Interlude (2) – 놀토 – ‘Play Saturday’
Because Korean uses syllable blocks to build words, ‘syllable acronyms’ are a common means of putting words together to express ‘something.’ School children and students, for example, often use syllable acronyms’ to express ‘things’ to do with school. 놀토 fits this category and depending on your viewpoint, is either a colloquialism or slang. Usually such syllable acronyms are spoken rather than written.
놀토 simply puts together the stem of the verb ‘play’ (놀다) and ‘Saturday’ (토요일) and identifies the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month when Korean State schools are closed and students enjoy what is in effect, a long weekend.
Note – in March 2012, nol-to was abolished for Elementary and Middle School students. Now every Saturday is free. However, schools have increased the hours of the working week or in some cases shortened holidays.
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