안녕 친구들~ Welcome to Koreanstudyjunkie! I have a list of some terms of endearment that korean couples use.
Here is a list of the most common Korean terms of endearment you can use for the one you love.
자기야 – “Honey” or “Baby”
Probably the most popular of the Korean term used between couples, it means “honey”, “darling” or “baby”. You’ll often hear among couples in K-dramas. You can shorten it to 자기. It can be used for both men and women.
Ex: 자기야, 사랑해. → I love you, darling.
내 사랑 – “My Love”
This can be directly translated as “my love”. The usage is similar to 자기 and used with both males and females.
Ex: 잘 가요, 내 사랑.→ Goodbye, my love.
여보 – “Honey” or “Darling”
Not to be confused with 꿀 > honey (the food). This translates as “honey” or “darling”. It’s usually used only between married couples. Can be used for both men and women.
Ex: 여보, 괜찮아? → Are you okay, honey?
애인 – “Sweetheart”
”Sweetheart” is the closest translation for this term of endearment. 애인 is gender-neutral. This means anyone can use 애인 with their partner or when referring to someone’s partner.
애인 있어요? → Do you have a sweetheart?
애인 없어요. → I don’t have a sweetheart.
애기야 – “Baby”
The word 애기 is a cute way of saying 아기, which means “baby“. This Korean term is used as a sweet way of saying “baby”.
Ex: 애기야 뭐 먹을까? → What shall we eat baby?
내꺼 – “Mine” or “My Sweetheart”
This could translate as “mine” or “my sweetheart”. It’s a cute way of talking. You can also use 이름 + 꺼, meaning “mine”.
내꺼~ 지금 어디에요? → My (sweetheart), where are you now?
우리 남친 누구꺼? 내꺼! → My boyfriend, whose boyfriend are you? Mine!
공주님 – “Princess”
“Princess” is a term of endearment a man can use when speaking with his girlfriend. The word 공주 means princess, and the 님 part is a formal title. It’s similar to referring to your girlfriend as if she’s royalty.
Ex: 우리 공주님을 위해서라면 무엇이든. → Anything for my princess.
왕자님 – “Prince”
Like princess for women, “prince” or “prince charming” is what some girls and women may use with their boyfriends. The 님 suffix is used as a title of respect. Even if the couple talks formally to each other, the 님 suffix makes the term seem more kind and caring.
Ex: 우리 왕자님, 너무 멋져 보여요. → You look so cool, my prince.
오빠 – “Older Brother” (from younger female)
The literal translation for this word is “brother”, but it has a deeper meaning. 오빠 is a common term for girls and women to use with their boyfriends and husbands. The term, 오빠 is used both directly with your partner and when talking about him to others.
오빠가 있어서 든든해. → I feel safe/secure to have you.
오빠가 보고 싶어요. → I miss you.
서방님 – “Husband”
(Or 서방 more informally) This term simply translates as “husband”. It’s a common term used in the world of married couples. It has deep historical roots in Korean, although you’ll perhaps hear it more for sons-in-law than husbands in modern-day Korea.
서방님, 집에 일찍 들어오세요. → (Husband) Please come home early.
[name] + 아빠/엄마 = [name]’s father/mother
Once a married couple has kids, they can call each other as their child’s mom or dad. In a sense, this is one of the most unique and sweetest Korean terms of endearment.
For example, if the child’s name is 민호 (Minho), the father can be called 민호 아빠 and the mother can be called. 민호 엄마. This endearment can be used by the wife, in-laws, and even people outside of the immediate family.
A few more interesting words:
귀요미 = cutie
귀요미 evolved from the word 귀엽다 which means cute. Although the term is gender-neutral, more guys say this to their girlfriends than the other way around.
색시 = wife
This interestingly sounds like the English word sexy, but 색시 means a young maiden or bride. Along with 서방님, newlyweds of the olden times used these terms to address each other. Nowadays though, using 남편 and 아내 is more common.
When Talking About Your Partner To Others:
You wouldn’t use most of the above terms of endearment when talking about your partner. Instead, you’d simply call them “husband” (남편), “wife” (아내 / 와이프), “boyfriend” (남친 = 남자 친구) and “girlfriend” (여친 = 여자 친구)
I hope you enjoyed this post! I have more things like this on my blog, you can look through if you'd like! Koreanstudujunkie.com/blog. Also there should be posts related to this one linked below. I made a post about aegyo before, so maybe you'd be interested in that too!