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Why Do Korean Guys Like To Be Called Oppa?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Many Korean guys liked being called oppa since it makes them feel special. They don’t call everyone oppa because that would be weird to call everyone your “close friend.” Guys feel more special when they are called oppa since it feels like they’re getting closer with their girlfriends.

Oppa is basically an older brother, but there are more definitions of an oppa like a close friend, boyfriend, or brother. It’s often used when a guy and girl start getting closer and feel comfortable with each other.

If you have the opportunity to visit South Korea, make sure you do so. You can hear many people calling their guy friends Oppa, so it’s very normal over there. There’s also a difference when you speak to close friends and strangers. 

Korean Culture 

Korean culture is very different from the USA and Europe, and you can see that relationships are also very different. So, what exactly is an oppa, and why do guys like being called oppa. It feels more personal when girls you’re called oppa.

You probably already have heard about the song “Gangnam Style” where the word would be repeatedly said over and over again. There are many things that are different when you compare Korean culture to other cultures.

In South Korea, their television programs where people call each other oppa. This makes it more normal for people at home to call each other oppa. However, keep in mind to only call your close friends oppa, since this is better and won’t create awkward situations.

Other differences in Korean culture could be that might be that men wear makeup. This isn’t a thing you see every day in the USA or Europe; however, in Korea, it’s very normal for men to wear makeup. You can read more about it here.

Are Korean Guys Trying To Be Cute?

Yes, most Korean guys are trying to be cute. You see it all the time outside. It’s also called aegyo, where people are acting cute in front of their boy or girlfriend. This might be very weird in the United States or Europe, but in South Korea, it’s completely normal.

It even happens often on television programs and Korean dramas. There’s nothing wrong with acting cute, but people in Western countries have their opinion ready and will find it very weird when you do that in public.

So, keep in mind that you shouldn’t do it in public if you’re not comfortable with it. If you don’t care about other people judging you, it’s a great way to show affection to your boy or girlfriend. Try doing it when you’re alone with your significant other.

See if she actually likes it and makes it normal since many Korean guys do this in front of their girlfriend. There’s nothing weird about it, and even in Seoul, you’ll see it happen very often when going out in public.

When Should You Call Someone an Oppa?

You should only call someone oppa when you’re close with them. Many people call BTS Jungkook oppa because they refer to him like an older brother. It might seem weird at first, but this is the norm in Korea. 

You can also call someone the same age oppa but you shouldn’t immediately do this to everyone you meet. This could make first impressions very weird, and to avoid that, don’t call them oppa the first time you meet them.

Many Kpop idols are being called oppa because fans really like the idol. They want to refer to him as an oppa which basically means that the idol and fan are close. This might be in some cases, but it’s not always like that.

However, idols react to oppa because it creates a friendly and approachable image. So, if you ever see someone call an idol oppa don’t look weird at them since there are thousands of people doing the same. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve found what you were looking for. You probably know now that being called oppa is very normal in Korea. It stands for a close friend or boyfriend, and they even act cute in front of their girlfriend.

If you’ve never tried it yourself, make sure to do so, see how your girlfriend reacts, and maybe she likes it. You’ll never know until you’re going to try it yourself. There’s no exact age difference that must be looked at when you’re calling someone oppa.

You can call everyone that’s older than you oppa as long as you’re close with them. You don’t want to start calling strangers oppa because that can lead to very awkward situations.

About The Author

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Jason Park

Jason has been living in Seoul over 4 years and during that time, he has experienced a lot of the city's quirks and charms. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others who are interested in learning more about South Korea.

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