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Seo Jeong-min
The author is a senior reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.
A joke, which people used to talk about two or three decades ago, just crossed my mind. It goes like this: If you want to tell how old somebody is, say the name "Leonardo" and see whether they say “da Vinci” or “Di Caprio.”
When hearing the name “Gwi-nam,” people over 40 probably think of MBC show “Son and Daughter,” aired in the early 90s. In the series, there are non-identical twins whose names are “Gwi-nam" (Choi Soo-jong) and “Hu-nam" (Kim Hee-ae), who were born into a family where a preference for sons was dominating. The boy was spoilt as he is the only son. His name “Gwi-nam,” written in Chinese characters, means an “invaluable boy.”
But the young generation will think of the villain in the Netflix original series “All of Us Are Dead” based on the webcomic of the same name by Joo Dong-geun. “I chose the name of one of my closest friends during my high school years for the character. It has a double meaning. It means “a person who is scarier than ghosts” as well as “a spoiled son who was born and raised in a prestigious family,” explained Joo, the webcomic artist.

But the meaning of the newly-coined word “gwinam” I would like to introduce today is a “husband who comes back home early.” Gwi means come back in Chinese characters and nam is the first syllable of the Korean word nampyeon, meaning husband. 
In some way, the word implies that he is a troublesome husband as the wife should prepare dinner for him. As a result, some people find the term offensive and think people that use the term to describe their husband are in the wrong. But there are two sides to every story, and I'd like to spare some thought for the hardworking wives that suddenly have to provide an extra meal — and probably for somebody with very different tastes to their children. 
So husbands, don't be offended when your wife calls you gwinam. Her job is hard enough and food isn't cheap these days.

BY SEO JEONG-MIN [meantree@joongang.co.kr]
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