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What does Oppa Gangnam Style mean ...

Source: theAARONLOY

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Aaron Loy breaks it down for us:

'Oppa' = 'Big Brother'

Apparently, 'Oppa' is what the ladies would say to address somebody as an 'older brother'. Seems to be a bit like 'Onee-San' in Japanese or 'Da Ge (大哥)' in Chinese. Do note that only gals use this. Guys use 'Hyung' instead of 'Oppa'.


Gangnam-gu is 1 of 25 districts that make up Seoul, Korea, and it's supposed to be one of the most affluent. I guess it's a bit like how we use Beverly Hills in the US or '6th Ave' back in Singapore to say that someone's from a 'richer' neighbourhood.

'Oppa Gangnam Style'

When you put it all together, it's basically like you trying to impress a girl, by saying that 'Hey, your big brother here is rich/sophisticated'.

So, there you go. It's a very hip and annoying way to impress a gal I guess.

Ey…But…Horse Riding?

Erm. People who tend to ride horses and stuff tend to be more affluent? Think polo.

117 million views on YouTube and counting...

Oppa Gangnam Style Lyrics Translation -- attempt 1, attempt 2

Kim Jong Un approves.

@angelcism says, "Onee-san == older sister. Onii-san == older brother."

Thank you for the clarification!

Oppa Gangnam Style FAQ -- courtesy NY Daily News


The video climbed to 100 million views in 51 days — faster than Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Rebecca Black's "Friday," according to the Daily Dot — and elicited a deluge of response videos.

It's garnered over 117 million views since it was posted on July 15, and Psy, a.k.a. Park Jae Sung, became the first Korean artist to be invited to the MTV VMAs since Rain performed in 2005, according to the Korea Times.


Gangnam is a wealthy neighborhood in the South Korean city of Seoul where young people go to party. In the song, Psy describes the kind of guy he is and the kind of girl he wants, painting caricatures of the ostentatious culture of people who hang out in Gangnam.

As The Atlantic pointed out in an in-depth article last month, behind the flashy costumes and killer dance moves in Psy's video, there's a subtle commentary on class in South Korea.


It roughly means something like 'Your man has Gangnam Style.' 'Oppa,' which literally means 'older brother,' is an affectionate term girls use to address older guy friends or a boyfriend. It can also be used as a first-person pronoun, as PSY does here — in this case, he's telling a woman that he has Gangnam style.


"It's a horse-riding dance," PSY explained in an interview with NY1 anchor Michelle Park. "So there is an invisible horse, and you're on it." (In the video, Psy first does the dance in the middle of a posh-looking stable.)

The singer manages to turn an activity typically associated with the wealthy into a hilarious, arm-flapping dance move.


It's pronounced like 'sigh,' short for 'psycho.'


He signed with Schoolboy Records, the label of Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun, so we may soon be seeing more of him stateside.

Nice post Adam! I thought this post by the folks at Seoul Space, one of the tech hubs over there, was pretty instructive too:

Roham, that's a great article.

I'm beginning to understand the cultural significance of using the word Oppa:

His use of the word “oppa,” which means big brother, adds to the Gangnam prince persona he is portraying. Oppa is a term of affection that is often used by lovers or close friends of a similar age. Psy is almost my age. The girl he is dancing with in the video (Hyun-a) is 19. It would very inappropriate to have Hyun-a call Psy oppa under almost any circumstances in Korean culture.

The song and video are now the biggest Korean work on iTunes ever.

Psy himself speaks fluent English and studied at the Berklee School of Music.

This infographic also illustrates nicely how much this meme has spread:


Click on the infographic to see the full sized version.

Babies love Oppa Gangnam Style.

Dancers love it.

See more Oppa...

Mitt is more suited to horse riding dance.

Does Mitt ride horses? I wasn't sure.

I know that his cars ride elevators, though.

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