You may have seen Korean Billy on Facebook, YouTube or more recently on BBC, as he was interviewed by them in March. He is famously known for his explanation of British accents, dialects, and slang/phrases that are exclusive to particular areas.
He previously posted a video in January that taught Korean Natives how to speak “Road Man.”
Titled “Roadman(London) Dialect Words!”
Having never heard of him myself, I wasn’t aware of his following, and had never seen any of his videos prior to this one.
I thought that it may have been a joke, or a parody of some sort, and I didn’t pay much attention to it.
Fast forward to May, and I see that part 2 of the video has been released; and this time I was watched the video thoroughly, and paid more attention.
Here we can see Billy dressed in a tracksuit and cap/snapback.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term “roadman”, here is Urban Dictionary’s definition:
– Wears tracksuit bottoms with bomber jacket
– Rides around the area on bikes
– Commit crimes (robbery in particular)
– Shows aggressive and intimidating behavior
-Lives on benefits
– Acts tough/ hard *slang for tough*
– Chill in shady areas on in front of fast food restaurants
For natives of the UK, we know to take this with a pinch, but my worry is that Korean natives, may not know this.
Firstly, “Road Man” is not a dialect, it is slang that is used by many people from different races, cultures and walks of life. I personally do not engage in this sort of talk, as I find it irritating, and was not born speaking like this. I’d never adapt my own speech; it’s just not me.
I feel that Billy should have explained that you shouldn’t come here, and start saying “wagwan bruv”, or “blud” to just anybody!
Particular people may take offence, and see it as them making fun or heckling them.
Prime example; do you think that you could approach a REAL road man and start talking like this? No. I personally feel that Billy could put some Native Koreans in hot water, if they innocently engage in this type of speech when visiting here.
For people of colour who know nothing about what Korean Billy does, could come across this, and feel that this entire thing including his attire, as ridicule.
“Retweets would be sincerely appreciated, mandem.”
Using this slang between friends is a completely different story. Strangers, not so much.
What are your thoughts?
We have reached out to Korean Billy for further comments.
Photo Credit: BBC World Service