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. ###


3 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..


  2. It originated in Video Games (MMOs) like League of Legends or DoTa. Jackson mentioned it once in a video referencing video games. It’s a role that a player is assigned with the expectation to carry the team to victory. Other players ‘feed’ the carry to get them strong enough to deal high attack damage to the opposing team and hopefully get them the victory.


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