So, full disclosure, this post isn’t inspired by an actual Dear kfangurl question, but because Dear kfangurl is where all the lists on the blog live, I figured this would be the best place to put it.
This post is inspired by Beez and Trent, who recently had a conversation on my Kill Me, Heal Me group watch announcement post, where they discussed the nicknames of various actors and actresses.
I thought that would make a fun post, where I could share what I know, and you guys can share what you know, and together, we can paint a fuller picture together!
CLARIFICATION & DISLAIMER
Some of these nicknames are given by the celebs’ fans, but some of them are nicknames that have formed organically over time.
Therefore, some of the nicknames are more complimentary than others. Also, some of these nicknames are used more than others.
I don’t claim to know everything – these are just the nicknames that I’ve come across over the years that I’ve spend wandering Dramaland.
Where possible, I provide an explanation for the nicknames’ origins, but there are some nicknames whose origins I’m not sure of. Also, there’s always the possibility that I might have gotten some of these wrong. 😅
If you know the background behind a nickname, &/or if you spot a mistake in this post, or if you just want to add on to the list, feel free to let us know in the comments!
Bae Yong Joon
Background: Bae Yong Joon is an OG Hallyu heartthrob. Back when Winter Sonata aired, he gained immense popularity around the world, with an especially ardent fan following in Japan.
It’s the Japanese fans who gave him the nickname “Yon-sama” (ヨン様; cf. “Emperor Yon”) and that nickname still sticks today, even though Bae Yong Joon’s no longer acting onscreen.
Chun Jung Myung
Background: Lots of fans think of him as a cutie-pie. To be fair, this nickname was popular some years ago, and doesn’t seem to be used as much these days.
Nickname: Nation’s Boyfriend
Background: Probably because he’s so clean-cut, earnest and endearing?
Nickname: Kkongdaegari, Sodu, Dinosaur Head
Background: I honestly have no idea of the origins of these nicknames. I’m a terrible Gong Yoo fan, I know! If you know the answers, please share in the comments!
Hong Jong Hyun
Background: I honestly don’t know the origins of this, but it is pretty well-known that this is Hong Jong Hyun‘s nickname. I’m guessing that it’s an aegyo-tastic riff off the “Jong” in his name.
Hwang Jung Eum
Background: This is an unofficial nickname for sure, but in drama fan circles, most folks would know who you were talking about, if you referred to Hwang Jung Eum as “Screechy.”
This stems from the unfortunate recurrence of her delivering her lines in a shrill manner, particularly when the PD is going for a more comedic vibe.
To be fair, I do think she’s been directed to be shrill (vs. choosing that direction on her own), and we’ve also seen that she is perfectly capable of being non-screechy.
On the upside, in pretty much all the dramas involved, the shrillness tones down significantly once you get past the initial episodes.
Background: So this isn’t a very exciting nickname, but from the way the nickname is a very affectionate form of “Hyun Bin” we can tell just how fond the public is, of him.
Nickname: Nation’s Sweetheart, Nation’s Little Sister
Background: For her sweet, hardworking image.
Background: Like Hyun Bin, this isn’t a very exciting nickname either. But again, the affectionate form of his name goes to show how fond the fans are, of Jang Hyuk.
Jo Jung Seok
Background: A nickname given by his childhood friends.
Jun Ji Hyun
Nickname: Nation’s First Love
Background: I believe this is because Jun Ji Hyun is one of the original poster girls of Hallyu. Her breakout role was as the titular girl in 2001 film My Sassy Girl, one of the highest grossing Korean comedies of all time.
Jung Hae In
Nickname: Milk Man
Background: Apparently this nickname was given because of his “superior genes,” though I don’t quite see the connection.
Kim So Hyun
Nickname: Nation’s Little Sister, Queen of Child Actresses, Goddess of Historical Drama, Sageuk Goddess
Background: Pretty self-explanatory, as Kim So Hyun acted in a ton of dramas – particularly sageuks – as a child actress, and showed impressive acting chops through them all.
Kim Tae Hee
Nickname: “uhm-chin-ddal of the country” or The Perfect Daughter of Your Mother
Background: Admired most for her beauty (and therefore often quoted as a standard of beauty in various kdramas over the years), Kim Tae Hee is also very brainy, having graduated from the prestigious Seoul National University.
Everything a mother could want, basically.
Kim Woo Bin
Background: Kim Woo Bin himself says that he thinks he looks a bit like a dinosaur.
Kim Yoo Jung
Nickname: Sageuk Fairy
Background: Due to her having appeared in many sageuks, from the time she started out as a child actress.
Lee Jae Wook
Nickname: Puppy Seol
Background: A nickname given by fans. I’m not sure of the origins, but it’s possible that it’s because of his role as a sweet puppy type in Search: WWW, because his character’s name in that show, is Seol Ji Hwan.
Lee Min Ho
Nickname: Chemi-Shin. Also, Lee Min Hot.
Background: Chemistry god, because fans felt he had excellent chemistry with all his female co-stars. And then, Lee Min Hot, because, well, fans think he’s hot. 🔥
Lee Seung Gi
Nickname: Nation’s son-in-law. Also, Nation’s Uhm-Chin-Ah.
Background: He’s just the really smart, talented, clean-cut, good-natured type, which is why he’s the nation’s pick as an all-around perfect son-in-law.
“Uhm-Chin-Ah” roughly means “your mother’s friend’s brilliant son to whom you get compared,” ha.
Lee Sun Gyun
Nickname: The Voice
Background: He’s the owner of the most gorgeous, deep, velvety, smooth-as-butter voice in Dramaland.
Park Bo Gum
Nickname: Bogummy, Nation’s Boyfriend, Nation’s Crown Prince, Nation’s Man of Good Influence.
Background: Park Bo Gum’s just so sweet and charming, that he practically feels perfect, heh.
Apparently he’s the Nation’s Boyfriend because he’s just so charming, the Nation’s Crown Prince because of his easygoing and high-class image, and the Nation’s Man of Good Influence because of his kindness and politeness.
Park Bo Young
Background: I’m not sure of the origins of this nickname, but it’s quite possible that it’s an aegyo-tastic take on her name? Particularly since she’s so gifted at the aegyo?
Park Shin Hye
Nickname: Hacci, Alice, Randy-Shinhye (Randy Johnson Shin Hye)
Background: She got nicknamed Randy-Shinhye because her pose while opening a baseball game was reportedly as perfect as that of Randy Johnson (a famous MLB player).
Nickname: Nation’s Thief
Background: For stealing Kim Tae Hee’s heart and marrying her in 2017, lol. I’m pretty sure this is said tongue-in-cheek.
Seo In Guk
Nickname: Master of Kissing
Heads-up that there are two separate kisses featured in this scene, and the second one is, uh, worth waiting for. 😉
Shin Min Ah
Nickname: Donald Duck
Background: Apparently this is because when she pouts, her lips resemble a cute Donald Duck.
So Ji Sub
Background: I’m not sure of the origins of the nickname “Sonic,” however, So Ji Sub did debut as a rapper under the stage name “G” or “G-Sonic.” That might be why?
Song Hye Kyo
Nickname: (the first) Nation’s First Love
Background: Song Hye Kyo starred in several seminal dramas, when Hallyu first starting making its mark around the world, such as Autumn In My Heart and Full House.
Autumn In My Heart, where she plays Song Seung Hun‘s first love, was a huge hit around the world. I believe this contributed greatly to how people saw her as the nation’s first love.
Song Seung Hun
Nickname: The Hand Towel, THT, Dish Towel (variation)
Background: Born of a Dramabeans podcast in which Javabeans called him sonsugeon (hand towel). Freudian slip?
Nickname: Nation’s First Love. Also, Nation’s Sweetheart.
Background: a title she gained from starring in 2012 film “Architecture 101.” I feel like people quite possibly see her as a new generation’s first love, since the original nation’s first love was Song Hye Kyo.
Uhm Tae Woong
Background: A nickname born of his very intense performance in 2005 drama Resurrection (aka Rebirth).
Yeo Jin Goo
Nickname: Nation’s Little Brother
Background: From his years as an ubiquitous child actor.
Yoo Seung Ho
Nickname: Nation’s Little Brother. Also, Little So Ji Sub.
Background: Also from his years as a ubiquitous child actor. Plus, he’s still got that cute, boyish vibe, even though he’s now all grown up. As a child actor, Yoo Seung Ho had also gained attention for his resemblance to So Ji Sub.
I hope you guys enjoyed this little list that I managed to come up with!
If you know of more celebrity nicknames, feel free to share them in the comments below! I’m sure we’re all eyes and ears! 😉
Thanks, you guys.
1. If you feel that I missed anything, or if you have your own insights that you’d like to share with the rest of us, do tell us about it in the comments!
2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!