Ways To Say King In Korean

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning about the various ways to say ‘king’ in Korean? Look no further, as this article will provide you with a comprehensive list of formal titles, informal terms, historical references, and more.

In Korean culture, there are numerous ways to refer to a king, each carrying its own unique significance. Whether you are a language enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about Korean traditions, this article will satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

From the traditional honorifics used in royal family titles to the colloquial words and slang terms used by the people, you will gain insight into the linguistic diversity and cultural significance attached to the concept of kingship in Korean society.

So, let’s dive in and explore the rich tapestry of ways to say ‘king’ in Korean!

Formal Titles for Kings in Korean

You’ll be amazed at the grandeur and reverence that comes with the formal titles for kings in Korean.

The title ‘Gwangmu’ is used to address the king during the Joseon Dynasty.

The title ‘Jeongjo’ is used for the kings who were known for their wisdom and benevolence.

‘Sejong the Great’ is another revered title, given to the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty who was a remarkable scholar and inventor.

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Informal Terms for Kings in Korean

There’s a whole range of informal terms used to refer to kings in the Korean language. These terms, such as ‘oppa’ and ‘hyung,’ are used to show familiarity and closeness when addressing kings.

Other common informal terms include ‘nuna,’ used by a male to refer to a female king, and ‘dongsaeng,’ used to address a younger or junior king.

These informal terms reflect the social dynamics and relationships within Korean culture.

Historical Titles for Kings in Korean

During ancient times, the Korean monarchy held prestigious titles that conveyed both power and respect. One such title was ‘Wang,’ which was used to refer to the king. This title reflected the king’s position as the ruler of the nation and emphasized their authority.

Another title, ‘Hwangje,’ was reserved for kings who were considered divine and had a spiritual connection. These historical titles showcased the importance and reverence bestowed upon Korean kings in the past.

Royal Family Titles in Korean

The royal family in Korea holds unique and captivating titles that add a touch of enchantment to their legacy.

One of these titles is ‘Daewang’, which means ‘Great King’. This title is reserved for the highest-ranking ruler and signifies their immense power and authority.

Another title is ‘Jeonha’, which translates to ‘Heavenly Emperor’. This title is used to refer to the king as the supreme ruler chosen by the heavens.

These royal family titles showcase the grandeur and significance of the Korean monarchy.

Traditional Honorifics for Kings in Korean

One fascinating aspect of the Korean monarchy is the use of traditional honorifics to address the rulers, adding reverence and respect to their titles.

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The honorific for kings is ‘대왕’ (Daewang), which literally means ‘great king.’ This honorific signifies the highest level of authority and power held by the ruler. It highlights the ruler’s importance and commands admiration from the people.

The use of honorifics reflects the deep-rooted culture of respect and hierarchy in Korean society.

Modern Expressions for Kings in Korean

Now, let’s explore the modern expressions for kings in Korean.

In contemporary Korean language, the term ‘왕’ (wang) is commonly used to refer to a king. This word is derived from Chinese and is widely recognized in Korea today.

It is interesting to see how the language has evolved over time, incorporating both traditional honorifics and more modern expressions to convey the concept of kingship.

Colloquial Words for Kings in Korean

Imagine yourself in Korea, casually chatting with locals about the monarchy, and you discover the intriguing colloquial words used to refer to kings in Korean.

In everyday conversations, Koreans use the term ‘왕’ (wang) to mean king. It’s a simple yet powerful word that encapsulates the idea of royalty.

Additionally, the word ‘대왕’ (daewang) is used to refer to a great or grand king, emphasizing their significant role and influence in Korean history.

These colloquial words reflect the deep respect and admiration Koreans have for their kings.

Slang Terms for Kings in Korean

The Korean language boasts a wide array of slang terms to refer to kings, reflecting the vibrant and ever-changing nature of their society.

These expressions, while informal, capture the essence of modern Korean culture.

From the popular ‘왕’ (wang) to the trendy ‘재벌’ (jaebeol), these terms reflect the power and influence associated with kingship.

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They highlight the dynamic nature of the Korean language, constantly adapting to reflect the contemporary world.

Regional Variations for Kings in Korean

Discover the fascinating array of regional variations you encounter when referring to kings in Korean, enriching your understanding of the diverse linguistic landscape.

In different regions of Korea, you may come across various terms for kings. In the Gyeongsang region, for example, the term ‘Wang’ is commonly used, while in Jeolla, ‘Guk’ is preferred.

These regional differences highlight the cultural and historical nuances within Korea, making the study of the Korean language even more captivating.

Cultural Significance of Kings in Korean Society

Kings hold immense cultural significance in Korean society, enriching the nation’s history and heritage. They weren’t just political leaders but also revered as divine figures, embodying the nation’s identity and values.

The king’s role extended beyond governance, as they were responsible for maintaining social order, preserving cultural traditions, and fostering national unity.

Their reigns were marked by grand ceremonies, elaborate palaces, and influential patronage of the arts, leaving a lasting impact on Korean culture.


In conclusion, there are various ways to say ‘king’ in Korean, each with its own specific usage and context.

Whether it’s the formal titles used to address kings in a respectful manner, the informal terms that reflect a closer relationship, or the historical and royal family titles that highlight the lineage and heritage, Korean language is rich with expressions for kings.

Additionally, traditional honorifics, colloquial words, slang terms, and regional variations all contribute to the diverse ways of referring to kings in Korean.

Understanding the cultural significance of kings in Korean society enhances our appreciation of the language and its nuances.