1. The WordReference Forums are under attack from some Korean spammers.

    We have created a filter that requires moderation intervention for all messages with Korean characters from new users. The impact should be minimal, but posts from new users will only appear after a few minutes delay.
    Dismiss Notice

얼레리 꼴레리

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by 조금만, May 23, 2009.

  1. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    Another TV drama puzzle from me, I'm afraid...

    The context is that someone has just discovered that a middle-aged woman has paid a visit to an obstetrician. This produces the remark

    웬 산부인과? 엄마! 혹시 늦둥이?? 얼레리 꼴레리!

    Which I take to mean

    What was she doing at the obstetricians? Oh my goodness!! Is she maybe having a child at her age?? 얼레리 꼴레리!

    Clearly, this must express some sort of amazement (?and/or amusement?) but can anyone shed any light on this expression and its uses? As usual before I post here, I have tried the reference sources at my disposal, but to no avail.
  2. Mack&Mack Senior Member

    Korea & Korean
    얼레리 꼴레리 is a phrase used for teasing others. It would be translated into Ne ne ne ne ne~ in English if I spell it correctly. I am not sure if it has any meaning in it and where it comes from though.

    I haven't used this phrase since I turned sixteen or so. Having said that, I reckon there must be some grown-ups who use it for amusement.

    Hope this helps.
  3. littlemonyou

    littlemonyou Senior Member

    Your understanding on this phrase is quite accurate. :thumbsup: And I think it expresses amusement too, at least in your context, along with amazement.

    얼레리 꼴레리 is originally from 알라리 깔라리. 알라리 means 아이 나리, which implies that a child is in very important position in some sort of government service in the old days. And it is said that 꼴레리 is just added to it (probably just for the sake of saving its rhyme). And because a child is in a high position, the rest of adults don't really pay attention to him, not taking a child seriously in anyway but teasing him. As the language has changed 알라리 깔라리 became 얼레리 꼴레리. (According to my search on Naver)

    This phrase is mostly used among young children. The most typical situation with this phrase to my mind is when a child is found to like someone secretly. Or it could also be used by adults when they want to playfully tease their... , say, young niece(or nephew) in a particular situation.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  4. vientito Senior Member

    this sort of playful language is it not exclusively used within a certain region? say if you travel to Jeju or even farther into northeast china people would not know what you are talking about?
  5. Its exact spelling is 알나리깔나리(which is commonly mistaken for 얼레리 꼴레리) and most Korean know this word as 얼레리 꼴레리. I think, even northest china people who speak Korean can catch the meaning even if they don't have this word, because its sound gives a feeling of banter.

    Let's suppose there's a boy and a girl at the age of 10. They are just classmates. One day, a boy and a girl come to school, each wearing a green jacket by chance. Then their other classmates will make fun of them with 얼레리 꼴레리(correct form is 알나리깔나리), 둘이 사귄대요. (They are going out.)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  6. vientito Senior Member

  7. 경상남도로 오이소 Member

    제가 어렸을 때에는 (초등학교 1-3학년 정도?) 학교에서 어떤 남자랑 여자랑 같이 사귀는 것같으면 주변에 있는 애들이 "얼레리꼴레리~~ 얼레리꼴레리~~ 영희와 철수가 사귄데요~~" 이렇게 놀리곤 했었죠.

    그리고 "얼레리 꼴레리"라는 말은 말하자면 동요처럼 똑같은 패턴이 있어요.

Share This Page