우왕좌왕 – Korean 4 Character Idioms #8

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

When we don't know what to do, we just go here and there because there is no clear goal.

우왕좌왕 is the expression for this situation. Two 왕s in this expression mean to come or go. 우 means right and 좌 means left. It means going left and right and it is really used to describe this motion. However, it is sometimes used to describe the situation that you don't know what to do.

Examples

예상치 못했던 일이 벌어지는 것을 즐기는 것이 여행이라지만 계획을 너무 안 세우고 갔더니 우왕좌왕했다.
It is said that we should enjoy the unexpected things in the travel, but we didn't know what to do so much because we didn't have much plan.

이번에 대통령이 내 놓은 경제 정책은 실패로 돌아갔고, 정부와 여당은 어쩔 줄 몰라하며 우왕좌왕하고 있다.
The new economic policy that the president made became a failure and the government and the ruling party don't know what to do now.

그렇게 우왕좌왕한다면 네 정체가 탄로나고 말아. 지금 네가 해야 할 일에 집중해.
If you move left to right on and on like that, your identity will be disclosed. You should focus on what you should do now.