오 빠 – Oppa

Whenever you watch a Korean drama or movie, if you listen carefully, you will hear the girl call her boyfriend “oppa”. It’s a Korean word for a female’s older brother. There is no direct translation for this in English, so if you look at the English subtitles, they will write the man’s name instead. So now you know! :-)

As for a male’s older brother, the word “hyung” is used. Thus, you will hear a man calling another man whom he is quite close to “hyung”.

오 빠 (Oppa) – female’s older brother

형 (Hyung) – male’s older brother

Even if the woman is older, but she is in a romantic relationship with a younger guy, she calls him “oppa”.

2 Comments

  1. I am a filipina and my Boyfriend is a Korean. He was really happy when I called him Oppa. He said i’m very sweet . I wonder what’s with the word Oppa? Now I know. Thanks for the information above

  2. You don't need to be blood related to be called "oppa", "hyung", "unnie", or "noona"… A person who is a close friend or relation is often addressed this way. Apparently, "unnie" was catch all phrase of addressing older siblings or acquaintances of both sexes, before it was rearranged according to sexes.
    In Japan, "onnie" or "onnie-chan" is still used as a catch all phrase to address older sibling or acquaintaces of either sex.

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