K-dictionary Vol.03:Aegyo 애교 ,撒嬌的女人最好命?

HF Crewon November 13, 2014 at 10:00 am

How many times have you heard Korean female celebrities squeezing out ‘oppa’ in a high-pitched, thin tone while they blink their deer-like eyes? Or shaking their shoulders towards the oppa’s? Putting their two fists below their chin and again, opening their eyes wide open and blinking it several times? Yes, you have seen these girls’ ‘aegyos.’


Aegyo,애교,撒嬌,oppa,onni,kpop,korean,korean culture

Aegyo(애교), a combination of two Chinese characters love(愛) and beautiful(嬌) is a term used to describe a high-affectionate, cute way that Korean girls use through their exaggerated facial expressions, gestures and baby voices. Aegyo can be compared to the Japanese equivalent of kawaii.


Aegyo,애교,撒嬌,oppa,onni,kpop,korean,korean culture Aegyo,애교,撒嬌,oppa,onni,kpop,korean,korean culture

Aegyo is so deeply rooted in Korean culture that it is used as a personality category to describe people. Generally girls with a lot of aegyo would be preferred over those who are seemingly cold-mannered. (*Aside: The editor, as a Korean girl, has been forced to show some aegyo to her previous Korean boyfriends. Their assertion was, it makes me sound cuter!)

Aegyo深深植根於韓國文化之中,也被用於形容人的性格。有很多aegyo的女孩(應該就是很會撒嬌的女孩吧)會比高冷的女生更受歡迎。(補充: 韓國小編也曾經被迫向自己的前男友展現自己的aegyo。因為這樣會讓我聽起來更可愛!)

Aegyo,애교,撒嬌,oppa,onni,kpop,korean,korean culture


Aegyo,애교,撒嬌,oppa,onni,kpop,korean,korean culture

What categorises as Aegyo? Here are some lists of typical aegyo behaviors, but a video would better help your understanding.


01    Creating a fish face. Blowing air into your both cheeks and pushing your lips out to look cute (做出金魚表情——臉頰像吹氣球一般鼓起,嘴巴一定要撅起來)

02    Poking their cheeks with one finger (用食指戳自己的臉蛋)

03    Putting both fists under the chin, creating a flower shape and shaking heads (用手掌拖臉做出花的形狀,搖頭晃腦)

04    Raising voice higher than your original pitch to make sound cuter(捏著嗓子提高聲調,讓自己聽起來可愛)

05    Blinking eyes slowly, looking directly into someone’s eye. Blink Blink!(慢慢眨眼睛,直勾勾地盯著某人的眼睛(當然是男人)。Blink Blink!)

06    Baby talk. Talking like a child and lengthening it out. Examples include ‘Oppaaa~~~,’ ‘Jebal(Please),’ ‘Siro(I don’t want to),’ ‘Sajo(buy it for me),’ ‘hing(onomatopoeia used to express sadness).’ (學小孩子的聲音,記住尾音一定要拖拖拖。比如「偶吧~」「拜託啦~」「不要啦~」等等)

Example of Aegyo:

Girls’ Day Hyeri blasts out aegyo in TV show ‘Real Men’

Aegyo can charm men and elders if used in the right situation. Men would give in to girls and show their weak side when girls start aegyo-ing to them. Nowadays though, due to the abundance of flower boys in Kpop idol groups, it is common for young guys to use aegyo, a feminine trait, to older girls. In the west, where independent girls are appreciated, such submissive behavior like aegyo would be seen in a different point of view. Is there such a term as aegyo in your country? If not, what do you think about Korean girls and their aegyo?


All photos via tumblr.com

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