What was the word you heard the most on your last trip to Korea? Or when you were around Koreans? Without a doubt, it would be either jinjja（진짜）, meaning “really?”, or daebak（대박）, which we will teach you now.
Daebak is probably the hottest word that young Koreans use on a regular basis. It is a Korean term that has a literal meaning of “big win” that comes from winning jackpots at casinos. In daily usage, however, it is mostly used as an expression of surprise to praise something that is positive or great, such as in “awesome” or “oh my god.” Due to the nature of the word as a slang among young Koreans, it is rare to hear in formal settings. Here are some examples of the word usage.
A: Did you hear that Lee Minho and Suzy are dating? （A：你知這李敏鎬和秀智拍拖嗎？） B: Really? Daebak. Since when? （B：真的？Daebak。他們是甚麼時候開始的？）
A: Have you seen EXO’s new music video? （A：有看過EXO的新MV嗎？） B: Yeah, it’s so daebak. I can’t stop watching it. （B：有啊，很Daebak。我看過不停呢！）
The word daebak is also used as a compound noun to mean “very surprising” or “so awesome” when it is used alongside sageon（사건/occasion）, as in daebak sageon（대박사건）, to stress the exclamation points at the beginning of a conversation. For example: