Oppa In Korean – What Does Oppa Mean in Korean?

oppa in korean

Oppa Oppang Oppaaa! We often hear this word in korean dramas, movies or korean daily conversations, but do you know what does oppa mean in korean? Is it related to the hits song ‘Oppa Gangnam Style – PSY’? In this article I will share to you the meaning of oppa in korean and how to use it in your daily conversations!

Table of Contents

What Does Oppa Mean in Korean?

The direct and quick answer for this question is Oppa means older brother. If you are a younger women having an older brother, then you can call him Oppa. However, it is not that simple, the meaning of the word oppa can change based on your relationship with the person! Let’s see the other meaning of oppa!

1. Biological Brother (Older)

Most women will call their real older brother using ‘Oppa’. However, since oppa has a lot of other meaning, to emphasize that the person is your true older sibling, korean usually add the word chin (친) in front of the word ‘Oppa’ which makes the word chin oppa (친오빠).

Other than adding the word chin (친), the way korean talk with their older brother is kind of flat and normal, not cute or using any aegyo tone.

2. Cousin

Since generally oppa means older brother, you can also call your older male cousins using this words. To emphasize that he is your male cousin, you can add the word sachon in front of oppa which makes sachon oppa (사촌오빠). People will understand that he is your cousin once you use this word.

3. Male Friend (Older)

You can call any older male friend using the word ‘oppa.’ However, do note that oppa is the terms for close relationship, so don’t use this word randomly or using a high pitch cute tone. It might be interpreted as a sign of flirting and they might think you are attracted to him!

4. Senior Classmates (Male)

Generally, korean call their senior by the word ‘sunbae 선배’ which literally mean ‘senior’, it is genderless words you can use to call both female and male senior. More than that, this word is a very formal word junior women commonly use to call their senior.

As time goes by and you got closer with your male senior classmates, you can replace ‘sunbae 선배, with ‘Oppa’, to show more intimacy and closeness.

Do note that if you change the way you call your senior from sunbae to oppa, he might thought you are attracted to him. If you don’t want it to happen, just call him sunbae to keep the distance.

5. Attractive Man (Idol)

Korean people generally call all of attractive guy they met on the street, or on TV (korean idol) using ‘oppa’ words regardless of their age. It’s just technically cute way to describe someone they thought attractive.

6. Dear (Boyfriend / Husband)

korean slang

Oppa is the most common word you hear in korean dramas spoken by women to their couple, whether it’s her husband or boyfriend. It is uncommon for korean women to date a younger korean men, so most of korean women call their loved ones by the words ‘oppa’, other than ‘jagi’ which literally means ‘honey’.

Honorific Words For 'Oppa' In Korean

oppa in korean

Korean language is divided to ‘formal, informal and honorific’ way. The way we call older person in korean language is by adding the suffix -nim 님  behidn their name. This is the general terms everyone use to show respect to the older person.

However, if you watch ‘Moon Lovers, Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ korean dramas, my favourite kdrama of all time, you will realize that the younger female here call the older male using the word orabeoni (오라버니).

This is the most honorific and traditional ways to call older brother. Since the kdramas is a historical korean dramas about royal family, the female call the older brother using the word orabeoni (오라버니). 

Etiquette To Say Oppa In Korean

Here are some etiquette of calling someone oppa in korean language you must know!

  • First and foremost, you must be a women!
  • Other than true sibling or cousin, you must first develop a closeness relationship with the older guy! 
  • The age gap between you and him must be at least two years!
  • Never call your senior co-workers using ‘oppa!’ This is very disrespectful!
  • Oppa is commonly use for male below 40 since most male above 40s will be called ahjussi!

Related Words to Oppa in Korean

Here are some related words to Oppa in korean language, such as Hyung, Noona, Unnie. I believe knowing these words can help you understand better about oppa in korean language.

What Does Unnie Mean in Korean?

Unnie 언니 in Korean Language means older sister, used by younger females.

Unnie is used only by younger females to call to another older females, no matter her standpoint, she might be her friends or even her siblings. So when you saw or heard Unnie in Korean drama, it’s actually means the women is older than her. Unnie is a respectful way to call to an older female, especially if they have develop a close relationship.

What Does Noona Mean in Korean?

Noona 누나 in Korean Language means older sister, used by younger Males.

Noona is used only by younger males to call to older female friend. You don’t use this word to call your lover, it’s totally inappropriate! You will makes her feels old, eventhough it might be correct according to ages gap. However, you can only call someone Noona if she is your older female friend.

What Does Hyung Mean in Korean?

Hyung 형 in Korean Language means older brother, used by younger Males.

Hyung is used only by younger males to call to another older male friend or mentor. When you hear the word Hyung in Kdramas, or maybe variety show like running man, it means the guy he called to is older than him.

What Does Dongsaeng Mean in Korean?

Dongsaeng 동생 in Korean Language means little (sister or brother).

If you want to say little sister, then you need to add 여 (yeo) before the Dongsaeng, become Yeo Dongsaeng 동생.

If you want to say little brother, then you need to add 남 (nam) before the Dongsaeng, become Nam Dongsaeng 동생.

In the context or little sister and brother, the only word you need to remember is the word nam   and yeo 여, as it will determine the gender of the person you are calling to. The word dongsaeng itself is a word to show that the person is younger than you.

Foreigner Say Oppa In Korean Is Cringy?

We will get the answer for this question from Woolara, a korean youtuber, let’s take a look at her perspective what does she thought when a foreigner call a korean ‘oppa’. 

Some people find it cringy especially because foreigner usually talk with korean in english. So it feels weird when you suddenly use ‘oppa’ at the end of your english conversation. However, if you are using korean in your conversations then it will feels more natural and normal.

Oppa In Korean

Here are all I can share about Oppa and it’s related words! Have you found your Korean oppa? Are you looking for korean oppa? If you haven’t got one, you can try one of these dating app to grab your korean oppa! Have you learn anything today? Let me know in the comment sections below!

oppa in korean
oppa in korean

Every share and every ounce of your support brings my passion for Korea to life – Thank you for visit.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp