How to Say “Stupid” in Korean

Last Updated on September 26, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
A girl with a disappointed look with her palm on her face

In this lesson, we will look at how to say “stupid” in Korean. Hopefully, you won’t need to say this too often, but it is useful to know anyway!

After all, everyone feels a bit stupid sometimes. Or, maybe you notice something stupid and want to express your feelings.

A girl with a disappointed look with her palm on her face

There are two main ways to say “stupid” in Korean. One is based on a noun, and the other on an adjective.

We will tackle both in this lesson. Let’s get to it!

“To be stupid” in Korean

The adjective for “stupid” is 멍청하다 (meongcheonghada). This is used when making sentences such as “that is really stupid.”

How to say “stupid” in Korean

There are different ways to say “stupid” in the Korean language, depending on who you are speaking with.

Below, we’ve explained them in detail and categorized them into their formal, standard, and informal forms.

“Stupid” in Korean (Formal)

You will unlikely want to use these words in formal situations such as job interviews or presentations. However, if you do, you can use the below forms of these words.

1. 멍청합니다 (meongcheonghamnida)How to Say Stupid in Korean formal

2. 바보입니다 (baboimnida)

For example:

그의 형은 똑똑한데 반해 그는 멍청합니다 (geuui hyeongeun ttokttokande banhae geuneun meongcheonghamnida)

In contrast to his smart brother, he is stupid.

바보처럼 보이고 싶지 않습니다 (babocheoreom boigo sipji anseumnida)

I don’t want to look stupid.

“Stupid” in Korean (Standard)

You can use these expressions when talking to people who are older or not particularly close to you. Remember that it isn’t nice to call somebody stupid so be careful when using these words!

1. 멍청해요 (meongcheonghaeyo)

For example:

두 친구 중 하나는 매우 멍청해요. (du chingu jung hananeun maeu meongcheonghaeyo)

Out of the two friends, one is very stupid.

How to Say Stupid in Korean standard

2. 바보예요 (baboyeyo)

For example:

아무 여자나 믿는 남자는 바보예요 (amu yeojana minneun namjaneun baboyeyo)

A man is stupid to trust any woman.

“Stupid” in Korean (Informal)

You can use these expressions with people who are close to you and who are of a similar or younger age.

1. 멍청해 (meongcheonghae)

2. 바보야 (baboya)

너 바보야? (neo baboya?)

Are you stupid?

How to Say Stupid in Korean informal

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Other ways to use “stupid” in Korean

Below are other ways to say “stupid” in the Korean language. You can change 멍청하다 (meongcheonghada) to 멍청한 (meongcheonghan) as shown in the examples below.

Example:

멍청한 사람 (meongcheonghan saram)

Stupid person

멍청한 남자 (meongcheonghan namja)

Stupid man

멍청한 것 (meongcheonghan geot)

Stupid thing

 “Babo” meaning in Korean

Another word that is often used in this situation is the noun 바보 (babo).

You can use this word if you want to call somebody stupid.

For example:

어떻게 그런 바보 같은 짓을 했을까? (eotteoke geureon babo gateun jiseul haesseulkka?)

How could I have been so stupid?

“Smart” in Korean

So, how about the opposite of “stupid?” If you want to describe someone as “clever” or “smart” in Korean instead, you can use 똑똑하다 (ttokttokada) or  영리하다 (yeongnihada).

똑똑하다 (ttokttokada)

아주 똑똑한 아이예요. (aju ttokttokan aiyeyo.)

He is a very smart kid.

내가 너보다 똑똑해. (naega neoboda ttokttokae.)

I’m smarter than you.

영리하다 (yeongnihada)

개는 영리한 동물이에요. (gaeneun yeongnihan dongmurieyo.)

Dogs are smart animals.

그는 영리해서 속지 않을 거야. (geuneun yeongnihaeseo sokji aneul geoya.)

He’s clever and won’t be fooled

A Word of Caution About Romanization

The words in this article have been romanized in order to make this article more accessible. But if you really want to learn Korean, the first step is to learn the Korean alphabet, which is called Hangul. It is easy to learn and will help you improve your understanding of Korean in many ways, saving you time and effort later.

For more phrases that you can use every day, read this article. If you want to take your language learning to the next level, why not sign up for our full Korean course?

Now that you know how to say ‘stupid’ in Korean, you can hopefully express yourself more. Let us know when you feel stupid and what you can do to help others who feel stupid. By knowing more Korean, we can all help each other become more confident!

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

    4 replies to "How to Say “Stupid” in Korean"

    • Avatar for 아린 아린

      How do I say “you’re silly” like in a joking and friendly way?
      Is “유치해” or “어리석은” can be used? I don’t understand how to use these words.

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, 아린! ‘유치해’ is okay. ‘유치하다’ means ‘childish’. ^^

    • Avatar for LeAnna Zeller LeAnna Zeller

      So I’m trying to figure out how to call my sister stupid(in a joking way don’t worry)……I have heard the phrase 지민이 바보 but I don’t know how to apply that to my sisters name because it ends with a vowel unlike Jimin’s name.( if that applies to this) I would really appreciate a helping hand in this…..thank you

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi LeAnna!
        You can just say “her name 바보”. For example, 애나(Anna) 바보 (no offense)^^

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