Hard Carry (하드캐리)

Hard Carry (하드캐리), a song by GOT7 is one of the most popular K-pop songs this week. The music video has lyrics in English, Japanese, and Chinese, but it doesn’t explain the meaning of ‘hard carry’. So I just looked it up on Naver Dictionary. A contributor gave an explanation in English, read it here. An explanation in Korean on 우리말샘. And if you read Japanese: here .

So… 하드캐리 (hard carry), is a newly coined term, a slang term, means the one person who plays the most important role, takes the lead, and brings the losing team to victory. Add 하다 to use as verb: 하드캐리해. “Carry” (캐리) is originally a term from online video games, as in “carry the team”. “Hard” (하드) is added to show emphasis.

I searched Naver Music for other K-pop songs that used the term “하드캐리”, I found 2:

    • 21 by DEAN
      하드 캐리 캐리해 She’s mine
      (I will ‘hard carry’. She’s mine.)
    • Superstar by Kisum, San E, Taewan
      취미는 하드캐리
      (My hobby is ‘hard carry’)

Hmm… ‘to save the team’ doesn’t make sense for the song lyrics. I think it’s more like ‘to be a hero’ or ‘to work the hardest’. OK, I think I get the nuance. Not that I will use it (I don’t live in Korea, I don’t know anyone Korean, and I’m too old to use slang) but I think it’s fun to know the meaning of Korean slang words, especially when they’re used in K-pop lyrics. ###


2 thoughts on “Hard Carry (하드캐리)

  1. Did hard carry really originate in Korea, made by Koreans? Because I actually got confused when I saw people on the comment section of the MV asking what hard carry meant because I thought every native English speaker knew that phrase.

    I’m not even a casual gamer and never played LoL so the fact that I’m very familiar with that phrase lead me to the conclude that it’s a well-known term around the world.


    • Hi~ I’m not a native English speaker and many non-Korean GOT7 fans are not, either, I think. I don’t know for sure but it seems the online games League of Legends is not from Korea? I googled and found ‘hard carry to a win’ in an English article about sports.
      I read that in Korea, people use ‘hard carry’ to say other things, not only ‘hard carry a team to a win’, but also ‘to buy food for the entire group’ or for someone who said the funniest line in a TV program, etc..


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