샤프(Mechanical Pencil) – Konglish Words #21

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

When using a pencil, we have to sharpen it occasionally, but we don't have to do so with mechanical pencils. All we have to do is just fill the leads. That's why we love them. To prepare this podcast about mechanical pencils, I found out that they are called mechanical pencils in American English and propelling pencils in British English and pen pencil in Indian English and they are called 샤프 in Konglish.

The history of mechanical pencils is so long, so you can read about it in Wikipedia if you want to know more about it. In 1915, Japan, Tokuji Hayakawa made improved version of mechanical pencil and it became a huge hit. Its first name was Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil. Although it was not immediate success at first, but it sold well after they got big order from Tokyo and Osaka. Later, Tokuji made a company and called it Sharp and these mechanical pencils got the name Sharp Pencil in Japan. The Konglish word, 샤프, got its name from this corporation.

To use mechanical pencil, you should fill in some leads. These leads are called 샤프심 in Korean. 심 here means the core and these leads are put into the core of the mechanical pencils, that's why 샤프심 got its name. The case that contains 샤프심 is called 샤프심통.

One of the most famous 샤프 in Korea is 수능 샤프. After the massive cheating case in 2005, a mechanical pencil is given to every student who takes 수능, college entrance exam of Korea.

Examples

중학교 때 쓰던 샤프가 아직도 있네?
The mechanical pencil I used in middle school is still here.

샤프심 다 썼어. 집에 오는 길에 5통만 사와.
We used all of our leads. Buy 5 cases of leads on the way back home.

요즘 샤프 대신에 다시 연필을 쓰는 중이다.
These days, I am using plain pencils instead of mechanical ones.