Korean Idioms & Proverbs: 긁어 부스럼 만들다

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Korean Idioms & Proverbs. 긁어 부스럼 만들다
Korean Idioms & Proverbs. 긁어 부스럼 만들다.

For the longest time I have been sharing Korean grammar and neglected Korean idioms and proverbs. But, Today I want to bring a little change in that. Today I want to introduce you a new Korean proverb you might find very useful.  So it is time to talk about sleeping dogs or are we talking about boils? Time for the expression 긁어 부스럼 만들다.

The Korean proverb “긁어 부스럼 만들다” is not that hard to understand as a lot of English proverbs that have the same meaning. The Korean proverb talks about scratching boils. In the English proverbs they talk about hornet’s nests or sleeping dogs. Perhaps with that you already know the meaning now. Indeed, you can “긁어 부스럼 만들다” to warn people against doing something as that might bring more trouble than they are willing to take on.

Luckily unlike 그림의 떡 or 가는 날이 장날, this Korean proverb generally is paired with a particular verb, 만들다. So you’ll just need to conjugate the verb and you are already done. It is pretty easy. This expression will be the easiest for anyone with an English background to use since it is highly similar to the English proverbs I’ve already mentioned. You can translate this expression as “Let sleeping dogs lie”, “To stir a hornet’s nest”, or “To open Pandora’s box”. Let’s look at an example:

Example: 아버지의 은퇴를 얘기하지 마세요. 긁어 부스럼 만들고 싶지 않아요.

Translation: Don’t talk about your father’s retirement. You don’t want to open that Pandora’s box.

Have you seen this expression before? Or perhaps you’ve used it in a text you’ve written yourself! Please share your experience in the comments. You can more easily learn expressions when you actively use them yourself.

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October 11, 2017

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