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씨 도 안먹히는 소리

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by vientito, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. vientito Senior Member

    I heard this very often on drama... I know what it means but could anyone tell me what is the origin of this phrase and how it comes to mean what it means?
  2. kenjoluma Senior Member

  3. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    To expand on that a bit: although this is indeed a common fixed expression in the whole-phrase form given here, the verb also comes up, similarly negated with 안, in other figurative expressions of the form "X Y에게 안 먹힐 것이다" = "I don't think X will wash with Y, I don't think Y will swallow X", where X is some sort of excuse or dubious claim.

    I'm sure kenjoluma is correct in explaining 씨 as 'weft', but I'd assumed myself, without any basis at all, that this was something to do with spinning rather than weaving. A 씨아 in Korean is a "cotton gin", a machine for separating the seeds (the more common sense of 씨 in Korean) from a bole of raw cotton before spinning the actual threads. And 씨아에 솜을 먹이다 is "to feed raw cotton into a gin". So I jumped to the false conclusion that the literal sense was that this was a metaphorical allusion to a bole of cotton that the gin wouldn't process. Just goes to show show the perils of "popular etymology" especially when applied to a language which is far from being one's native tongue.
  4. 경상남도로 오이소 Member

    저는 "씨도 안먹히는 소리"라고는 안하고, "씨알도 안먹히는 소리"라는 표현을 자주 씁니다. (둘 다 맞는 표현입니다.)

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