reason I may be having trouble with 빈정거리다 is that it can be used as both a transitive and an intransitive verb. See the following examples:
  • 그 남자가 나를 빈정거렸다. (transitive)
    He ridiculed me.
  • 그 남자가 빈정거렸다.
    He made sarcastic remarks.

According to the definition, the two sentences above should be correct, but they still seem strange to me, and I think it is because of the 거리다 ending.

Also, it seems like 빈정하다 should be an adjective, but there is no such word. However, there is a 빈정빈정하다, which is a verb that means the same thing as 빈정거리다.

1 comment:

  1. i think of '거리다' more of a verb or helping verb

    you seem to have this 'repetitiveness' meaning stuck to 거리다

    just think of it has -doing something

    두근거리다,중얼거리다, its pulsating, its murmurring.
    instead of thinking it as an adjective.


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