Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What is 'Oppa'?

 "Oppa saranghae!" (I love you Oppa!)
On my prevoius post (read here) we talked about different Korean family title and on this post we will explore this title - Oppa.
Korean dictionary defines Oppa ( 오빠 ) as “older brother of a female” but now it has evolved into an endearment. These days, young females, teens, and/or women  usually carry on this as an endearment and this is not exclusively for boyfriend/lover but also for male celebrities they like/love/fancy.

squad of fans
Passionate girl fans for a male celebrity are often referred to as oppa troopers or oppa groupies or oppa budae (오빠 부대), because whenever a celebrity appears, a horde of girls run after him screaming "Oppa! Oppa!! Oppa!!!!!"

According to Ask a Korean - "Personally, oppa totally works on the Korean, perhaps because being called by that term is a rare occurrence for the Korean since he has no younger sister. (Knowing this, however, the Korean's non-Korean dude friends sometimes call the Korean oppa, stirring up murderous rage.) So far, it has not made a difference if the term came from a Korean or a non-Korean. However, the Korean has also heard from other Korean American men that hearing oppa from a non-Korean is actually a turn-off."

Moreover,you can usually hear "Oppa" on drama series.

Despite being younger, I thought I was your Oppa.
In Korean drama Flower Boy Ramyun Shop,"Oppa" gets special attention because Girl 1 (So-Yi) introduces Guy 1 (Ba-Wool) to another oppa of hers, but doesn't really make it clear whether she means a just-friends/older-brother oppa or an I'm-dating-this-person oppa. So Guy 1(Ba-Wool) assumes the latter, and is undoubtedly right.
On different scene, Guy A (Chi-Soo) flies into a jealous rage when Girl A ( Eun-Bi) describes Guy B (Kang-Hyuk) as her oppa, again, because the context is not clear and Guy A guesses that she means the romantic oppa and not the older-brother oppa.

 Even though calling a guy oppa can be no more exciting than calling an older woman *ajumma, if said with the right tone of voice, it indicates that you like a guy as more than just a friend. And who doesn’t like being liked? It’s flirtatious, and flirting is usually exciting.

So who's your oppa?
*ajumma - aunt or older woman
credits to the rightful owners of images

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