시크하다 – Konglish Words #4

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

If you watch Korean TV shows a lot, you might have seen the word, 시크하다. Actually, it is written in dictionary and the meaning is "세련되고 멋있다(elegant and cool)." It came from English word, chic, which means elegant. If you google that word, you can find that it originally from Germany to France and to English.

However, 시크하다 I am going to introduce to you today is not that chic. It came from the word, cynical. It is used when someone talks cold-hearted and without any emotion. 시크 people are a bit expressionless and don't show their emotion much. The Konglish word, 시크 got its coldness from the word, cynical, but there is no intention of ignoring or despising. I don't know why cynical became 시크. It seems that the middle sound 니 is eliminated to make it short. If someone is 시크, then she will look arrogant or haughty. Because of that, it is usually used with the word, 도도하다.

Because of these two meanings, sometimes it is hard to understand which one is intended. I found a phrase, 러블리함과 시크함으로 무장, in a news. It can be covered or prepared with loveliness and coolness or loveliness and coldness. I guess that the journalist just used the word, 시크하다, to say something good.

Examples

그렇게 시크하게 굴지 마.
Don't be that expressionless.

시크한 모습이 그 사람의 매력이야.
Being expressionless is her attraction.

그 여자는 너무 시크해서 말 걸기가 어려워.
She is too cold that it is hard for me to start a conversation with her.