What kind of holic (홀릭) are you?

06 May

Chances are if you’re in Korea, whether a native or a foreigner, you’re a holic of the alco persuasion. However, I’ve seen a ton of neologisms cranked out using the suffix.

When I login to MSN (a rare occasion) I’m greeted by a pop-up menu that features various bits of entertainment news. Clicking on one of them takes me to the Enterholic (엔터홀릭) page or one of its subpages: Movieholic, Starholic and TVholic. Through Starholic, You can go straight from IM to your daily dose of scantily clad Korean women with 색시스타포토 (literally sexy star photo), for example ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ:

(This was one in a set with with the tagline “8등신도 아닌 9등신 미녀 한영의 쭉쭉 뻗은 다리”)

Anyway that’s beside the point. (If you’re looking for something to that effect type 쭉쭉빵빵 and have at it, 엔조이.)

There are other holics out there as well:


Bikiholic (bikini)


and a game that’s just plain old Holic!

And many many more!

I saw a PC Bang yesterday in Sangwanshimni called Funnyholic (퍼니홀릭, pronounced Punnyholic) and was inspired to take a crappy cellphone photo of it (you can still make out the Korean though):

Being a holic has never been so good. One might argue that it’s never been good ever! Sure, Westerners have ‘workaholic’ and ‘shopaholic’, but even though they’re occasionally used in jest, they still have ultimately negative connotations. The celebration of shopaholism doesn’t change the fact that it can be a true problem. On the other end, the Korean 홀리다 (hol-lee-da) means to be obsessed, fascinated, etc. The verb sounds similar to holic but is mostly used in a negative way as well, so that doesn’t explain the widespread use of holic as a suffix. Just another English term adapted to Korean in a surprising way I suppose.


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2 responses to “What kind of holic (홀릭) are you?

  1. Sam

    May 6, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Nice post. I didn’t know about the connection to the verb 홀리다, very interesting indeed. I looked it up and it doesn’t seem to have a hanja root (is that the right term?) so maybe it’s a new verb that came from “-holic”!?

  2. metamorphallic

    May 7, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    My Korean sources (i.e. girlfriend and coworkers) claim that they’re unrelated terms, with 홀리다 being the older of the two, but the similarity in definition leaves me suspicious.


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