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What do Koreans call girlfriends?


Korean culture is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. The country has a rich language and cultural heritage, and one aspect of that is the way they refer to their significant others. In this article, we’ll explore what Koreans call their girlfriends and the cultural context behind these terms.

The Korean Language

The Korean language is a complex one, with its own unique grammar system and vocabulary. When it comes to addressing romantic partners, Koreans have several terms to choose from, depending on the level of intimacy and formality.

“Chingu” – Friend

One of the most common ways Koreans refer to their girlfriends is “chingu,” which means “friend.” This may seem like an odd way to refer to a romantic partner, but in Korean culture, friendship is highly valued, and many couples start out as friends before becoming romantically involved.

“Yeobo” – Honey/Beloved

“Yeobo” is a term used by married couples to refer to each other. It translates to “honey” or “beloved.” However, some unmarried couples may also use this term to show affection and closeness.

“Jagiya” – Sweetheart/Darling

“Jagiya” is a term that many Korean couples use to refer to each other. It translates to “sweetheart” or “darling.” This term is often used in a playful or affectionate manner between couples who are still dating.

“Sarang” – Love

“Sarang” means “love” in Korean and can be used as a term of endearment for a girlfriend. However, this term is typically reserved for more serious relationships and may be considered too formal or serious for casual dating.

“Aein” – Lover

“Aein” is another term that translates to “lover” in English. It is a more formal term and is typically used by older couples or in more serious relationships.

Cultural Context

Understanding the cultural context behind these terms is essential to understanding why Koreans refer to their girlfriends in specific ways. Korean culture places a high value on hierarchy and respect, and this is reflected in the language used when addressing others.

Respectful Language

Korean culture also has a complex system of respectful language, which is used to show deference and respect to those who are older or higher in social status. This system also extends to romantic relationships, with specific terms used depending on the level of intimacy and formality.

Maintaining Harmony

Another important aspect of Korean culture is maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict. This means that Koreans may use less direct language when addressing sensitive topics such as relationships, preferring instead to use euphemisms or indirect language.


In conclusion, the way Koreans refer to their girlfriends is influenced by their unique cultural context, which values respect, hierarchy, and harmony. From “chingu” to “sarang,” each term reflects a different level of intimacy and formality. Understanding these terms can give us insight into Korean culture and the importance placed on relationships and communication.

What do Koreans call their lover?

When addressing someone of the same age, it is appropriate to use their name. However, if you are in a romantic relationship with someone older than you, you may refer to them as “Oppa” (older boyfriend) or “Nuna” (older girlfriend). If you are expressing love, you can use terms such as “yeobo” (honey) or “Jagiya” (darling).

What is Sunbae in Korean?

In South Korea, the term “sunbae” refers to a senior or upperclassman. This can apply to various contexts, including within idol fandom where it is used to describe an older or more experienced idol who serves as a mentor or predecessor.

What is Yobo in Korean?

The term “yobo” refers to a female Korean companion or prostitute who was hired or associated with a soldier during a historical military context.

What is the opposite of OPPA in Korean?

Nuna is a Korean term used by males to address older females, while oppa is only used by females to address older males. It can also be spelled as “Nuna” and is used instead of a person’s name.

What name can I call my GF?

Men use a variety of affectionate nicknames for their partners, including traditional terms like “angel” and “sweetheart,” food-inspired names like “cookie” and “cupcake,” and more worshipful names like “queen,” “goddess,” and “light of my life.” This shows the range of ways that men express their love and affection for their partners.

Does Noona mean girlfriend?

Noona does not mean girlfriend, but rather refers to an older sister or woman in a friendly manner. Men who are interested in or already in a relationship with an older woman may not typically refer to them as noona, unless they’re trying to be cute or ask for a favor.

It’s worth noting that the use of these terms is not set in stone, and there may be regional or individual variations in how Koreans refer to their girlfriends. Additionally, the use of English terms of endearment, such as “baby,” “babe,” or “honey,” has become more popular among younger generations.

In recent years, there has also been a growing trend towards gender-neutral language in Korea, with some people choosing to use terms like “partner” or “significant other” instead of gendered terms like “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” This reflects a broader shift towards more inclusive language and attitudes towards gender and sexuality.

Overall, the ways in which Koreans refer to their girlfriends reflect the complex and nuanced cultural values and traditions of Korean society. While these terms may seem unfamiliar or even strange to those from other cultures, they provide insight into the importance of respect, hierarchy, and harmony in Korean relationships.

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