Ways To Say Cat In Korean

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to say ‘cat’ in Korean? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various ways to express this feline creature in the Korean language.

From commonly used terms to informal expressions, formal words to slang terms, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a cute variation or an ancient word, we have those too. And don’t forget about onomatopoeic expressions, regional dialects, and even idiomatic phrases.

Whether you want to impress your Korean friends, expand your language skills, or simply satisfy your curiosity, this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide. So, let’s dive in and discover the fascinating and diverse ways to say ‘cat’ in Korean!

Commonly Used Term: Goyangi

Goyangi is the go-to term for cat in Korean. As a cat lover, knowing this word is essential. When you hear someone say ‘Goyangi,’ you’ll instantly know they’re talking about a cat.

It’s the most commonly used term, so you’ll hear it often in conversations or when referring to cats in general.

Embracing this word will help you connect with other cat enthusiasts in Korea.

Informal Expression: Nyang-i

Meow, have you heard of the cute and playful Nyang-i?

In Korean, Nyang-i is an informal expression used to refer to cats. It’s a fun and endearing way to talk about these furry creatures.

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Nyang-i is often used when speaking casually with friends or family. This term perfectly captures the mischievous and lively nature of cats.

So next time you see a cat in Korea, don’t forget to call it Nyang-i!

Formal Word: Gae

Imagine walking through the streets of Korea and hearing someone use the formal word ‘Gae’ to refer to a dog. This creates an atmosphere of respect and dignity for these loyal animals.

In Korean, ‘Gae’ is the appropriate term to use when speaking formally about dogs. It is important to understand the cultural significance of using the correct language to show respect for animals.

By using ‘Gae’, Koreans demonstrate their appreciation for the loyalty and companionship that dogs provide.

Slang Term: Bae-soong-i

Bae-soong-i is the trendy slang term used by young Koreans to refer to a cat, adding a playful and affectionate touch to their conversations. This term has gained popularity because it sounds cute and whimsical.

It is often used on social media platforms and in informal conversations among friends. Bae-soong-i captures the essence of a cat’s charm and playfulness, reflecting the affection that Koreans have for these adorable creatures.

Cute Variation: Meo-meong-i

With its adorable and endearing sound, the cute variation ‘Meo-meong-i’ instantly brings a smile to everyone’s face. It captures the essence of feline charm and is often used to describe the playful and mischievous nature of cats. The repetition of the ‘meo’ sound adds a sense of cuteness and affection. When you hear someone say ‘Meo-meong-i,’ you can’t help but imagine a fluffy and playful cat. It’s ready to pounce and bring joy to your life.

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Literary Term: Go-yang-i

Go-yang-i is a literary term that encapsulates the art of storytelling, captivating readers with its intricate plot twists and vivid imagery. Derived from the Korean word for cat, go-yang-i represents the feline’s mysterious and enigmatic nature.

Just as a cat’s movements are unpredictable, go-yang-i in literature refers to unexpected turns in the plot that keep readers on the edge of their seats. This literary technique adds depth and excitement to storytelling, making it a beloved aspect of Korean literature.

Ancient Word: Yang

Imagine yourself transported back in time to ancient Korea, where the word ‘yang’ held immense significance and power.

Yang was an ancient word used to refer to cats in Korea. These furry creatures were revered for their grace, agility, and mysterious nature.

In ancient Korean society, cats were believed to bring good fortune and protect against evil spirits. They were often seen as a symbol of luck and prosperity, and were highly respected and cherished by the people.

Onomatopoeic Expression: Yaong

As you dive into the rich linguistic history of ancient Korea, you’ll discover the delightful onomatopoeic expression ‘Yaong’. This word vividly captures the playful and mischievous nature of cats. ‘Yaong’ is used to mimic the sound of a cat’s meow and is often employed to depict the curiosity and independence of these fascinating creatures.

This word showcases the Korean language’s ability to beautifully convey the essence of a cat through sound.

Regional Dialect: Jang-gu-i

Now let’s talk about another way to say cat in Korean, specifically in the Jang-gu-i regional dialect.

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In this dialect, the word for cat is ‘Jang-gu-i.’

This variation adds a unique touch to the language and showcases the diversity of Korean dialects.

So, if you ever find yourself in the Jang-gu-i region, remember to use this term to refer to our feline friends.

Idiomatic Phrase: Goyang-i-ga neomu gwiyeoun yeoja-da (A cat is a very pretty lady)

In the Jang-gu-i regional dialect, a cat is more than just a feline friend – it’s considered a gwiyeoun yeoja, or a very pretty lady. This idiomatic phrase reflects the cultural significance of cats in Korean society.

Cats are often associated with elegance, grace, and beauty, qualities that are admired in women as well. So when you hear someone say ‘Goyang-i-ga neomu gwiyeoun yeoja-da,’ they are praising both cats and beautiful women alike.


In conclusion, there are various ways to say ‘cat’ in Korean, each with its own unique meaning and usage. The commonly used term is ‘Goyangi,’ which is widely understood and accepted.

For a more informal expression, ‘Nyang-i’ is commonly used among friends or in casual settings.

The formal word for cat is ‘Gae,’ which is suitable for more formal or professional contexts.

If you want to use a slang term, ‘Bae-soong-i’ is commonly used among younger generations.

For a cute variation, ‘Meo-meong-i’ is a popular choice.

If you’re interested in ancient words, ‘Yang’ can be used to refer to a cat.

The onomatopoeic expression ‘Yaong’ mimics the sound a cat makes.

In certain regional dialects, ‘Jang-gu-i’ may be used to refer to a cat.

Finally, we have the idiomatic phrase ‘Goyang-i-ga neomu gwiyeoun yeoja-da,’ which translates to ‘A cat is a very pretty lady.’