Sageuk Glossary

Do leave your suggestions for words or terms that you think should be added to this list. Questions are also welcomed! 😉



Aba mama (아바마마) – A term of address used by a royal child for his father.

Abanim (아바님) – Archaic term for abeonim (father).

Aega (애가, 哀家) – lit. This Sad House. An archaic term used by Dowager to refer to herself after her spouse’s death.

Aegissi (애기씨) – Another way of addressing agisshi.

Agasshi (아가씨) – Young Lady or Miss; a term of address used by a servant for the unmarried daughter of his master.

Agisshi (아기씨) – His/Her Young Highness; the style used to address a young prince or princess.

Anjeon (안전) –  lit. Inner Palace. A more local term for naejeon. 

Asshi (아씨) – A shortened form of agasshi.

Awoo (아우) – Archaic term for dongsaeng.


Bin (빈, 嬪) – Royal Concubine of the First Senior Rank.

Bin-gung (빈궁, 嬪宮) – lit. Consort’s Palace. Another way of addressing a Crown Prince’s Consort.

Bubuin (부부인, 府夫人) – Grand Princess Consort; wife of a Grand Prince.

Budaebuin (부대부인, 府大夫人) – Grand Internal Princess Consort; consort of a Grand Internal Prince.

Buin (부인, 夫人) – Wife.

Buma (부마, 駙馬) – Royal Son-in-law.

Buwongun (부원군, 府院君) – Internal Prince; father of a Queen Consort.


Cheong nara (청(清)나라) – Qing Dynasty of China.

Cheoja (처자, 處子) – Maiden or virgin. A young unmarried lady.

Cheonyeo (처녀, 處女) – Maiden or virgin. A young unmarried lady.

Cheop (첩, 妾) – Concubine.

Chonggak (총각, 總角) – Bachelor.


Daebi (대비, 大妃) – Queen Dowager; wife of the previous King.

Daegam (대감, 大監) – His/Your Excellency; a term of address used for the First Senior to Second Senior ranks.

Daegun (대군, 大君) – Grand Prince; legitimate son of a King.

Daejang (대장, 大將) – General/Chief/Leader.

Daejeon (대전, 大殿) – lit. The Great Palace. Another way of addressing and referring to a King. [Joseon]

Dae-janggun (대장군, 大將軍) – Great General.

Daewang (대왕, 大王) – Great King; a title used to refer to the current King [pre-Joseon] or the deceased kings.

Daewangdaebi (대왕대비, 大王大妃) – Grand Royal Queen Dowager; former Queen Consort that is more senior than the other two queens dowager.

Daewon-gun (대원군, 大院君) – Grand Internal Prince/Prince Regent; the King’s father who has never reigned as King himself.

Dang nara (당(唐)나라) – Tang Dynasty of China

Dong-gung (동궁, 東宮) – Eastern Palace where a Crown Prince resides. Another way of addressing a Crown Prince. [Joseon]

Doryeong (도령) – Bachelor; less formal form of Young Master.

Doryeon-nim (도련님) – Young Master.

Doseong (도성, 都城) – Capital city.


Eolja (얼자, 孼子) – Children of a nobleman with his lowborn concubine (slave).

Eoma mama (어마마마) – A term of address used by a royal child for his mother.

Eomanim (어마님) – Archaic term for eomonim (mother).

Eonni (언니) – Older sister or sibling. Also romanized as unni, it is widely used between female siblings in modern settings.


Geumsang (금상, 今上) – One of the titles used to refer to the current King.

Gibang (기방, 妓房) – A courtesan house.

Ginyeo (기녀, 寄) – A female entertainer or courtesan during Joseon Dynasty.

Gisaeng/ Kisaeng (기생, 寄生) – Another name for ginyeo.

Gong (공, 公) – Royal Prince.

Gongju (공주, 公主) – Royal Princess; legitimate daughter of the King.

Gon-gung (곤궁, 坤宮) – Another variation of the term gonjeon.

Gonjeon (곤전, 坤殿) – lit. Queen’s Palace. Another way of addressing a Queen Consort. [Joseon]

Goong/gung (궁, 宮) – Royal Palace.

Goongju/gungju (궁주, 宮主) – lit. Owner of (her) Palace. A title used to refer to the consorts and daughters of the King during Goryeo and early Joseon Dynasties before the system for royal concubines was introduced in Sejong’s 10th year of reign. It was also a way to refer to the illegitimate daughters of the King during King Chungseon’s rule.

Gukbon (국본, 國本) – lit. Nation’s Root. A term used to refer to a Crown Prince. [Joseon]

Gukwang (국왕, 國王) – A nation’s King.

Gukmo (국모, 母) – lit. Nation’s Mother. Another term used to refer to a Queen Consort. [Joseon]

Gun (군, 君) – Prince; illegitimate son of the King; son of a Grand Prince.

Gunbuin (군부인, 郡夫人) – Princess Consort; wife of a Prince.

Gungnyeo (궁녀, 宮女) – Court Lady.

Gunju (군주, 郡主) – Legitimate daughter of a Crown Prince.

Gun-ui (군의, 君尉) – Prince Consort. Consort of a Royal Princess.

Gwa-in / Kwain (과인, 寡人) – lit. Morally Deficient One. A title used by a King to refer to himself during a conversation with his subjects.

Gwi-in / Kwiin (귀인, 貴人) – Royal Concubine of the First Junior Rank.

Gyebi / Kyebi (계비, 繼妃) – Queen consort from the King’s second, third, etc marriage.

Gyusu / Kyusu (규수, 閨秀) – Lady or maiden. An accomplished maiden from a decent background.


Halba mama (할바마마) – A term of address used by a royal child for his grandfather.

Halma mama (할마마마) – A term of address used by a royal child for his grandmother the Queen/Queen Dowager/etc.

Han nara (한()나라) – Han Dynasty of China.

Harabanim (하라바님) – Archaic term for harabeonim (grandfather).

Hugung (후궁, 後宮) – Royal Concubine.

Hwanggung (황궁, 皇宮) – Imperial Palace.

Hwanghu (황후, 皇后) – Empress.

Hwangja (황자, 皇子) – Imperial Prince.

Hwangje (황제,  皇帝) – Emperor.

Hwangnyeo (황녀,  皇) – Imperial Princess.

Hwangsang (황상, 皇上) – lit. Radiant Highness. A title used to address the current Emperor by more senior members of the Imperial Family.

Hwangsil (황실, 皇室) – Imperial House (family).

Hwangtaehu (황태후, 皇太后) – Empress Dowager/Grand Empress.

Hwangtaeja (황태자, 皇太子) – Imperial Crown Prince.

Hwangtaejabi (황태자비, 皇太子妃) – Imperial Crown Princess Consort.

Hwangtaeje (황태제, 皇太弟) – Imperial Crown Brother; brother of the current Emperor designated as an heir to the throne.

Hyeong-nim/hyeong (형님/형) – Older brother or older sibling. Nowadays, it is used between male siblings.

Hyeonju (현주, 縣主) – Illegitimate daughter of a Crown Prince.


Imgeum (임금) – King.

Imja (임자) – Wife; a way to address a person not familiar to someone; a way of addressing someone’s wife that is older than him.


Jaga (자가) – The style used to address a Princess after she gets married. [Joseon]

Jajeon (자전, 慈殿) – lit. Dowager’s Palace. Another way of addressing and referring to the Dowager residing in the palace. [Joseon]

Janggun (장군 將軍) – General.

Jaseon (자선, 聖) – lit. King’s Mother. A term used by the King to refer to his mother, the Dowager. [Joseon]

Jeguk (제국, 帝國) – Empire.

Jeoha (저하, 邸下) – The style used to address a Crown Prince.

Jeongbi (정비, 正妃) – Queen consort from the King’s first marriage; King’s legal wife.

Jeonha (전하, 殿下) – Can be translated as His/Your Majesty. The style used to address the King or an Imperial Crown Prince.

Jewang (제왕, 帝王) – Emperor/King.

Jiabi (지아비) – Archaic term used by women to refer to their husbands.

Jibang (지방) – Province/Countryside.

Jim (짐, 朕) – lit. Royal We. It is used by an Emperor to refer to himself.

Jumo (주모) – Owner of a tavern.

Junggungjeon (중궁전, 中宮殿) – See jungjeon.

Jungjeon (중전, 中殿) – lit. Central Palace. A shortened version of the term junggungjeon. Another way of addressing a Queen Consort. [Joseon]

Jusang (주상, 主上) – The title used to address the King.

Mama (마마, 媽媽) – His/Her/Your Royal Highness.

Ma-nim (마님) – Milady; a term of address used by a servant for the wife of his master.

Mudang (무당) – Shaman.

Myeong nara (명(明)나라) – Ming Dynasty of China.


Naejeon (내전, 內殿) – lit. Inner Palace. Another way of addressing and referring to the Queen Consort. [Joseon]

Naeuri (나으리) – A variation of nari.

Nain (나인, 內人) – Palace maid or court attendant.

Nangja (낭자, 娘子) – Lady/ Maiden/ Virgin.

Nangjae (낭재, 郎材) – Bachelor; a young man of marriageable age.

Nanggun (낭군) – Husband; an affectionate term used by a younger wife to address her husband.

Naratnim (나랏님) – Another way of referring to the King.

Nari (나리) : A term used to officially address official of the Third Senior to Ninth Junior ranks. It is also used generally by the commoners or lower class citizens to address the aristocrats.

Nu-i (누이) – Archaic term for nuna.

Nunim/nuna (누님/누나) – Older sister.


Ongju (옹주, 翁主) – Illegitimate daughter of the King.

Orabeoni (오라버니) – Archaic term for oppa (older brother).

Orabi (오라비) – A variation of orabeoni,


Pyeha (폐하, 陛下) : lit. Bottom of the Steps. The title used to address the Emperor, Empress, Empress Dowager, and King [pre-Joseon].


Sadaebu (사대부, 士大夫) – Aristocrats/Noblemen; people of the governing class.

Sabu-nim (사부님) – Master/Teacher; a person who teaches something to someone.

Saekshi (색시) – Maiden/young woman and wife. Also used for new brides, sae saekshi (새 색시).

Sahyeong/ sahyung (사형, 師) – A term used by Confucian scholars to address their seniors, whom they regarded as brothers under the same tutelage. Derived from the Chinese term of the same meaning shige (师哥).

Sanggam (상감) – Another way of referring to the King.

Sanggung (상궁, 尙宮) – Palace Matron/ Chief Court Lady; the highest rank attainable by a court lady.

Sangwang  (상왕, 上王) – King Former. A living king who voluntarily abdicated for the current King to rise to the throne.

Seja (세자, 世子) – Prince Successor; a shortened form of wangseja.

Sejabin (세자빈, 世子嬪) – Princess Successor Consort; a shortened form of wangsejabin.

Seobang-nim (서방님) – Husband.

Seoeol (서얼, 庶孼) – A collective term from seoja and eolja, used for children of a nobleman with his concubines, which made them illegitimate.

Seoja (서자, 庶子) – Children of a nobleman with his freeborn concubine (commoner).

Seonbi (선비) – Scholar.

Seondaewang (선대왕, 先大王) – Great Predecessor King; a title used to refer to a deceased King.

Seongnim (성님) – A dialect from Chungcheondo Province to address one’s older brother or sister.

Seonwang (선왕, 先王) – Predecessor King; a shortened form of seondaewang. 

Seson (세손, 世孫)  – Grand Heir; a shortened form of wangseson.

Sesonbin (세손빈, 世孫嬪) – Grand Heir Consort; a shortened form of wangsesonbin.

Seuseung-nim (스승님) – Master/Teacher; a person who teaches something to someone.

Shincheop (신첩, 臣妾) – A term used by the consorts and concubines of a king to refer to herself when speaking to her husband.

Socheop (소첩, 小妾) – A term used by the wife of an aristocrat to refer to herself when speaking to her husband, or by a royal concubine when speaking with someone with higher rank than her in the palace (Queen or Dowager).

Soin (소인, 小人) – A term used by a man to refer to himself when speaking with the King.

Soja (소자, 小子) – A term used by a young man/prince to refer to himself during a conversation with his parents and/or his teacher.

Sonyeo (소녀, 少女) – lit. girl. A term used by a young girl/daughter/princess to refer to herself when speaking to her parents or anyone with higher status than her.

Song nara (송()나라) – Song Dynasty of China.

Soshin (소신, 小臣) – A term used by a man to refer to himself when speaking with the King.

So-ui (소의, 昭儀) – Royal Concubine of the Second Senior Rank.

So-won (소원, 昭媛) – Royal Concubine of the Fourth Senior Rank.

So-yong (소용, 昭容) – Royal Concubine of the Third Senior Rank.

Suk-ui (숙의, 淑儀) – Royal Concubine of the Second Junior Rank.

Suk-won (숙원, 淑媛) – Royal Concubine of the Fourth Junior Rank.

Suk-yong (숙용, 淑容) – Royal Concubine of the Third Junior Rank.

Swenne (쇤네) – A humble form of soin; used by a servant to refer to himself when talking to someone of higher status.


Taeja (태자, 太子) – Crown Prince; a shortened form of hwangtaeja.

Taejabi (태자비, 太子妃) – Crown Princess Consort; a shortened form of hwangtaejabi.

Taeje (태제, 太弟) – Crown Brother; a shortened form of hwangtaeje.

Taenyeo (태녀) – Crown Princess.

Taesangwang (태상왕, 太上王) – Grand King Former. A title used to address an abdicated king that is more senior than sangwang.


Uibin (의빈, 儀賓) – Son-in-law of the king.

Utjeon (웃전) – lit. The Upper Palace. A term used to refer to the most senior royal member residing in the palace, most of the time being either the King or a Dowager.


Wang (왕, 王) – King.

Wangbi (왕비, 王妃) – Queen Consort.

Wangdaebi (왕대비, 王大妃) – Royal Queen Dowager; a former Queen Consort that is more senior than Queen Dowager.

Wanghu (왕후, 王后) – lit. Queen. The suffix attached to the posthumous name of a Queen Consort.

Wangja (왕자, 王子) – Royal Prince or simply Prince.

Wangnyeo (왕녀, 王女) – Royal Princess or simply Princess.

Wangseja (왕세자, 王世子) – Royal Prince Successor. The official heir to the throne.

Wangsejabin (왕세자빈, 王世子嬪) – Royal Prince Successor Consort. The consort of Royal Prince Successor.

Wangseje (왕세제, 王世弟) – Royal Brother Successor. The brother of the current King who is the official heir to the throne in case the current King has no son of his own.

Wangsejebin (왕세제빈, 王世弟嬪) – Royal Brother Successor’s Consort.

Wangseson (왕세손, 王世孫) – Royal Grandson Heir Apparent. The firstborn son of the Prince Successor and the eldest grandson of the current King. The next in line to the throne after his father.

Wangsesonbin (왕세손빈, 王世孫嬪) – Royal Grandson Heir Apparent’s Consort. The wife of Royal Grandson Heir Apparent.

Wangsil (왕실, 王室) – Royal House (family).

Wangson (왕손, 王孫) – Royal grandson.

Won nara (원(元)나라) – Yuan Dynasty of China.

Wonja (원자, 元子) – First Son/ Prince Royal. The title given to the firstborn son of the current King before his inauguration as the Prince Successor.


Yangban (양반, 兩班) – Aristocrats/Noblemen; elite class of the Joseon Dynasty.

Yeongae (영애, 令愛) – lit. the beautiful and beloved. Used to refer to another person’s daughter, usually of higher position.

Yeonggam (영감) – A title used to address the officers of Second Senior to Third Senior ranks.

Yeowang (여왕, 女王) – Queen Regnant.


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90 thoughts on “Sageuk Glossary

  1. Hi, I love your post. But I was wondering do you perhaps also know how you say I love you. Cause I’ve been looking for the word and I can’t seem to find it. From what I heard its something like 의은합니다, I like to know the exact word. Thank you in advance !

    1. Hello Lema 🙂

      Perhaps the phrase you’re looking for is 은애한다 (eunaehanda), because I’ve heard it being used in several sageuk. Another one is 연모한다 (yeonmohanda), but that’s quite far from what you heard.

      Hope this helps!

  2. thank you for this post, it is super helpful. not sure if you’ll see this… but do you know how to apologize in sageuk vocab?

    1. Hello~!
      Glad you find this helpful 😁 I do read all the comments but sometimes, it takes a bit of time for me to reply because of real life.

      There are several types of apologies, depending on the situation and the person you’re dealing with. These are among the expressions I’ve heard being used in dramas:

      1) 죽을 죄를 지었습니다. (I’ve made a grave mistake.) -admitting your fault to the king or your master.
      2) 송구합니다. (It’s regretful..something like that?) -in front of the king.
      3) 용서를 빌어요. (I’m asking for your forgiveness.) -still in formal setting, with noblemen.
      4) 용서해주세요. (Please forgive me.) -same as above.
      5) 잘못했어요. (I’ve made a mistake.) -standard apology.
      6) 죄송합니다. (I’m sorry.) -also a standard apology.
      7) 미안하오. (Sorry.) -casual way of saying sorry.

  3. When a King has passed away during Joseon times, his Eunuch takes his cloak and waves it from the rooftop calling out what sounds to me like ‘ga i so’ or ‘ga mi so’ but I can’t work the Hangeul in Naver. Can you please help me? Thanking you 🙂

    1. Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for the question.

      I think the phrase you’re looking for is 상위 복 sangwi bok. The calling was done to plead for the leaving soul of the king to return to his body, so the eunuch would let go of the robe after calling out three times and had another eunuch fetching it before covering the king’s body with it, with the hope that the soul would come back.

      Hope this helps 😉

  4. Oh thank you I hear that now…I got the vowel sounds right but that was all lol :p I was watching Haechi when I heard it again and just needed to know 🙂

  5. Could someone please tell me what ‘…op so suh means at the end of the sentence when the councillors are asking the king to be understanding or to listen to his ministers? I cannot find it anywhere. Is it an obsolete but honourific term for please?

    1. Hi Marilyn! Sorry for the delay in replying ^^;;

      It is one of the Korean speech levels called 하소서체 (hasoseoche), and it is the most formal level reserved for addressing the king, queen, and royal family. It’s not used on modern day setting, so you can only hear it in historical dramas. For more information about the different levels of speech, you can refer to this blog:

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hi, thanks for help in my last post. I have a new question. I keep hearing a phrase used in historical dramas but cannot figure it out. It sounds like,

    ‘…ireum’ (e.g. Kim Eun O) ‘IDA/NIDA HAO’?

    but the ‘how’ sounds Chinese (or like the German Haus). Sometimes it sounds like ‘…RA…HOW’. I cannot figure out the correct hangul spelling to look it up and all attempts to romanize have failed. I have also heard the sound ‘how’ used in an un-related sense in two modern dramas only. Is this actually sino-korean usage? [If needed, I can supply the name /episode, etc.] Any ideas, please? Thank you.

    Note: In one drama I even heard the sound ‘row’ (as in cow) used at the end of a sentence/phrase.

    1. Hello Marilyn! Thank you for the good question.

      Those sentences you heard are part of the Korean speech level 하오체 (haoche), used when one is addressing another person of the same rank as or lower than him, but never towards the person above him. The sentences you heard end with ~하오 (hao) or ~라오 (rao). Just like hasoseoche, this level of speech is also obsolete in modern Korean setting.

      P.S: I am genuinely curious about the modern dramas you said featuring haoche speech. If you don’t mind, can you share the titles of those dramas? Thank you very much 🙂

      1. Hi, Thanks for your quick response. I can name three sageuks where I heard it used but it will take me a few days to recall which episode. I only heard it when someone was introducing himself. It could take me months, if ever, to remember the modern drama, or two, where I have heard the ‘hao’ used but NOT understood the rest of the sentence as it was not – not that I recognised, anyway – to introduce or to state identity. (I do not actually speak or read Korean other than that which I have gleaned from dramas.)

        However, I am a closet etymologist/comparative philologist (possibly because of my ASD) and I get quite hung up on certain words – the more obscure the better – in several languages.

        As for the ‘rao’ sound, it could have been in the ‘Prison Playbook’. I am not sure. If, so, it would have been a prisoner, not a guard. He used it twice in one sentence after another. It was not used at any other time throughout the whole drama. Also, he may have been speaking in dialect. It could have been the character who had the lisp – I shall look up his name – but it may not even be that charachter, let alone that drama. Sorry. I shall get back to you about the historical dramas. If I ever hear these ‘endings’ again in a modern setting, I shall let you know.

  7. Hi! Wonderful post! I was wondering what people would call a doctor? For example, commoners or lower class people, how would they refer to a healer/doctor?

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for the compliment 😀

      If I remember correctly, the term they use is uiwon (의원), with the suffix -nim attached to it, like this: uiwon-nim. As for the honorific titles, some are simply referred to naeuri.

      Hope this helps!

  8. Hello, i am currently interested in sageuk glossary and i want to ask is there an archaic term for mister or words that equally mean ahjussi? Im sorry if my question is confusing, thank you so much and have a nice day!

    1. Hello nayy!

      Thank you for the great question! I think it depends on the age bracket of the people you are referring to and their relation to the speaker. Unlike in modern setting where ajusshi is also used for someone who is slightly older than oppa, there is no exact term that translates well from the ajusshi term in traditional usage. One could use nari/naeuri (나리/나으리) or yeonggam (영감) for slightly older male or someone with position in the office, and eoreushin (어르신 – meaning elder) or daegam (대감) for much older person. In dialect-speaking part of Joseon, they might have used ajae (아재) to refer to an uncle that is familiar to the family. In family setting, one would use the various family terms like keun abeonim (큰 아버님), jageun abeonim (작은 아버님), sookbu (숙부), baekbu (백부), or dangsuk (당숙) for distant uncle.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Hi👋🏻
    I have been watching KDrama sageuks since 2013 (Empress Ki was first and just finished my 3rd time) almost exclusively. I’m an older American 할머니 (grandmother) now and still trying to teach myself Hangul😟😀even though I only talk back to the characters in each drama. Two questions I have been trying to find answers for and I finally found this site. I hope you are still answering questions so I’ll keep this site saved and check back often.
    1. When people talk directly to royalty I notice they add what sounds like “Kayso” as in “Cheona Kayso” or “Mama Kayso”. At first I never noticed but then about two years ago caught it and since i rewatched so many of the older sageuks realized they almost all use that phrase. Can you give me the proper word in Hangul for that additional part (Kayso) of their titles?

    I Love the phrase “ 똑똑”, which is in EVERY sageuk. I think it’s said as a warning such as “beware” or “be careful” or “watch out” but it translates as “smart” or I’ve seen “HELLO!” as if you’re telling someone to wake up and listen. Could it be more like “BE smart” or “wise up”? Is there a definite translation of that phrase? It took me four years to finally work even that out but i absolutely love Hangul and am determined to get through a drama without needing the subtitles or at least understand the real meanings.

    Thanks for any help you have whenever you can. I truly am a fan and appreciate that I found your site after so many years.

    It is Covid time right now so I also wish you and all you hold dear to be safe and healthy.

    할머니 GG

    1. Hi GG Deser!
      Thank you so much for the comment! It’s great to know that you’re teaching yourself Hangul! Don’t worry, I also talked (and still talking) to my laptop screen when I need to practice my speaking. When we’re learning by ourselves, it’s something inevitable 😉 I’m still receiving questions and I LOVE answering them! Please don’t hesitate to leave any question you have on my mind, I’ll try my best to find the answer ❤

      1 – Do you have any particular scene featuring the word? (A YouTube link would be great!) I have a few guesses on what it could be but asking back in case you have a memorable scene for reference.

      2 – You probably have heard the characters in sageuk saying, “똑똑히 들어 (listen carefully)” at least once, because that’s one of the most frequently used phrases as an order 😀 The meaning of the adverb 똑똑히 depends on the context, but it generally means ‘clearly’ or ‘carefully’. As for the adjective 똑똑하다, it means ‘smart’, ‘intelligent’, or ‘bright’, something along that line. The word 똑똑 is knock knock, and Koreans love their sounds 🙂

      Hope this helps, and hopefully I’ll see you around frequently 😀 Stay safe too ❤

        Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I will definitely find a clip somewhere and send it regarding the “Jeona Kayso” refences. And perfect explanation of my second request “ 똑똑”. It was such a bug in my ear but haha I use it all the time with my grandchildren who have no idea what I’m saying.
        I’ve since learned to navigate your site and am so impressed with your knowledge of all things Korean that you share with everyone. Thank you and it’s on top of my bookmarked favorites now to peruse constantly (especially when I’m awaiting new sageuks to watch).
        Stay safe and 친구 야 고마워 (I hope I’m ok with my honorifics with my translation). 🥰
        GG Deser

      2. Hi Muchado+++🥰

        Here are a few examples I found for what to me sounds like “Jeona kayso” or “Chuseon Kayso”
        Hope this helps. And thank you for any response.

        GG Deser😍


        About minute .17 mark to .19. Sounds like “Chuseon Kayso”

        JANG HEE BIN (02)

        About minute 7.07 mark to 7.10 gentleman on right mentions “Jeona kayso”


        About .32 as he’s just about to kiss her she says “Jeona Kayso”

        1. Hi GG Deser!

          I forgot to introduce myself. Please forgive me ^^; You can just call me mimi 😀

          Thank you for the references! The part you’re looking for is the particle ~께서 (~kkeseo). It is a particle used in honorific tone (i.e. attached to someone who is older/superior/more senior to the person talking) instead of the usual ~이/~가/~은/~는. Hence, the reason why we hear lots of the particle being used in sageuk is because the most of the speaker is lower in status as compared to the king, thus the frequently mentioned 전하께서 (Jeonhakkeseo/ 주상께서 (Jusangkkeseo).

          Hope this helps 🙂

        2. Dear Mimi
          Thanks again. Exactly what I was looking for. 💗💗👍🏻👍🏻
          Stay well and safe!
          Regards, GG

        3. Hi Mimi,
          I’m back with another odd question. In the sageuk drama “The Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin, there is another actor, Jeon Hyun, who is credited as Lee Soon-shin (young) and I thought at first it was an error in listing his name in all the casts but there is a scene when The Real YSS is writing to King about his men so King doesn’t write off the Navy and the real YSS even MENTIONS this YSS as he’s writing his name. Was there really two of the same name or is this just a quirk in this drama and the casting?

          Thanks for any reply and still loving your blogs.

          Stay safe👍🏻💖
          GG Deser

  10. What would the royal son-in-law’s parents be called? Since the queen’s parents and the crown princess’s parents have a title, would the royal son-in-law’s parents’ titles be the same as those?

    1. Hi there Zoe!

      Unlike the queen consort and the crown princess, whose spouses are the king and the future king respectively, the prince consort and the princess consort were only considered royal relatives and nothing more, hence there was no specific title bestowed upon their parents when they married the princess and the prince.

  11. In episode 16 of cruel palace, the queen goes on strike (white dress and kneels and does not move from her place), what is that called? I heard the queen’s father yell something like “sa-gkok” when he heard about it. I can’t seem to find any online articles about it.

    1. Hi again Zoe!

      This is a great question! Thank you for asking, because I have forgotten about the term as well, so it’s a nice way of recalling it.

      The exact term used for the act of one kneeling on a straw mat while wearing all white clothes is seokgodaejwe (석고대죄, 席藁待罪). It symbolizes the person’s intention of asking for appropriate punishment or further instructions (most of the time from the king) because of their wrongdoings. It can be viewed as a strike and an admission for their wrongdoings, and a way to ask the king to find out the truth behind the crimes should the person feels that they have received unfair treatment for that issue. Oh, the white clothes they wear is commonly referred to as sobok charim (소복차림).

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you! I love your blog so much! It’s so helpful when I’m researching for a story (a story I probably will never publish but write for fun XD) or more importantly, trying to understand sageuk drama language! It’s so nice when I hear a word I can understand!

  12. Hi! I was wondering if sons of princesses (king’s grandsons) had a title (since sons of grand princes were also called Wangja/gun), was there a difference because their father was not part of the royal family? not only their title but in general. thank you in advance 😀

    1. Hello Victoria!

      Thank you for the question. Joseon was a patriarchal society through and through, so the patriarchy was apparent even in the family of a Princess, whose consort was of lower status and rank compared to her. There was no exact rule in giving ranks and titles to the Princess’ offsprings since they were only related to the royal family through maternal line; however, there were cases where the King cherished these grandsons of his through a Princess so much that he would be pardoning or protecting them from the outcome of their crimes.

  13. So happy to see this thread is still active! I’m bookmarking your post for future reference it’s such a big help. ❤ I wonder if you can help me figure out a word? In River Where the Moon Rises, there’s a female character who’s an herb seller/herb store owner and the adoptive daughter of the head of a Tribe. People address her with a certain word but as I have zero knowledge of Korean, I can’t figure out what it is or how it should be spelled in the Roman alphabet, so I can’t even search for a translation for it. The subtitles translate it as “Lady” “Lady Hae”. I hear something like, Chamjoon? Cheomjoon? Again, I have zero Korean, so apologies if I’ve butchered it.

    1. Hi there!

      Thank you for the kind words and your question!

      I’m also watching RWTMR at the moment 😉 The term you are looking for is Jeomju (점주). Its literal translation is ‘store owner’ – from jeom (store) and ju (owner). The word jeom has the same Hanja as baekhwajeom/superstore, a term you might be familiar in modern dramas.

      I saw a friend mentioning on twitter that the subtitles vary from one platform to another, with some using ‘Lady Hae’ and the other using plain ‘Store Owner’ as the translations to the term 점주. I think it’s also a great move to use the term jeomju instead of the usual nangja (lady), showing her status as a business owner rather than just a lady of the Hae family.

      Hope this helps ^^

      1. Oh my gosh thank you so much!! I spent ages trying to search this and you answered it so quickly I’m so grateful!! She’s my favorite character and I was dying to know what everyone was addressing her. This should really push me to start learning Korean already, but I’m still currently floundering with Japanese ahaha. Thanks again, and thank you for adding the little detail about the Hanja for jeom, I appreciate that a lot ❤ Let’s have fun watching the rest of the drama ^_^

        1. Hehehe no problem! I love her as well, and I’m aboard the ship of YongGeon lol

          It’s so nice to know that you’re dabbling in Japanese at the moment! I used to learn it until the intermediate level but most of it has evaporated since I don’t really use it anymore 😅

  14. hello and thank you for writing this amazing blog! i was always curious about that one king’s bodyguard seen in most of sageuks, more like an assistant fulfilling the missions that king orders him to (in royal secret agent they called him ‘Assistant Royal Guard’). i wanted to know more about them (how they get to this position, their rank, their office, benefits he had and if the king chooses them himself) but i found nothing on the web. can you help me find more about this position?

  15. Hi! I just finished River Where the Moon Rises and was wondering. In ep 19, Dal’s ghost mom refer to him as “Gongja-nim” so I was wondering what it meant. And also, what title would be bestowed for the children of princesses (especially in Goguryeo times)? I was thinking around the Korean equivalent of Royal Lady or Royal Lord?

  16. Hi, I just finished the Goblin and I was a bit confused on the kinship terms Kim Shin and Kim Sun/Sunny use for each other. Sunny calls Kim Shin “orabeoni” but I think Kim Shin also calls her “nu-i” and yet the wikis all say she is the younger sibling, so why does Kim Shin call her “nu-i”? Is it cuz she was queen and therefore of higher status?

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