What does “Oppa” mean in Korean? Check out how to use and the Hangul notation!

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Let’s Find Out About “Oppa” Meaning!

You will often hear the word “Oppa” when watching Korean drama. When horse dance has attracted attention, it is a word that appears in lyrics of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” that was popular all over the world, do you know what the word means? It’s an unavoidable word if you talk about Korea because it’s used frequently even in everyday life, so we suggest you to remember the word if you’re interested in Korea.

This time we will learn about Korean “Oppa”.

What does “Oppa” mean?


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First of all, “Oppa” is written as “오빠” in Hangul. The definition is “Older brother”.

Of course, it is used as a designation for real older brother, older men who are close to you and boyfriends, or celebrities you support. In Japan, we can address someone by last name and drop the suffix even with older people or call them by nicknames if we have a close relation to them, but in Korea where culture to respect older people is still deeply rooted, there’s no such thing as dropping the suffix or calling people by nicknames without honorific title. This is where the word “Oppa” is used.

By the way, there is also the word “친 오빠” (Chaoppa) as a word representing the real brother. It is a word that distinguishes the real brother and “Oppa”, which is used to address everyone who fits in the close older brother category.

Here is how to use “Oppa” in Hangul!


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When you want to call someone by the word Oppa, make sure to use it after you have consent from the one you talk to, because there are many occasions where people misunderstood and think that “This woman might have feelings for me”.

If you use the word lightly because you long for it, it will be less likely to misuse by keeping in mind that there are things that can cause trouble.

Even in Korea, there’s a young wife who got a warning from her mother in law because she called her spouse “Oppa”. The mother in law said, “Don’t call him as if he’s a young child forever.”