워낙 (wo-nak) – so/very/extremely/inherently
I read this many times on Naver blogs so I thought it would be good to write up an entry on 워낙.
워낙 is pretty much quite similar to 아주/너무/매우, used to express extremity or exaggerations.
Another meaning that Daum and Naver dictionaries had was “inherently” and “by nature”, which can be considered similar in terms of meaning, though it is different in nuance.
We can look at it this way: when describing someone or something in extreme terms, it can sometimes mean “to the bone”, which kind of means “by nature” or “inherently”.
우리 아빠는 4살부터 그림을 그려서 워낙 잘 그리는 화가이세요.
My Dad started drawing since 4 years old so he’s an extremely talented artist.
제 회사가 집에서 워낙 멀어서 지하철을 타야 하고 버스도 두 번 정도 갈아타야 해요.
My workplace is extremely far from my house so I have to take the subway and even transfer two buses.
친구의 고양이는 워낙 장난스러워서 여기저기 놀아요.
My friend’s kitten is by nature/inherently very playful so it plays here and there.