Korean Words for Bathroom / Restroom
Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to another Korean words tutorial! Do you know where is the place you must go at least once a day? Yes, it’s bathroom (or restroom) because you have to make your own creation lol. Did you answer some place else? Where do you go everyday besides a bathroom? Well, if you answered somewhere else, that’s still good because the Korean words you will learn in this tutorial will surely help you in every situation.
Bathroom / Restroom
화장실 is the most common Korean word for restroom or bathroom in Korean. You can use it to anything for peeing and shitting (lol), public restroom are bathroom in your house are both 화장실.
You might think there is no Korean word for ‘bathroom’ because restroom and bathroom are the same. But we do have a Korean word for bathroom : 욕실. 욕실 is very similar to ‘bathroom’ in English. 욕 means ‘bath’ and 실 means ‘room’ but mostly it really means a room for bath.
화장실 어디있어요? 당장 말해요!
Where is the restroom? SAY IT NOW!
쓰다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘use’ in Korean. 쓰다 is often used to say ‘to use the bathroom’ or ‘to use the restroom’. It’s common to use when you ask if you can use the bathroom in other’s house. Not much different than English expressions!
There are same spelled Korean words for 쓰다. They mean ‘to write’, ‘to be bitter’, ‘to wear (hat or glasses)’. They all are commonly used in any situations. I don’t know why Koreans made words so confusing lol. Of course, you can easily distinguish with the context.
화장실 좀 쓸게요
I’ll use a bathroom
가다 means ‘to go’ in Korean. However, it only means a physical action like you move your body. It doesn’t have many meanings that the English word ‘go’ has.
You can also use 가다 with a word ‘bathroom’ just like the English phrase ‘go to the bathroom / restroom’ : ‘화장실에 가다’. 화장실 is bathroom or restroom, 에 is a Korean preposition for ‘to’ and you know what 가다 means, yes, it’s ‘to go’.
I’ll give you some tip how to say ‘go to the restroom’ just like native Koreans. Skip ‘에’ in ‘화장실에 가다’. It makes the phrase more suitable for casual conversations and I’m 100% sure that you can’t be formal with peeing.
화장실 좀 갔다올게요
I’m going to a restroom
To be dirty
더럽다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to be dirty’. 더럽다 also means ‘to be unfair’, ‘to be dishonest’ or ‘to be dishonorable’ just like the English word dirty means (e.g. dirty play).
However, the Korean word 더럽다 doesn’t mean something sexual or naughty unlike English. It’s more like ‘disgusting’ or ‘gross’. If you use 더럽다 to say something like ‘dirty girl’, it sounds just funny and very insultive lol.
Native Koreans use the Korean word 더럽다 to say ‘to be offended’ or ‘to be insulted’ in very informal conversations, especially when they say 더럽다 with the Korean word 기분 (feeling). However, it never means.
여기 화장실 너무 더러워요
The restroom is really dirty
To be clean
깨끗하다 is an informal Korean word means ‘to be clean’. Even though it’s an informal Korean word, it’s very often used in formal situations (for example, instructions of skincare stuff or shampoo). In my opinion, it’s because this Korean word sounds like ‘ahhhh fresh and cleeeeean’, not only ‘clean’ lol. Yeah it really does sound like that to me.
깨끗하다 is not perfectly matched to the English word ‘clean’. It doesn’t have any meaning for ‘nice (clean start)’, ‘smooth’, ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’. 깨끗하다 is mostly for hygiene
제 겨드랑이는 깨끗해요
My armpits are clean
To wash something / oneself
씻다 means ‘to clean something with water’ in Korean. It’s not much different than the English word ‘wash’.
Native Koreans often say 씻다 without mentioning of what they are going to wash. In that case, 씻다 mostly means ‘to wash one’s self’ or ‘to take a shower’. Mostly it describes the daily routine for washing.
I’m going to wash now / shower
To wipe / To brush / To mop /To dry something with a towel
닦다 is a Korean word that English doesn’t have. Basically, it means ‘rub / clean sb to remove something dirty or liquid’. It can be translated as ‘to wipe’, ‘to brush’, ‘to mop’, ‘to dry’, ‘to wash’. Yes, they all can be ‘닦다’ in Korean. The basic meaning of 닦다 is ‘to wipe’ but it’s used in various situations. native Koreans use it even when they wash their hands, face or body! But they never use 닦다 to say ‘wash hair’.
닦다 is supposed to be pronounced [dakdda]. However, native Koreans often pronounce it as [ddakdda].
아무리 닦아도 못생김은 지워지지 않아요 흑흑
No matter how hard I try to wash, ugliness never gets removed *sob sob*
[ibbar-eul dakdda] or [ibbal dakdda]
To brush teeth
이빨 닦다 is an informal Korean phrase (or a compound Korean word) for brushing teeth. Remember, it’s an informal Korean word, it’s natural only in casual conversations. Since the Korean word 닦다 is more similar to ‘to wipe’ or ‘to mop’, the phrase sounds like ‘wiping teeth’ a bit. In fact, native Koreans say 이빨을 닦다 also when they wipe something out from teeth with a finger. (you can see why the phrase sounds like wiping teeth lol)
이빨 is in informal Korean word for ‘teeth’ or ‘tooth’ and you just learned what 닦다 means.
이빨을 닦았더니 방구가 나왔어요. 대단해
I brushed my teeth and fart came out, amazing.
거울 means ‘mirror’ in Korean. Exactly same to the English word mirror. So easy. It also means ‘reflection’ as a poetic meaning.
I found 거울 also can be used to mean ‘good example’, ‘role model’ or ‘lesson’ on Korean dictionaries and I was like ‘what…?’ because I’ve never used or even heard that 거울 means those things. It’s a very weird expression to me but… maybe it’s an old saying that had been used like 50 years ago? I wasn’t sure if I needed to explain these meanings but well… why not?
*Fun Korean Culture
Normally in western cultures, mirror is something sacred so ghosts or vampires can’t see themselves on mirror. But, in Korean culture, it’s the opposite. Koreans believed mirrors can reflect something that they can’t see with bare eyes. You can find many Korean horror stories about mirror and ghosts.
거울에는 귀신이 살아요
Ghosts live in mirrors
To take a shower / to shower
샤워하다 means ‘to take a shwoer’ in Korean. I’m sure many of you guessed the meaning when you saw the word. Yes, 샤워 is ‘shower’ in English as a noun and ‘하다’ means ‘do’. It’s a compound Korean word for taking a shower.
The korean word 샤워 doesn’t mean ‘rain of short duration’ or ‘party for celebration’. It only means ‘washing body’.
두시간 동안 샤워할거예요
I’ll shower for 2 hours
How To Use The Korean Words Like Natives
Where is the restroom?
Where are you going?
이 컵 너무 더러워요
This cup is too dirty
이 방 진짜 깨끗하네요
This room is really clean
I want to wash
I want to shower
뺨에 소스 묻었어요. 휴지로 닦아요
You have sauce on your cheek, wipe it off with tissue
이빨 닦고 올게요
I’ll go brush my teeth
Look at the mirror
I was in the shower
References For Korean Words
korean standard unabridged dictionary
- Emily M
- Chris M
- Carly Sisson
- Lev Izraelit
- Tuoc Phan