Yaminjeongeum (Korean: 야민정음; Hanja: 野民正音) is a South Korean internet meme which disassembles Hangul characters of a word and replaces them with others which appear similar to the correct form. For example, daejang (대장, "chief") is changed into meojang (머장), since dae (대) resembles meo (머). The name Yaminjeongeum is a blend of Hunminjeongeum and Yagael (야갤); Yagael is short for Gungnae Yagu Gaelleori (국내야구 갤러리; 國內野球 갤러리), the domestic baseball league section of DC Inside.
There is no believable source of the origin of Yaminjeongeum; opinions diverse. According to DC wiki, a Wikipedia of DC Inside, it was slang girls used in the 2000s.
There are various ways to convert a word into yaminjeongeum: just replacing its consonants or vowels, rotating it, compacting it, or even using Latin alphabet. Some word plays are often considered as Yaminjeongeum, though they existed before it. There is no standard of the meme, only popular forms. The following are some common examples of it:
|Type of replacement||Examples|
|Replacing 근 (geun) with ㄹ (r)||박근혜||Bak Geun-hye||Park Geun-hye (former president of South Korea)||박ㄹ혜|||
|Replacing ㅠ (yu) with ㅡ + ㄲ (eukk) as a stop consonant||유재석||Yu Jae-seok||Yoo Jae-suk (comedian)||윾재석|||
|Replacing 과 (gwa) with 파 (pa)||광주||Gwangju||Gwangju (major city)||팡주|||
|Replacing 대 (dae) with 머 (meo), or vice versa||멍멍이||Meongmeong-i||Doggy||댕댕이|||
|대전광역시||Daejeon Gwangyeoksi||Daejeon Metropolis||머전팡역시|||
|Replacing 며 (myeo) with 띠 (tti)||명곡||Myeonggok||Well-known song||띵곡|||
|Replacing 귀 (gwi) with 커 (keo)||귀엽다||gwiyeopda||Cute||커엽다|||
|Replacing ㅗ + ㅇ (-ong) with ㅎ (h) as a stop consonant||세종대왕||Sejong Daewang||Sejong the Great||세종머앟|||
|Replacing hanja 金 (the surname Kim) with 숲 (Sup)||김유식||Gim Yu-sik||Name of the CEO of DC Inside||숲윾싀|||
|Replacing hanja 長 (the surname Jang) with 튽 (Teunj)||김장훈||Gim Jang-hun||Kim Jang-hoon (rock singer)||숲튽훈|||
|Rotating a whole phrase by 180º||폭풍눈물||Pokpung nunmul||Bursting into tears||롬곡옾눞|||
|Rotating hangul blocks by 90º||비버||Bibeo||Beaver or Bieber||또뜨, 뜨또|||
|Compacting multiple syllable blocks into one||토일||Doil||Saturday and Sunday||퇼|||
|Replacing 야 (ya with "OF" (Latin letters)||야민정음||Yaminjeongeum||Yaminjeongeum||OF뫼경흡|||
In early days, Yaminjeongeum was only used in DC Inside, but it has spread to other South Korean internet communities such as Namuwiki. Now it is commonly used in public, especially by teens, and even appears on TV ad. Google Translate translates some Yaminjeongum correctly.
Critics state that the meme destroys Hangul and is a type of verbal violence, but supporters state that it is just a part of culture and improves the Korean language.