Daily Archives: April 26, 2010

How do characters address each other in the Joseon period drama Dong Yi?

The ways the characters address each other depends on their rank, age, and gender. I mentioned some of the following in the entry on social classes in the Joseon period but have added more here. Though only some of these terms are used in contemporary society I think it’s interesting to be able to recognize them when watching Dong yi since the terms will  crop up again and again in other historical dramas.

*These terms are still occasionally used in contemporary Korean society.

English

hangul

romanization

hanja

Your Majesty

전하

Jon-ha

殿下

Used by the King’s subjects when they address him. (except the Queen Mother)



Your Majesty

주상

Chu-sang

主上

Used mainly by the Queen Mother to address the King.



Your Majesty

대비마마

Te-bi-ma-ma

大妃媽媽

Used to address the Queen Mother.  


Your Majesty

중전마마

Jung-jon-ma-ma

中殿媽媽

Used to address the queen by the subjects. The King and the Queen Mother call her jung-jon.


Your Highness

마마()

Ma-ma-(nim)

媽媽()

Used to address ladies in high positions.


My Lord

대감

De-gam

大監

Used to address very high level yangban officials.


Sir

영감*

Yong-gam

令監

Used to address yangban. Sometimes still used in contemporary society to address judges or prosecutors.


Sir

나으리

Na-u-ri

No hanja

Used to address men in higher rank than the speaker


Ma-am

마님

Ma-nim

Used to address ladies in higher rank than the speaker. Female equivalent of na-u-ri.


Sir

어르신*

O-ru-shin

No hanja

Used to address old men (related to age not rank) and is sometimes used today instead of the term haraboji. 할아버지


Fellow/chap

놈*

nom

No hanja

Used to address low class people. As in hey you! = i-nom! Still sometimes used today.


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