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Korean Words Every Historical Drama Fan Should Know

안녕하세요!! I am Vaibhavi from India.I have a hunch you all are going to love today’s lesson so without any further ado let’s get started.

If you’re a fan of historical Korean dramas, then you know that the language used in these dramas is often very different from the language used in everyday life. Historical dramas often contain a lot of old or archaic Korean words that you won’t hear in modern-day conversations. If you want to better understand the dialogue in your favorite drama, here are some of the most common Korean words used in historical dramas.

사극 : is the common Korean term for their historical dramas.

궁녀 : This term refers to a royal concubine or a woman who holds a position of trust in the royal family.

저슨 : This term refers to a prince or a nobleman of high rank.

궁무 : This term refers to a royal court official or someone in a high position of authority.

순무반 : This term refers to a group of warriors who are loyal to the king and protect the royal court.

왕세자 : This term refers to a crown prince or the heir to the throne. This title is often shortened to just 세자 and coupled with 저하, which means ‘His Royal Highness’ to make the often-heard title 세자저하.

검궁 : This term refers to fencing or swordsmanship.

소병 : This term refers to a page or a young man who serves in the royal court.

상사 : This term refers to a teacher or a scholar in the royal court.

낭도 : This term refers to a royal guard or a bodyguard of the king.

병 : This term refers to a soldier in the royal army.

전하 : This is used by the people to address their king and the Queen as 대비마마. 폐하 is another common way of saying Your Majesty.

왕비 : This term denotes a current wife of the king, whereas 대비 is a Queen Dowager, the wife of a deceased king.

대군 :The king’s other sons (excluding the crown prince), whose mother is a Queen are called 대군 which means Grand Prince. They are often addressed with the term 대감, which means “His Excellency.”

누이 and 오라버니 : These are the old-fashioned term used to address older sister (누이 and older brother (오라버니) in 사극 (historical dramas).

만세! : This term is a triumphant exclamation that basically means “hurrah!” The literal meaning is ‘ten thousand years’ (만 means “ten thousand”), and was used to wish the King a long life.

난장형 : This is a common punishment given to criminals for crimes that don’t warrant an automatic death sentence. In this the criminal will be beaten with sticks, often wrapped in a straw mat.

왕명 / 고명 : The last proclamation that the king delivers before dying. It’s his will and succession edict where he will name the person to take his place on the throne.

황상 : This term literally means "Radiant Highness". It's a title used to address the current Emperor by more senior members of the Imperial Family.

황후 : Empress

폐하 : This term means Your Majesty . This is the term most used by the king's subjects to address him.

주상 : This is the king's official title. This is what someone of even higher social status, such as a Queen Dowager, would call the king.

왕세제 : Royal King 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.

아기씨 : The style used to address a young prince or princess.

왕세손 : Royal Prince Successor Descendant. The firstborn son of the Crown Prince and the eldest grandson of the current King. The next in line to the throne after his father.

마님 : A term used by a servants to address the wife of his/her master.

삭탈 : To be stripped of authority and removed from office, such as with a minister, who has fallen out of favor or committed a crime.

위리안치 : Exile to house surrounded by a thorn hedge - a punishment for serious crimes, particularly of high-ranking officials.

사약 : A poison cocktail of arsenic-sulfur compounds used in capital punishment of high-profile political figures and members of the royal family.

If you are curious to know more vocab on this topic wait for part 2. Comment your favorite historical drama. I hope you enjoyed today's lesson till then visit our website for more fun and interesting Korean lessons.

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