Unless you’ve been living in an isolated nuclear shelter in preparation for the coming end of the world, you may have picked up on the viral video ‘Shit Girls Say.’ Now the video has spawned legions of copycats. From ‘Shit Black Girls Say,’ ‘Shit Gay Southern Guys Say,’ to ‘Shit Asian Girls Say,’ the movement is growing, and it’s fun to watch.
Being something of an Asian girl myself I’ve zoned in on the latter and loved the dead-on moments that play on AAPI stereotypes, but also know how to make you laugh. Having recently written a guide to life in Seoul for women, I bear some responsibility for a better understanding of an under-explored corner of the Shit People Say movement. So to make sense of what you hear on the streets of Seoul or your local Koreatown, here are just a few key phrases under the banner, ‘Shit South Korean Girls Say.’
1. Oppa. Literally means ‘big brother,’ or ‘older brother,’ and originally used to refer to siblings. Now it’s overly abused and ubiquitously used by young women to call their boyfriends, sugar daddies, and waffle-eating partners. The Oppa is a term of endearment meaning ‘Honey’ or ‘Baby.’ Apparently South Korean guys find it a big turn-on when a girl calls after him, “Oppaaah~” and for better or for worse, you’ll hear that most everywhere.
2. Na Yeppeo? This is a rhetorical question that’s also interchangeable with “Na Yeppeuji?” meaning “Do I look pretty?” or “Don’t I look pretty?” Being pretty matters a lot for young Korean women, as they do hail from the birthplace of BB Cream. But the statement is often made in obnoxious jest, meaning, don’t take it too seriously. The girl in question usually just wants her BF’s moral support. Women ask this about each other too, but only if they already know the answer is a resounding yes!
3. Jjajeungna! A South Korean girl will utter this when she can’t figure out the wireless password or can’t find anything to wear in her closet of pinkish hues and fur bows. Ha! Just kidding. Actually, this phrase, meaning “I’m frustrated,” is used by anyone and everyone who’s running into puddles in their path. Having a bad day at work? Then just yell “Jjajeungna!” No one will know what you just said, only you. And you’ll feel much better from a cathartic release that can only be had when uttered in Korean.