Time for another hanja word drill and this word drill is about a very important hanja. The hanja is 外 [외] and in a way expresses location in the same way as 西 [서] and 北 [북] do. However, it is a far more expressive character than those. So let’s take a look at this expressive hanja.
Hanja #31: 外 – 바깥 외
外 [외] is a rather simple character that expresses a location. The location it expresses is ‘outside’. However, you will quickly learn that you will use this little character for a lot of different interpretations of outside. So it is best not to think of it as just a location hanja, but the character that shows all forms of outside. So you will see it pop up in vocabulary expressing something that is not part of something, things outside the other thing and so on. The possibilities of this single character are numerous.
One important use of 外 [외] is in family vocabulary. This little hanja you will use to signify that someone is part of your mother’s side of the family. Your mother’s side of the family is known, for example, as your 외가 [外家]. Your maternal grandmother is your 외할머니 [外할머니]. This goes for almost all your family members on your mother’s side. The rule is simple: if there is no specific word for the maternal family member, you can simply attach 외 to the generic word. For example, you can turn 사촌 [四寸] into 외사촌 [外四寸] to make it explicit that, that cousin is from your mother’s side of the family. (I will only add the most important of these words in the vocabulary list because of this.)
If you happen to know any other word you think has this hanja, let us know in the comments.
Our 外 Vocabulary List
*Meanings written in italics are the meanings when you use the noun as a 하다 verb.
|외||Excluding; Except, excluding, besides||外|
|국외||Outside the country||國外|