Looking for affectionate and cute nicknames in the Korean language? Want to know how and when to use a nickname in Korea? In this article, we are going to see how Koreans use nicknames and share a complete list of Korean nicknames.
A nickname is a name used instead of the real name of a person or thing. Nicknames are created based on appearance, personality, behavior, expression, and career. Nicknames have the function of arousing positive or negative emotions.
Korean nickname is Byeolmyeong [별명]. Traditionally children in Korea were given an ugly or offensive nickname to scare death and wish a long life, this childhood name was called Amyeong.
Japanese Nicknames vs Korean Nicknames
Like Japanese, Korean has rules for calling someone by their first name only – and that's not very common. So, in the same way, the first name can be considered a show of affection, like nicknames.
How you address a person defines your relationship, and you must be in intimate terms to start calling them nicknames. But unlike Japanese, creative and cute nicknames in Korean are quite common!
Koreans also use honorifics, suffixes and address prefixes. So, in the same way, some of these honorifics are used especially when calling someone's nickname. Some of the situations are similar to Japan.
Therefore, we recommend that you also read our article on Japanese Nicknames, this way you will understand how it works, this will help you understand some of this article on Korean nicknames.
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Nicknames using Korean names
There aren't as many ways to change names in Korean as in Japanese. Generally, nicknames in Korean are made by attaching an object that resembles the person, so they closely resemble the form of nicknames in Brazil.
For example, the famous basketball player Mark McGuire is nicknamed “Big Mac” both because he has Mac in his name, but because he is big, since usually basketball players are giants. So McDonald's Big Mac is a perfect nickname!
Read too: McDonald's in Japan - Differences and Trivia
Korean nicknames associated with Tall people:
- jeonbosdae [전봇대] – power poles;
- kidali [키다리] – high legs;
- longdali [롱다리] – long legs;
- tajo [타조] – ostrich;
Korean nicknames associated with short people:
- kkomaengi [꼬맹이] – small children;
- ttangkong [땅콩] – peanuts;
- ttangkkoma [땅꼬마] – small children;
- dotoli [도토리] – acorns;
- syosdali [숏다리] – short legs;
Korean nicknames associated with fat people:
- dwaeji [돼지] – pig;
- ttungttung [뚱뚱이] – fat;
- ttungttaeng-i [뚱땡이] – fat;
Korean nicknames associated with thin people:
- mallakkaengi [말라깽이] – Thin;
- jong-i [종이] – Paper;
- namusgaji [나뭇가지] – twigs;
- namus-ip [나뭇잎] – Sheets;
Korean nicknames associated with people who run fast:
- teobo [터보] – Turbo;
- chita [치타] – Cheetah, cheetah;
Korean nicknames associated with people who run slowly:
- dalpaeng-i [달팽이] – Snail;
- neulimbo [느림보] – Laziness;
- geobug-i [거북이] – Turtle;
Korean nicknames associated with people who wear glasses:
- ppololo [뽀로로] – pororo;
- angyeongppal [안경빨];
Nicknames of Famous People in Korean
On the Korean Wikipedia we find an extensive list of nicknames of famous people, Westerners and Asians who influence the world in some way. Many of these people are known by nickname in Korea. See some below:
- Kim Wan-Seon [김완선] is considered the Madonna of Korea: hangug-ui madonna [한국의 마돈나];
- Gloria Gaynor is known in Korea as the Queen of Disco;
- Amuro Namie is known in Korea as the Queen of J-Pop;
- Rihanna is known in Korea as the Princess of Pop;
List of affectionate nicknames in Korean
- Honi – From the English Honey, it means dear.
- Jagiya [자기야] – means sweetheart in korean.
- Ippeuni [이쁜이] – means beautiful or beautiful in korean;
- Yaegiva [애기야] – means 'baby' in Korean, a very cute nickname used between boyfriends and friends;
- Kiyomi [귀 요미]:- means cuteness or cuteness in korean;
- Oppa [오빠] – means honey in Korean;
- Wangjanim [왕자님] – prince in korean;
- Gongjunim [공주님] – princess in korean 3
- Yŏboya [여보야] – Honey, honey. (Used only between husband and wife)
- Saran’ah [사랑아] – my love
- yeo-bo [여보] – darling;
- aein [애인] – Love;
- jjing-jjingi [찡찡이] – Cry (but it's cute);
- nae sarang [내 사랑] – My love;
As in the West, you can use these nicknames calmly even when greeting, affectionately, saying something like “Annyeong, nae sarang” which means “Hi, my love!”.