SEOUL (AFP) - Hundreds of millions have watched the dance and listened to the song — most without understanding a word — but very few have any idea what “Gangnam” is and what, if any, particular “style” it might have.

The Gangnam in the title of the global hit by South Korean rapper Psy is Seoul’s wealthiest residential and shopping district, lined with luxury boutiques, top-end bars, night clubs and restaurants frequented by celebrities.

But even among those Koreans who live or party regularly in Gangnam, which literally and unglamorously translates as “south of the river”, there is little consensus on what constitutes the district’s signature style.

Translating the song’s lyrics, which some see as satirising the district’s self-importance and ostentatious wealth, offers little in the way of concrete insights. Psy sings about being the “guy who downs boiling coffee in one shot” and who “goes completely crazy when the right time comes.”

Kwon Yu-Bi, a 23-year-old student and Gangnam night-life regular, said the song was less about any particular place and more about a new-found hedonism in Asia’s fourth largest economy. “Gangnam is just a symbolic place and I think the song really reflects Korea, where young people, including myself, enjoy a hectic and crazy night out,” Kwon told AFP.

A Gangnam residential address doesn’t come cheap, with the average apartment price — even with Seoul going through an extended real estate slump — set at around $720,000.