높을 고(高)/낮을 저(低) – Korean Hanja #14

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

If something is in the high place, there is something else in the low place. Today's characters 높을 고(高) and 낮을 저(低) are the characters for these concepts.

최고(最高)/최저(最低)

When something is in the highest place, the place is called 가장 높은 곳 in Korean. It is also called as 최고로 높은 곳. 최(最) means very or most, so 최고 means highest or best. 최저 means the lowest.

가격이 최저일 때 사서 최고일 때 팔면 되는데 문제는 그 때가 언제인지 아무도 모른다는 거지.
It is just to buy something when the price is the lowest and sell them when the price is the highest. The problem is that we don't know when it is.

기분 정말 최고다!
I feel really best!

When you feel best, it is 최고. When you feel worst, it is not 최저, it is 최악. It is used like this: 기분 정말 최악이다.

고음(高音)/저음(低音)

Some of you might like audition programs. Then, we might have heard judges speaking something like your high notes are good, but your low notes are bad. High note is 고음 and low note is 저음 in Korean.

고음은 확실히 잘 되는데, 저음이 좀 불안정해요.
Your high notes are really good, but your low notes are a bit unstable.

저음인 그의 목소리는 무척 매력적이다.
His voice is really low tone and attractive.

고기압(高氣壓)/저기압(低氣壓)

If you listen to the weather forecast in Korea, you might hear these words, 고기압 and 저기압. They mean high pressure and low pressure.

서울은 고기압의 영향으로 인해 맑겠으며, 부산은 저기압의 영향으로 구름이 많고, 오후에는 비가 오겠습니다.
Seoul will be clear thanks to high pressure and Busan will be cloudy and rainy in the afternoon because of the low pressure.

Is 저 Always the Antonym of 고?

저 is not always the antonym of 고. It varies. As I said before, the antonym of 최고 is 최악.
The antonym of 고급(high level, advanced level) is not 저급, it is 초급(beginner level). When 고급 is used for luxurious like 고급스럽다, 저급하다 is used for the meaning, low quality, but 저질 or 형편없다 is more frequently used.
The antonym of 고수(advanced person) is not 저수, but 하수.
It is different from here to there, so you should be careful.

高 as 고등학교

In newspapers, the character 高 is used to call 고등학교, high school, in headlines, because the journalists and reporters should shorten their title. Because of that, there are many shortened form of words for high school in Korean like 외고 for 외국어 고등학교(foreign language high school), 과고 for 과학고등학교(high school specialized for sciences), 예고 for 예술 고등학교(fine art high school), etc.