Visual puns in K-pop

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The newest release from K-pop group Apink is called "Eung Eung", written %%.

In "Apink Know What They Want From a Man On Bouncy New Track: Listen", billboard (1/7/19), Tamar Herman explains the title:

The song’s English title refers to the Korean phrase “eung-eung 응응,” typically translated to “yes,” “okay,” or “uh huh.” It is one of several repeated phrases that appears throughout the song’s verses, and when turned on its side appears like a pair of percent signs.

%% Eung Eung 응응


[H.t. Alex Baumans]


  1. Victor Mair said,

    January 10, 2019 @ 1:44 pm

    From Bob Ramsey:

    Well, as I guess you already know, an informal 'uh huh' in Korean is just one syllabic nasal grunt, a bit like Cantonese 吳 or 唔 but w/o tones, a flat intonation–with question intonation it becomes (of course) 'huh?'. And yeah, it's written the way you say, and maybe the doubling is for emphasis. But I had to laugh because that's also Korean kiddie talk–onomatopoeia for the grunts associated with 'doo doo'!

  2. Bloix said,

    January 10, 2019 @ 4:52 pm

    I don't get the joke. Does a percent sign mean money? How does that work?

  3. Not a naive speaker said,

    January 10, 2019 @ 5:30 pm

    I wonder how many kiddies will recognize and know what an open reel tape machine is

  4. Victor Mair said,

    January 10, 2019 @ 6:13 pm


    Take %% and tilt the diagonal lines to the right = 응응

    Take 응응 and tilt the horizontal lines to the left = %%

  5. Hector Sanchez said,

    January 11, 2019 @ 12:01 am

    The % is so clever. It reminds me of Kim Yo Jong's (Kim Jong Un's sister) handwriting. The way she writes 마음 (first word of the second page's second line) resembles the % a lot.

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