Sageuk Glossary

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

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A

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.

Asshi (아씨) – A shortened form of agasshi.

Awoo (아우) – Archaic term for dongsaeng.

B

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.

C

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.

D

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.

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.

E

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.

G

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.

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.

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.

H

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.

I

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.

J

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

Janggeun (장군 將軍) – General.

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.

Jungjeon (중전, 中殿) – lit. Central Palace. 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.

N

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.

O

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

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

Orabi (오라비) – A variation of orabeoni,

P

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

S

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.

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.

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.

T

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.

U

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

W

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.

Y

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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source | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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52 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!

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