What’s in a name, said Shakespeare? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Maybe. But there are few names sweeter than the pet names characters come up with in k-dramas.
In “Cheese in the Trap,” for example, Yoo Jung may call Hong Seol his girlfriend, but Baek in Ho, the character played by Seo Kang Joon calls her “dog fur.’
It’s a reference to her wavy red shaggy dog hair and it’s affectionate. Giving her a fun pet name is something the cold and reserved Yoo Jung, played by Park Hae Jin, would never do.
In “One More Happy Ending,” Jung Kyung Ho’s character is talking to a sleeping Han Mi Mo, played by Jang Na Ra, and he refers to her as “Goldfish.” Han Mi Mo is pretty and a little scatterbrained like a goldfish, but he means it as an endearing compliment.
Jang Na Ra has played characters with nicknames before. When she appeared in “Fated To Love You” with Jang Hyuk, his character called her “Snail Wife” because she was petite and unassuming, but somehow had the ability to stick to him. Before that her co-workers in the office called her “Post-It Girl,” which was not really a compliment. She got that nickname because they always wanted to her to run errands. Her desk was full of post-its.
Another not so complimentary nickname was the one Park Shin Hye’s character earned in “Pinocchio.” She was called “bluntly speaking witch” but she could not help herself because she was unable to tell a lie.
A few male characters have gotten “crazy” k-drama nicknames. Park Yoo Chun was called “crazy rabbit” in “Missing You” because he would not give up on a girl everyone thought was dead. Park Min Woo was known as “crazy rooster” in “Flower Boy Ramen Shop” because he was impulsive and kept getting into fights. Yoo Ah In’s character in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” was named “crazy horse” because he was mysterious and moody.
Nicknames can get recycled. Before Jang Nara was called “goldfish” by Jung Kyung Ho, Gong Hyo Jin also received that nickname. When her character first meets Lee Sun Gyun in “Pasta,” he helps her with two goldfish that escape their container in the middle of a busy intersection. The characters later discover they work in the same restaurant and he refers to her as “goldfish” after that.
Do you have any favorite k-drama nicknames? Let us know.