kimbap and kimchi

Apart from the fact that I’m living in South Korea, there’s no particular reason why I should wake up on New Years Day thinking about kimbap and kimchi rather than, say, the year just gone or the year to come, but I did.

Specifically, that the kim of kimbap and the kim of kimchi are two totally different morphemes. I knew that the kim of kimbap was ‘dried seaweed sheets’ and the bap was ‘rice’. I’d never thought about the exact meaning of kimchi, but whatever the kim meant, it wasn’t ‘dried seaweed sheets’, because there are no dried seaweed sheets in kimchi.Dictionary.com gives the derivation as ‘Chinese chén steeped + cày vegetables’.

kimbap

kimbap (Wikipedia)

kimchi

possibly not kimbap (Wikipedia)

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