계집

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Korean[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested in the Seokbo sangjeol (釋譜詳節 / 석보상절), 1447, as Middle Korean 겨〯집 (Yale: kyěcìp).

A compound of Old Korean (*KYE-, to be at, to stay), whence also 계시— (gyesi-) + (jip, “house, home”). Literally "one who is at home". See also 집사람 (jipsaram), 안사람 (ansaram) with the same semantic shift. The word is not attested in the twelfth-century Jilin leishi or in any Old Korean sources, hence it is thought to have been a relatively recent coinage in the fifteenth century. The Jilin leishi transcribes the Korean word for "woman" as */hɑnH ŋˠiɪm/, which is not attested in any Middle Korean source.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [ˈkje̞(ː)d͡ʑip̚] ~ [ˈke̞(ː)d͡ʑip̚]
  • Phonetic hangeul: [(ː)/(ː)]
    • Though still prescriptive in Standard Korean, the great majority of speakers (in both Koreas) no longer distinguish vowel length.
Romanizations
Revised Romanization?gyejip
Revised Romanization (translit.)?gyejib
McCune–Reischauer?kyejip
Yale Romanization?kyēycip

Noun[edit]

계집 (gyejip)

  1. (disrespectful or dated) woman, girl
  2. (disrespectful or dated) wife

Usage notes[edit]

Korean has a number of words equivalent to English "man" and "woman".

  1. Sino-Korean 남자 (男子, namja, “boy; guy; man”) and 여자 (女子, yeoja, “girl; woman”) are the most common words, but can have a somewhat informal connotation.
    남자? — 아니, 여자.
    Gyaeneun namjaya? ani, yeojaya.
    Is he/she a guy? — No, she's a girl.
    남자친구 / 여자친구
    namjachin-gu / yeojachin-gu
    boyfriend / girlfriend
  2. Sino-Korean 남성 (男性, namseong, “male; men”) and 여성 (女性, yeoseong, “female; women”) refer to men and women as groups—though pluralized 남자 (namjadeul, “the boys; the guys; the men”) and 여자 (yeojadeul, “the girls; the women”) is informally more common for this purpose—or to individual adult men and women in formal or polite contexts.
    여성 인권 운동
    yeoseong in-gwon undong
    women's rights movement, feminism
    20 남성 실종되습니다. (in a news report)
    20dae namseong-i siljongdoeeotseumnida.
    A man in his twenties has gone missing.
  3. Sino-Korean 여인 (女人, yeoin, “woman”) is literary. There is no male counterpart.
    여인 향기 (movie title)
    yeoinui hyanggi
    Scent of a Woman
  4. The bare Sino-Korean morphemes (, nam, “male”) and (, yeo, “female”) is generally used in formal contexts, especially when referring to each gender as a collective but also for male or female individuals in more legalistic contexts. They are commonly written in hanja even when the rest of the text is in pure Hangul script.
    만남
    namgwa yeoui mannam
    the meeting of Man and Woman
  5. Native 사내 (sanae, man) and 계집 (gyejip, woman) are not normally used. 사내 (sanae) often has a connotation of machismo or manliness, while 계집 (gyejip) has become offensive and derogatory.

Note that in Early Modern Korean (1600—c. 1900) and in contemporary Standard North Korean, Sino-Korean (, yeo, “female”) is written and pronounced (nyeo), hence 녀자 (女子, nyeoja), 녀성 (女性, nyeoseong), 녀인 (女人, nyeoin).

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • 이동석 (Yi Dong-seok) (2004) , “'겨집'에 대한 어휘사적 고찰 [A lexical study of kyecip]”, in Minjok Munhwa Yeon'gu, volume 40, pages 293–319