Friday, 12 October 2007

Origins of "Hwaiting!"

If you have seen a Korean drama or any Korean show, you might notice that they use the word "Hwaiting".

It's from the English word "Fighting". It is an expression to "cheer" oneself, or others on - to work harder, to preservere. It is a very useful expression and Koreans usually say it fist clenched.


화이팅 - Hwaiting

파이팅 - Paiting

Silly me, i actually thought the word was coined by the writers of the popular drama Full House (2004).

  1. The very first K-drama i watched was Full House. I thought Song Hye-kyo's character was the first to use the word "Hwaiting"!
  2. The next time i heard the word "Hwaiting" was just before Bi went up on stage for a concert. He used the word. I thought...wow, he's so influenced by his Full House character.
  3. I noticed other Koreans using it. I thought...wow, is the Full House drama is so influential?
  4. Now i know, all Koreans or K-popped! persons (like us) use it.

So does anyone know of its origins?




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21 Comments:

IN`vincible said...

i'm no Korean nor an expert in etymology so this is just an opinion:

i don't think there's an "origin" for Hwaiting/Fighting~ it's like ganbarre/fighto in Japanese and jia you in Chinese.. i hope i'm making sense?! it could be part of Korean culture... their own way of cheering themselves up, lifting their spirits, one way of being positive~ 아자, 아자, 화이팅!

Anonymous said...

that's exactly what it is!

Gail T. said...

are you asking about who coined the term? maybe figuring out where it was first heard might be helpful. i first heard it in "full house." i keep thinking it was used in "lovers in paris," which was shown first. but i don't think i've ever heard it actually used in "lovers in paris."

Anonymous said...

I always thought they said "fighting" in a bad korean accent.

g35733 said...

In Korean, 화이팅/파이팅 are basically just deviations of the English word 'fighting' (like coffee - 커피 kuhpi, New York - 뉴욕 nyu yok, mannequin - 만네킹 manneyking, etc.). Essentially, both 화이팅 and 파이팅 have the exact same meaning, but they're just different ways Koreans have interpreted/hangulized 'fighting.' Korean doesn't have a 'f' sound, so instead we usually use ㅍ (pronounced like a soft p).

I don't think there was anyone who really 'coined' the term. It's kind of just a common phrase we use to cheer ourselves/others on. I hope this was helpful! (:

g35733 said...

Ahh, I'm sorry. I've just realized I made a typo. It should be 마네킹, not 만네킹.

Orchid said...

g35733, ok i get it now. It's just a "borrowed" English word. They have a term for these words...i forgot what it's called now.

It's definitely a Korean way to cheer because although "fighting" is a common English word, it is not used the way Korean's use it. =)

Hwaiting!

Actually we use it quite a lot now. ;-) It is quite contagious.

rooster said...

How about the other way around? Any Korean words used in the English language today?

For example 'typhoon' derived from the chinese 'tai feng'(台风).

g35733 said...

orchid: Yep, it's just a hangulized English word. Haha I couldn't remember the term for it either. And you're right! In English people rarely use 'fighting' as anything other than... physical fighting, but we use it quite a bit in Korean (esp. kids/teens), and it's definitely catchy~ XD

rooster: Hmmm, here aren't any that I can think of. Part of the reason is probably because a lot of Korean words are derived from Chinese, also. For example, typhoon in Korean is 태풍 (taepoong). Pretty similar to both English and Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Hah, I'm so good. We still say Tae Kwon Do hahahah
~A

Liz said...

I also heard the hwaiting word in Full House...also my first Korean drama.

But unlike Orchid, I knew it didn't originate from the character of the show but used in the Korean culture.

It's a good and fun word. Maybe it'll make it into the Oxford dictionary one day, like the Tamil word pariah, which means social outcast.

아자 아자 화이팅!! ;-P

Anonymous said...

OMG, they did say 'hwaiting' in Full House? A lot of times too? I watched it on 8tv... Thanks to those dubbed voices, I didn't get to enjoy the WHOLE FULL THING!

Orchid said...

Hi Anonymous, yeah they did say Hwaiting in Full House. SHK's character likes to use "Fighting!" While Rain's character insists of adding "Aja Aja - fighting". It's a pretty integral part of the story. See...i dislike the dubbed versions. ;-)

g35733 said...

"Hah, I'm so good. We still say Tae Kwon Do hahahah
~A"

Haha, that doesn't really count. It's kind of like 'kimchi.' The English word isn't actually derived from Korean, but it's just taken and romanized.

Anonymous said...

thats why the "Hahahaha"

fraulein said...

Me too !
I also thought it originated from FUll House. I now know it's not - several serials later.. maybe because Full house was the 2nd drama series i ever watched... loved how rain's character said hwaiting but SHK's character insisted it had to be aja aja hwaiting.. those 2 coined a new term!! It sounds cute in the mandarin version too ' go go jia you"
The koreans add it to almost any situation they deem fit....

fraulein said...

Likewise for
"stay healthy and happy"
haengbok kaseyo"

Gail T. said...

i believe the term is "loanword" something borrowed from english but incorporated into Korean. english speakers who do not know korean would not easily recognize the loanwords as english. :)

Nicholas said...

maybe its just me, but i think it has some japanese roots during the japanese occupation of korea. they have other words like that that were definitely influenced by them such as french fries and a lot of other english words with 'f' at the beginning.

Mardi said...

oh....so now i know what it means..haha..silly me...common sense..i hear it all the time!...okay, okay...thanks for explaining what "hwaiting" meant...
someone just said that to me..and i was like...'omg, i need to find what this means...'..:D

axile:] said...

aja-aja hwaiting became a hit here in the Philippines because of Lovers in Paris ... since then ... Filipino's use this randomly !! But now i use hwaiting !!!

 

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