Punks, goths, emos and gomos

One topic in the textbook this week is ‘clothes’ and one reading is about the dress styles of English people. It mentions punks and goths, and observes that people whose aim is to be ‘different’ (than the mainstream) often end up looking very similar (to each other. I mentioned that another, similar group is the emos, and that ’emo’ is the Korean word for ‘aunt’ (specifically your mother’s sister). I added, ‘So you can say, “My aunt is an emo … and my uncle is a goth!'”

By the way, ‘gomo’ in the blog post title is the Korean word for your father’s sister. I had previously devised the riddle: ‘Q: Why was the Korean goth girl confused? A: Because her gomo was an emo.’

Even though English does not have separate words for ‘mother’s sister’ and ‘father’s sister’, it is perfectly possible for one to think or talk about one’s maternal aunts separately from one’s paternal aunts. It’s very easy for me – I don’t have any. I have an aunt-in-law, who I refer to as ‘aunt(ie)’. Some languages have a separate word for a ‘parent’s brother’s wife’-type aunt, compared to a ‘parent’s sister’-type aunt.


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