Post by Candylover on Jan 10, 2007 16:17:43 GMT -5
"Dong" has several meanings: "village(or town)", "boy", "the same" and so on. So as mentioned above by ginnycat, there are many place names ending with "dong" in Korea. But when "dong" is used in childhood names it usually means "boy". By "childhood name" I mean an informal name which is temporarily used during one's childhood (usually from birth to elementary school days) and only in the family and neighbour. "Gae" means "dog", so "gae-dong" usually means "dog boy" or more precisely "humble boy". It was a Korean convention to call children humble names like gae-dong. Gae-dong was one of the commonest humble names, and I think there might have been tens of thousands of "gae-gong"s in Korea, so to speak about 100 years ago.
Gae-dong itself is a humble name, besides when "dong" is pronounced as hard(fortis) - could be transliterated into "ttong" - it means dung, and gae-ttong means dog dung. Humbler meaning! But in this drama DJY seems to be called gae-dong rather than gae-ttong.
BTW it is funny that some Korean words and English words have nearly the same pronunciation and meaning although their origins seem to be basically different - maybe by coincidence. Ttong and dung are one of the examples, soot and soot are another.
Candylover from very very cold Seoul
Last Edit: Jan 10, 2007 16:59:47 GMT -5 by Candylover
Hi, Candylover! How about "cute" and 귀엽다 (kui-yeop-da) "to be cute"? My Korean teacher told me it was only a coincidence that the words sound the same, but I don't believe her. I think the Korean word comes from English.
Post by Candylover on Jan 10, 2007 17:17:42 GMT -5
"Cute" and "kui-yeop-da"? Maybe that could be enlisted as a candidate of similar words between Korean and English. But I had a list of better examples a few years ago. If I can find the list of Korean-English similar words, I will upload it.
I'm not well versed in liguistics, but think kui-yeop-da is a word which existed even before English words began to be "imported" to Korean vocabulary about 100 years ago. Ttong and soot also have very ancient origins.
Last Edit: Jan 10, 2007 17:18:34 GMT -5 by Candylover
Candylover, to an American ear they sound a whole lot alike. The Korean word sounds like "cute-ah" to me, or it did before I started paying closer attention to the language. If you know the Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho, you may have heard her make fun of her mother, who is from Korea, always saying "cute-ah" about Margaret. I'm not sure if Margaret knows Korean at all, and if not, maybe she doesn't know it's a Korean word, either, rather than just her mother saying "cute" with an accent.