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What does Dol mean in Korean?


Dol is a Korean word that has various meanings and uses in the language. Understanding the meaning of Dol can help you communicate more effectively with Koreans and appreciate the nuances of their culture. In this article, we will explore the different meanings and usages of Dol, from its literal translation to its figurative connotations.

Literal meaning of Dol

The most basic meaning of Dol in Korean is “stone” or “rock.” This word can refer to any type of rock or stone, from small pebbles to large boulders. In Korean culture, stones have been used for various purposes, such as building walls, paving roads, and making sculptures. Stones are also associated with strength, stability, and endurance.

Figurative meanings of Dol

Apart from its literal meaning, Dol has several figurative meanings in Korean. One of the most common uses of this word is to describe a person’s fate or destiny. In this context, Dol refers to the path or direction that a person’s life is taking, which is believed to be predetermined by some higher power. Another figurative meaning of Dol is “to roll,” which can be used to describe anything that is turning or rotating.

Dol as a suffix

In Korean, Dol can also function as a suffix that is added to other words to create new meanings. For example, when added to the word “gae,” which means dog, it creates the word “gaedol,” which means a stray dog. Similarly, when added to the word “guk,” which means country, it creates the word “gukdol,” which means someone who has lived abroad for a long time and has lost touch with their homeland.

Doljabi tradition

In Korean culture, there is a traditional ritual called Doljabi, which is performed during a child’s first birthday celebration. During this ceremony, various objects are placed in front of the child, and the one that the child picks up is believed to predict their future. Typically, the objects include a pencil (for academic success), money (for wealth), a stethoscope (for medical career), and a stone (for strength and stability).

Idiomatic expressions with Dol

In addition to its literal and figurative meanings, Dol is also used in several idiomatic expressions in Korean. For example, “Doljabi ttaemune” means “because of Doljabi,” which is used to explain something that happened because of fate or destiny. Another expression is “Dolmengi bakkwo,” which means “to pick up a stone with your eyes closed.” This expression is often used to describe someone who is very lucky or successful.

Dol Hareubang

One of the most iconic symbols of Jeju Island, a popular tourist destination in Korea, is the Dol Hareubang. This is a large stone statue that resembles a human face and is believed to have protective powers. The Dol Hareubang is often used as a symbol of Jeju Island and can be found in various forms, from keychains to souvenir shops.

Doljabi game

Apart from the traditional Doljabi ceremony, there is also a popular mobile game called “Doljabi.” In this game, players take on the role of a parent trying to predict their child’s future by choosing various objects. The game is similar to the traditional Doljabi ceremony but has added features such as mini-games and animations.

Dol-sot bibimbap

One of the most popular Korean dishes is bibimbap, which consists of rice, vegetables, and meat served in a bowl. When the bowl is made of stone, it is called Dol-sot bibimbap. The hot stone bowl helps to cook the rice and vegetables, creating a crispy texture on the bottom. This dish is often served with a spicy sauce called gochujang.

Dol as a name

In addition to its various meanings and usages, Dol can also be used as a name in Korean. Although not a common name, it can be used for both males and females. The name Dol can be written in various ways in Korean, depending on the meaning and context.


In conclusion, Dol is a versatile word in Korean that has various meanings and uses. From its literal translation to its figurative connotations, Dol is an important part of Korean culture and language. Understanding the different meanings and usages of Dol can help you appreciate the nuances of Korean culture and communicate more effectively with Koreans.

What happens at a doljabi?

Doljabi is a cultural practice where babies are presented with a selection of different items or objects to choose from. The baby’s selection is believed to represent their future career or lifestyle choices.

What do you wear to a Dol party?

For a special occasion, it is customary to dress in either traditional hanbok attire or formal clothing such as suits and dresses. A small table is typically set up with bowls representing each doljabi item, and guests are greeted individually as they arrive.

What does the pencil mean in doljabi?

Doljabi serves two main purposes, which are to predict the future of a baby and to offer blessings to the baby.

What is 1st birthday in Korean?

The Korean celebration of a child’s first birthday is called a “dol” or “doljanchi.” This event was highly significant in the past, as many infants did not survive their first year due to inadequate medical knowledge and childhood illnesses. Therefore, when a child reached their first birthday, it was customary to hold a large celebration.

What is doljabi Korean?

Doljabi is a traditional ceremony where a child picks one item or food from a table that contains various objects with significant meanings, such as a banknote, spool of thread, calligraphy brush, or book. If the child chooses money, it is believed that they will become wealthy and successful.

What is the birthday rule in Korea?

In Korea, a person is considered one year old on the day of their birth, with the time spent in the womb counted as the first year of their life, even though it’s only nine months. This means that a person’s Korean age will always be one year higher than their international or Western age.

In addition to its various meanings and usages, Dol has also been used in Korean literature and poetry. The symbolism of stones is often used to represent strength, endurance, and perseverance, which are all important values in Korean culture. Many famous poems and stories feature the imagery of stones, such as “The Guest” by Hwang Sun-won and “The Rocking Horse” by Yi Sang.

The use of Dol in Korean culture extends beyond language and literature. In traditional Korean medicine, stones are believed to have healing properties and are used in treatments such as hot stone massage and acupressure. Stones are also used in Korean martial arts, such as Taekwondo, where they symbolize strength and stability.

In contemporary Korean culture, Dol continues to be a popular symbol in fashion and design. Stone jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets, are trendy accessories that can be found in many Korean fashion stores. Stone patterns are also commonly used in home decor items such as wallpaper, curtains, and rugs.

Overall, the word Dol has a rich history and cultural significance in Korea. Whether it’s used to describe a person’s fate or destiny, or to represent strength and stability, the meaning of Dol is deeply ingrained in the Korean psyche. Understanding the various meanings and usages of this word can help bridge the gap between cultures and foster a greater appreciation for the richness of the Korean language and culture.

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