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

How to Say “Stupid” in Korean

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

All of the Korean vocabulary you’ll learn below will be in Hangeul (Korean Alphabet) with romanized Korean next to it. We recommend learning the Korean alphabet so you can learn these terms faster and have accurate pronunciation.

Being able to read the Korean alphabet will help you retain the core Korean words you should learn first. It will also improve your overall Korean language learning plan.

Let’s begin!

“To be stupid” in Korean

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

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

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

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.


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

There are several other words that can be used in place of “stupid,” and we’ll show you how they are used in Korean. Just a friendly reminder: these terms are often regarded as negative and can be offensive.

“Idiot” in Korean

The Korean word for “idiot” is 바보 (babo).

이 바보야! (i baboya!)

You idiot! 

“Moron” in Korean

The word for “moron” in Korean that is commonly used is 바보 천치 (babo cheonchi).

그 사람은 바보 천치야. (geu sarameun babo cheonchiya.)

He is a moron. 

“Fool” in Korean

You can say “fool” in Korean as 멍청이 (meongcheongi).

바보 같이 굴지 마! (babo gachi gulji ma!)

Don’t be a fool! 

Although we have introduced specific Korean words for each word above, these terms can be used interchangeably. Like in the example below, the word 바보 (babo) is used to mean “fool.”

그때 나는 정말 바보였어. (geuttae naneun jeongmal baboyeosseo.)

I was such a fool at the time.

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

Wrap Up

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!

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?

4 thoughts on “How to Say “Stupid” in Korean”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *