What is 횡설수설?

횡설수설: 조리가 없어 이러쿵저러쿵 말을 지껄임

-to speak something vague or preposterous.

1. 조리가 있다 vs 조리가 없다

조리가 없다: what you said is vague, preposterous, nonsense
조리가 있다: what you said is logical and crystal clear

그 아이는 정말 조리 있게 말을 잘 한다.
That kid speaks really clear.

그렇게 조리 없게 이야기하면 아무도 이해하지 못할 것입니다.
If you talk vaguely like that, then no one will understand you.

2. 이러쿵저러쿵: blah blah


It is used when the fact that you said something is important, not the content.

3. 지껄이다: offensive way of talking

nuance examples

  • "뭐라고 말씀하신 거지?"
  • "뭐라고 말했지?
  • "뭐라고 지껄이는 거야?"

"뭐라고 말씀하신 거지?"

It is used when you need to be polite to the person who spoke something. 말씀 is 존댓말 version of 말 in this sentence. Suppose that there was a meeting in your company, the boss spoke something, but you couldn't hear what she said, so you ask your colleague next to you. "뭐라고 말씀하신 거지?" You need to be polite to your boss, so "뭐라고 말씀하신 거지?" is more appropriate than "뭐라고 말했지?" in this case.

"뭐라고 말했지?

It is used between friends. Some of your friends and you met at a restaurant, and one of your friend told something, but you couldn't hear him. Then, you can say "뭐라고 말했지?" Your friend is your equal, so you can use that sentence.

"뭐라고 지껄이는 거야?"

You should not use "뭐라고 지껄이는 거야?" to anyone if you want to be a polite person. It is used much in movies or dramas. Let's say our hero got caught from his enemy and the enemy is really cheerful about that. Our hero will say something like this, "아직 여기서 끝난 것이 아니다. 조금만 기다려라. 그러면 알게 될 것이다." "It is not over yet. Just wait and you will see." Then the enemy would say to our hero, "뭐라고 지껄이는 거야?" There is some hatred and contempt in that sentence.

횡설수설 예문

1. 방송 준비를 하지 않고 방송을 하면 횡설수설하게 된다.
If you broadcast without any preparation, then you will speak nonsense.

  • 방송: a broadcast.
  • 횡설수설하게 된다: speaking nonsense.

2. 철수: 내가 지금까지 좀 횡설수설했지?
영희: 그런 것 같아. 아직도 네가 하고 싶은 말이 뭔지 모르겠어.

I was speaking a little nonsense, wasn't I?
I think so. I still cannot get what you want to say.

  • the verb ending 지 is used when you ask something with confidence. 철수 knows that what he said was not clear. So he ask her about that.
  • 네가 하고 싶은 말: what you are trying to say, what you want to say.

3. 그녀는 자기의 결백을 주장하고자 자기가 범인이 아닌 이유에 대해 두서없이 말했다. 하지만 그녀가 횡설수설한 내용을 들은 사람들은 그녀를 더욱 의심하기 시작했다.

To insist her innocence, she rambled why she is not a culprit. But everyone who heard her started to be more doubtful about her.

  • 결백: innocence
  • 이유: reason
  • 자기가 범인이 아닌 이유: why she is not a culprit
  • 더욱: more
  • 의심: doubt


  • Please practice if you don't want to be embarrassed in the lecture tomorrow.
  • The women who rambled until now was not a culprit.
  • Summarizing what you have rambled, that business is viable, right?

Practice Answers

  • 내일 강연에서 횡설수설하고 싶지 않으면 연습 좀 하세요.
  • 방금까지 횡설수설한 그 여자는 범인이 아니었어.
  • 네가 지금까지 두서 없이 말한 내용을 정리해 보면, 그 사업이 해 볼만 하다는 거지?