Today’s lesson will be the word princess in Korean. If you’ve watched your fair share of Korean dramas, you will know that there are quite a few historical dramas that focus on important kings, queens, princesses, and princes throughout Korea’s history.
Let’s start with the basic form of the word.
Most people when referring to the general term for princess will simply use 공주 (gong-ju). You will find this in titles of songs, lyrics, tv shows, etc.
However, “님” is added if you are referring to a princess in formal terms. This is more respectful and is akin to saying “Her Highness” instead of simply princess. In this situation, you are not just speaking to the person, but speaking of them, thus showing more respect.
Of course, in today’s world, it’s rare that you would use the term princess seriously. Nowadays it’s used simply to refer to old stories or to mock a girl/woman who is very spoiled.
For example, someone might reply “네, 공주님” to someone who is requesting something of someone and being very demanding. Some lovers may also use it jokingly.
Another way someone might use it is to say someone has 공주병 (gong-ju-byeong) if they are very spoiled. It basically takes the word princess and adds “병” which is a word for disease. Basically there are saying you have a princess disease.
On the flip side, the word for prince is 왕자 (wang-ja)
Here are the words and audio files for this infographic:
a. 공주 = princess
b. 공주님 = princess (Formal)
c. 공주병 = princess disease
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