오빠

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Korean[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably contracted from 오라비 (orabi, brother of a female) +‎ (a, hey, vocative particle), compare 누나 (nuna, elder sister of a male). For more on the etymology, see 오라비 (orabi).

Pronunciation[edit]

Romanizations
Revised Romanization?oppa
Revised Romanization (translit.)?oppa
McCune–Reischauer?oppa
Yale Romanization?oppa

Noun[edit]

오빠 (oppa)

  1. elder brother of a female
    너희 오빠 완전 모범생이라서 게임 같은 절대 .
    Neohui oppaneun wanjeon mobeomsaeng-iraseo geim gateun geon jeoldae an hae.
    Your older brother is such a model student that he never plays things like video games.
    Synonym: 오라버니 (orabeoni, honorific, dated)
  2. (women's speech, in informal friendly settings) somewhat older male
    오빠 사귄지 얼마 됐지?
    Opparang sagwinji eolma dwaetji?
    How long has it been since I started going out with him?

Usage notes[edit]

This term is used as a de facto second-person pronoun by women to address both older brothers and unrelated men of somewhat older age. This is because Korean does not permit the use of true second-person pronouns towards a social superior. See 너#Usage notes for more.

Synonyms[edit]

Historical and regional synonyms of 오빠 (oppa, older brother of a female)
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GroupRegionLocationWords
Standardised formsSouth Korean Standard Language오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni) (hon.), 오라비 (orabi) (also y.)
North Korean Cultured Language오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni) (hon.), 오래비 (oraebi) (also y.)
Historical formsMiddle Korean오〮라비〮 (wólàpí) (also y.)
Early Modern Seoul Korean오라비 (orabi) (also y.), 오래비 (oraebi) (also y.)
Central KoreanGyeonggiModern colloquial Seoul오빠 (oppa) (other traditional Seoul forms are not used)
Traditional Seoul오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni) (hon.), 오라비 (orabi) (also y.), 오래비 (oraebi) (also y.)
YeongdongSamcheok오빠 (óppà), 오라버니 (órábèonì), 오라바이 (órábàì)
Jeongseon오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni), 오라버이 (orabeoi)
North ChungcheongCheongju오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni)
Goesan오라버니 (orabeoni)
Boeun오빠 (oppa), 오라버이 (orabeoi)
Okcheon오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni)
Yeongdong오빠 (oppa), 오라버니 (orabeoni)
South ChungcheongCheonan오라버니 (orabeoni)
Cheongyang오라버니 (orabeoni)
Buyeo오라버니 (orabeoni)
Seocheon오빠 (oppa)
Nonsan오라버니 (orabeoni)
South HwanghaeAnak오빠 (oppa)
North HwanghaePongsan오라바이 (orabai)
Southeastern Korean
(Gyeongsang)
North GyeongsangDaegu올배 (ólbè)
Mungyeong오빠 (óppà)
Andong오라배 (órábè)
Pohang오라바시 (órábàsì)
South GyeongsangBusan오라배 (órábè), 오라부이 (órábùì) (hon.), 오래비 (órébì) (deprec.), 오라바이 (órábàì) (deprec.)
Ulsan오라배 (órábè)
Geochang오라배 (órábè), 오라버니 (órábèunì), 오라바이 (órábàì)
Hamyang오라바이 (órábàì)
Jinju오라배 (órábàe)
Yangsan오래배 (órébè)
Goseong오라배 (órábàe)
Geoje오랍세 (órápsè)
Southwestern Korean
(Jeolla)
North JeollaGunsan오라바니 (orabani)
Iksan오라바니 (orabani)
Wanju오랍씨 (orapssi), 오라바니 (orabani) (hon.)
Gimje오라바니 (orabani)
Jeongeup오래비 (oraebi)
Imsil오래비 (oraebi), 오라바이 (orabai) (hon.), 오라바니 (orabani) (hon.)
South JeollaYeonggwang오빠 (oppa), 오랍씨 (orapssi)
Jangseong오라버니 (orabeoni)
Gokseong오빠 (oppa), 오라부니 (orabuni), 오라부지 (orabuji)
Sinan오랍씨 (orapssi), 오람 (oram)
Muan오빠 (oppa), 오라비 (orabi), 오라부 (orabu) (voc.), 오라부님 (orabunim) (voc.)
Naju오라버니 (orabeoni)
Hwasun오라버니 (orabeoni)
Suncheon오랍씨 (orapssi)
Gwangyang오랍씨 (orapssi), 오래비 (oraebi)
Yeongam오라버니 (orabeoni)
Jindo오빠 (oppa), 오라부 (orabu), 오라부님 (orabunim), 오람씨 (oramssi)
Haenam오라버니 (orabeoni)
Gangjin오라버니 (orabeoni)
Wando오랍씨 (orapssi), 오람 (oram)
Boseong오라부니 (orabuni)
Goheung오라비 (orabi)
Yeosu오랍쎄 (orapsse)
Northwestern Korean
(Pyongan)
South PyonganRyonggang오래비 (oraebi) (if unmarried), 오라바니 (orabani) (if married), 오라반 (oraban) (if married)
Songchon오래비 (oraebi)
Mundok오래비 (oraebi), 오라버니 (orabeoni) (if brother is over 50 years old), 오라버님 (orabeonim) (if brother is over 50 years old)
North PyonganRyongchon오래비 (oraebi) (children use personal names to address older brothers)
DiasporaDandong오르바니 (oreubani)
Northeastern Korean
(Hamgyong)
South HamgyongTanchon오래비 (óràebì)
Yukjin KoreanDiasporaHunchun오래비 (óràebì) (as children), 오라바니 (óràbànì) (as adults)
JejuJeju City오라방 (also y.), 오라바님, 오라뱀
Seogwipo오라방 (also y.), 오라바님, 오라뱀
hon.: honorific / deprec.: deprecatory / voc.: vocative
also y.: refers to any brother of a female, regardless of relative age
This table is an amalgamation of surveys of speakers mostly born before 1950 and may not reflect the language of younger speakers, which has lexically converged towards the standard Seoul dialect in both North and South Koreas.

Derived terms[edit]

(kinship terms)

(other)

  • (ppa, stan (obsessive fan)

Descendants[edit]

  • English: oppa
  • Chinese: 歐巴欧巴 (ōubā)

See also[edit]

  • (hyeong, older brother of a male)
  • 언니 (eonni, older sister of a female)
  • 누나 (nuna, older sister of a male)
  • 동생 (dongsaeng, younger sibling)