Posted in Let's Learn Korean!, The 123s of KDramas

KDrama Terms Every New KDrama Fan Must Learn

Being a kdrama fan will introduce you to new terms only fellow fans understand. These are the terms kdrama fans use often when they talk about Korean dramas. If you are new to kdramas, you need to learn these terms to communicate with fellow kdrama fans better.

There are a lot of kdrama terms out there but I’ve compiled 10 of the most commonly used. And so here they are:



1. Oppa actually means ‘older brother’ in Korean. Girls use the term ‘oppa’ to refer to their older brother. However, ‘oppa’ is also used by women to refer to men who are older than them in an AFFECTIONATE way.

In kdramas, however, we use the term ‘oppa’ to refer to all the HANDSOME men in the dramas, REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE.

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‘Who’s your favorite oppa?’

‘Oh, it’s Lee Min Ho.’

‘Oh, yes. I love him, too. Oppa, saranghae!’ 



2. Feels refer to the intense emotions you feel while watching your favorite dramas. It may also refer to the ‘kilig’ you feel when you’re watching your favorite oppa.


‘Ohmygod! ‘Goblin’ gave me sooo much feels!’

‘I know, right? ‘Goblin’ feels got me crying and laughing at the same time! It was crazy!’


‘I enjoyed ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ a lot because of Park Hyung Sik.’

‘I feel you. Hyungsik’s giving me a lot of feels, too.’



3. Fangirl (or fanboy) refers to someone who’s very passionate about kdramas (or about a certain Korean actor or actress).


‘You like kdramas a lot, don’t you?’

‘Oh, yes. I’m such a fangirl and I’m proud of it.’

Fangirling (or fanboying), on the other hand, refers to the extreme actions you’ve been doing as a fan.


‘You’ve been talking about ‘Descendants of the Sun’ on your Facebook feed for like one whole week already!’

‘Oh, I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized I’ve been fangirling a lot lately. All these fangirl feels got me so ecstatic.’



4. OTP is short for ‘One True Pairing’. The term is used to describe your most favorite pairing, be it on screen or in real life.


‘I love Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo so much. They’re like my ultimate, ultimate OTP right now.’

‘They’re my OTP, too! I am actually hoping that they start dating in real life!’



5. Ship is actually short for ‘relationship’. The term means to ‘root for a particular pairing’.


‘I ship Park Hyung Sik with Park Bo Young.’

‘Yes, I’m a shipper, too.’


‘Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo are spotted again somewhere. Together.’

‘Really? Oh, my! I think our ship is sailing!’

The ‘ship is sailing’ (or has ‘already sailed’) basically means that the relationship you are rooting for (be in on-screen or off-screen) has somehow started to develop. For real.



6. The term Second Male Lead Syndrome is used when you love the second male lead MORE THAN the main male character in the drama.

Most of the dramas have two male leads and one female lead. Of course, the female lead is expected to end up with the main guy. However, if the audience fell in love with the second male lead instead of the main male character then they are known to suffer from the second male lead syndrome.


‘I love Park Hyung Sik’s character on ‘Hwarang’ more than Park Seo Joon’s character.’

‘I feel you. Park Hyung Sik gave me my worst case of second male lead syndrome on ‘Hwarang’, too.’




7. Idol refers to those who belong to kpop groups. They have spent years on being a ‘trainee’ before they were introduced to the public as a part of a kpop group.

Some of the most popular kdrama actors actually started as an idol.


‘I didn’t know that Yook Sung Jae can sing.’

‘But of course! He was an idol before he became an actor. He started as a member of the kpop group BTOB before he landed his first acting role in ‘Who Are You: School 2015”.



8. Bias refers to your most favorite Korean actor (or in the case of kpop, your most favorite idol).

It’s called ‘bias’ because, basically, you are ‘bias’ when it comes to him. You’ll always see the good in him NO MATTER WHAT. Not to mention that he’ll always be the BEST in your eyes even if new and better actors (or idols) come along.

‘I love Park Bo Gum.’

‘Me, too. He’ll always be my bias.’



9. Bromance refers to the platonic close relationship between two male characters in the drama (or even between two actors in real life) that appears to be almost romantic.


‘I love Gong Yoo’s character in ‘Goblin’.’

‘Me, too. I enjoyed his bromance with Lee Dong Wook’s character. It was very entertaining to watch.’



10. Skinship refers to the physical contacts between the kdrama leads (or between an actor and an actress). This doesn’t need to be a major touch. If let’s say, the male lead brushes his hand against the female lead’s shoulder, even if it’s almost unintentional, that’s already considered as skinship.


‘I love watching Gong Myung and Jung Hye Sung on ‘We Got Married’. They have  a lot of skinships.

‘Yes, I noticed that, too. It seems like it’s very natural for them to touch each other.’



So there! Those are just 10 of the most common kdrama terms that are used by fans nowadays. There are still a whole… lot… more.

Please hit that SUBSCRIBE button for more kdrama terms (and maybe some basic Korean words) I’m gonna blog about in the coming days.

Kamsahamnida! *wink*