Ssam, My Ways’ Ssammantic couple

I mentioned this drama on my post over on Dramabeans, but I wanted to get into a bit more detail on the title and the mention of ssammantic couple. To recap: KBS has a new drama coming up called Third-Rate My Way (쌈마이웨이). Third-Rate My Way is a drama about the growing romance between two people who have a “Third-Rate” life but want to have a “My Way” of life regardless of what others say. So even though they don’t have a good resume, they still want to live the kind of life they want to live. I so feel that.

Okay, lets break this down even further!

Ssam (쌈) My (마이) Way (웨이) = 쌈마이웨이

First off, Ssam My Way can be two phrases put together:

Ssam My + My Way = Ssam My Way
쌈마이 + 마이웨이 = 쌈마이웨이

To describe something as Ssam mai (쌈마이) is to describe it using retro/throwback words. My Way (마이웨이) is English. When you put them together it’s like saying retro style is my way or my style.  The second way is just looking at the first part of the phrase, Ssam. Ssam (쌈), without the mai (마이) part can be described as cheap or arguing. So Ssam, my way is cheap or arguing is my way. And lastly, saying Ssam mai (쌈마이) is like saying something is retro/throwback in a funny way. This phrase is based on Japanese, but young Koreans use it to describe a cheap super retro style like the movie Kung Fu Fury.

So to recap:

English: My way (마이웨이)

Korean: Sam (쌈) = cheap, or fighting/arguing.

Japanese: Ssam mai (쌈마이)= retro/throwback style

So the title of Third-Rate My Way is actually a fun play between three languages. It is similar to the My Sassy Girl poster. But in this case we should expect to see a lot of throw back scenes, being broke scenes, and fighting/arguing scenes in the TV show since they integrated the phrase into their title! Similarly, they went one step further and made up a word for the couple: “ssamantic couple” which is ssam + romantic put together. So if this couple is described as a ssamantic couple it should mean that they are a cheap couple or a arguing/fighting couple (or both). From the still image released it looks like they can only afford kimbap, so the cheap part is checked off the list. Lets check out the teaser:

Yep, fighting is definitely checked off! And I don’t know about you, but it looks like a retro show to me!

KBS’s new Monday-Tuesday drama Third-Rate My Way is expected to air sometime in May. Expect a lot of retro throwback fun!

Source Dramabeans, YouTube

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2 comments

  1. I like the old title better too. I know it is hard to translate hidden/multiple meanings into English.

  2. It’s hard but it’s also pretty fun! Slang is the hardest and that changes all the time!