My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Tag: oppa



“Oppa” is the Korean term that I often use for Hugh as he is an older male. It can also be used in the context of our relationship as a pet name. Unfortunately in a crowd there are many “oppas” so Hugh often assumes it’s a woman calling out to another guy, and not to him. If I call out “Oppa” to him it doesn’t really get his attention. Calling out “Hugh” also doesn’t get his attention if we are in a loud place. Lately I’ve been calling out “oi” in a very Australian accent and have found it works so much better! Especially when I stress my Australian accent as he knows it’s immediately me. The word “oi” is used quite a bit in Australian English.

Same Age

Same Age

If you are completely unfamiliar with Korean culture and respectful terms, this comic might be a little bit difficult to understand.

The longer we’ve been back in Korean culture, the more Hugh likes being called “Oppa”. Since it was my birthday recently, my age “caught up” to his. This doesn’t happen in Korean age because everyone’s age goes up at the same time at the start of the year. But in international age there are a few months where our ages are the same. Hugh pointed this out. In Korea if someone is the same age as you it means you are friends in the sense that neither person needs to use a respectful name for the other, because neither is older than the other. It allows for much more relaxed speech and manners usually.

So I took the opportunity to act like a “chingu” instead of a “dongseng” (the younger one in the relationship). Used to be an “oppa”, Hugh suddenly realised he had made a terrible mistake…

In English I am very free and comfortable and can tease him with no problems. But in Korean, in a Korean setting he suddenly realised how different it was if he wasn’t my Oppa anymore. Especially because I used the opportunity to be rude.

Hugh says: I was saying, “You are the same as my age now! Hahaha!” And making fun, but actually it’s not good for me. I still like to be called Oppa.

Stinky Foreign Food

This Commenting on Comments video is a bit late because I’ve been sick.

Also something I forgot to mention is- yes we are still waiting on the publishing company. Departments have been shuffled around and changed so we now have a different design team.. so yup, still waiting…


Sorry Gangnam… I don’t really care about your tourist attractions… I just like the song.

BTW, isn’t it great how popular that song has become around the world!

Cutesy photos

Well I learn something new every day. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t use aegyo very much with my husband. Right from the beginning of our relationship I was a straight talking Western woman. I mean ‘western’ as in from a Western culture… not ‘western’ as in The Wild West! hehe.

I didn’t ever need cutesy words or mannerisms to attract my husband so I just assumed he didn’t like that much. I’m discovering now how these things that I thought only worked on other Korean guys work on him too. I was just messing around taking a cutesy photo like that. Trying to copy how Korean girls do it, just for a laugh. I was surprised at how cute my husband thought it was. If it was an average Australian guy I can imagine them cringing and telling me I look stupid. But I’m not with an Australian guy, I’m with a Korean and I’m beginning to realise that Korean girls have it all worked out! I should give them more credit. For a later post I might explain the certain techniques Korean girls use for photos too.

So if a Western woman wants to attract a Korean guy should she do cutesy things like this? I’m not really sure about this. Copying what Korean girls do may not have the desired affect. It is probably better to get to know a guy better first and find out if he appreciates cutesy things before attempting it. There are some Korean guys who seek out non-Korean girlfriends because they don’t like the aegyo things Korean girls do. Also some Korean guys don’t like it when non-Korean girls call them ‘Oppa’. So tread carefully. But if they do like it- relax and have fun with it!

Cup of Tea

Not something I do a lot but starting to realise why some Korean girls do it… hehehe.

‘Oppa’ is the respectful term used by girls for a guy who is older than them. I don’t usually call my husband that because I use other names couples can use. Because of the popularity of Korean dramas a lot of international fans seem to think that ‘oppa’ is always used by a girl who is in love or in a relationship with the older guy. Not always. It was and still is a normal respectful term to use to a guy who is older than you. It literally means ‘older brother’. I only use it at times where I want to be extra respectful.

Being cutesy like that is called ‘aegyo’ and a big warning here: if you have a Korean partner and you want to try being aegyo it may not work! A lot of guys really hate this and one of their reasons for seeking out a non-Korean partner could be because they want to date someone who does not do this. So proceed carefully!

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