Looking for cute and affectionate nicknames in the Korean language? Want to know how and when to use a nickname in Korea? In this article we’ll see how Koreans use nicknames and share a full 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 called byeolmyeong [별명]. Traditionally children in Korea were given an ugly or offensive nickname to scare death and wish a long life, that childhood name was called amyeong.
Japanese nicknames x Korean nicknames
As in Japanese, Korean has rules for calling someone only by their first name – and this is 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 an intimate position to start calling them nicknames. But unlike Japanese, creative and cute nicknames in Korean are quite common!
Koreans also use fees, suffixes and treatment prefixes. So, likewise, some of these honorifics are used especially when it comes to calling someone. Some of the situations are similar to Japan.
Therefore, we recommend that you also read our article on Japanese nicknames, so that you will understand how it works, this will help you to understand a little bit of this article about nicknames in Korean.
Nicknames using Korean names
There are not many ways to change names in the Korean language, as in Japanese. Korean nicknames are usually made by attaching an object that resembles the person, so they are very similar to 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 basketball players are usually giants. So McDonald’s Big Mac is a perfect nickname!
Korean nicknames associated with Tall people:
- jeonbosdae [전봇대] – energy poles;
- kidali [키다리] – high legs;
- longdali [롱다리] – long legs;
- tajo [타조] – ostrich;
Korean nicknames associated with short people:
- kkomaeng-i [꼬맹이] – small children;
- ttangkong [땅콩] – peanuts;
- ttangkkoma [땅꼬마] – small children;
- dotoli [도토리] – acorns;
- syosdali [숏 다리] – short legs;
Korean nicknames associated with fat people:
- dwaeji [돼지] – pig;
- ttungttung [뚱뚱이] – fat;
- ttungttaeng-i [뚱땡이] – fat;
Korean nicknames associated with thin people:
- mallakkaeng-i [말라깽이] – Lean;
- jong-i [종이] – Paper;
- namusgaji [나뭇 가지] – Branches;
- namus-ip [나뭇잎] – Leaves;
Korean nicknames associated with people who run fast:
- teobo [터보] – Turbo;
- cheetah [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 [안경 빨];
Korean Famous People Surnames
In 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 a nickname in Korea. See some below:
- Kim Wan-Seon [김완선] is considered the Madonna of Korea: hangug-ui madonna [한국 의 마돈나];
- Gloria Gaynor is known in Korea as Queen of the Disco;
- Amuro Namie is known in Korea as the Queen of J-Pop;
- Rihanna is known in Korea as Princess of Pop;
List of affectionate nicknames in Korean
- Honi (Honey ‘from English): means darling in Korean.
- Jagiya [자기야]: means darling in Korean.
- Ippeuni [이쁜이]: means beautiful or beautiful in Korean.
- Yaegiva [애기 야]: means ‘baby’ in Korean, a 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 [사랑 아] – 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 quietly even when you greet, affectionately saying something like annyeong, nae sarang which means “Hi, my love!”.