Today, we will learn how to say “honey” in Korean. The word “honey” has two meanings in English. For starters, it can be used as a sweet nickname for someone. Second, it’s the term for the delicious food substance made by bees, which we all like. You’ll learn both of them in this article.
“Honey” in Korean
As you might know, the word “honey” in English has two different meanings.
If you have a Korean boyfriend or girlfriend, you will want to call them by a special name. Terms of endearment can help you feel closer and show your feelings. In English, people often call their partners “honey.”
You’ll also want to learn the Korean word “honey,” or the stuff that bees make. You might find yourself asking for this when you’re in a tea shop and you want to add honey to your drink. Many people love honey, so it’s also good to know what’s it called in Korea!
“Honey” in Korean – Food
The word for “honey” in Korean, the one that bees make, is 꿀 (kkul) or 벌꿀 (beolkkul).
벌 (beol) means “bee,” so this second word is literally “honey bee.”
Even though your boyfriend or girlfriend is undoubtedly very sweet, don’t use these words to call them! For that, you can use the next type of “honey.”
“Honey” in Korean – Sweet Terms
The English word “honey,” written in Korean as 허니 (heoni), is sometimes used to refer to someone in a sweet way.
Below are more common terms that mean “honey” in Korean. These terms of endearment can help make your relationship even better. Everyone wants a sweet name, and the Korean word for “honey” might be perfect for you.
In Korean, 여보 (yeobo) means “honey.” However, this word is commonly used for married couples or at least engaged couples who intend to marry. You might have heard this term in K-dramas before.
You can listen to the audio clip below for its right pronunciation.
You might have also come across the term “yobo.” Sometimes, 여보 (yeobo) is romanized as yobo. However, don’t be confused. Both of them mean “honey” in Korean.
Here’s a sample sentence that uses the term 여보 (yeobo) to say “honey” in Korean.
오늘 하루는 어땠어 여보? (oneul haruneun eottaesseo yeobo)
How was your day, honey?
The word 자기 (jagi) is also used to call someone “honey.” Koreans might add the suffix 야 (ya) to call their loved ones or get their attention.
As opposed to the term 여보 (yeobo), your relationship status doesn’t matter if you use the 자기 (jagi) or 자기야 (jagiya). This means even young couples or those who just started dating can use them.
Below is how to pronounce “jagiya” correctly.
Just like 여보 (yeobo), 자기 (jagi) and 자기야 (jagiya) are also spelled in different ways in English, such as “chagiya” or “chagi.” Nonetheless, they all mean “honey” in Korean.
If you’d like to talk to your significant other in Korean, here are some sample sentences that you can use for practice with the words 자기 (jagi) or 자기야 (jagiya).
자기, 내 열쇠 봤어? (jagi, nae yeolsoe bwasseo)
Honey, have you seen my keys?
자기야, 나는 집이야 (jagiya, naneun jibiya)
I’m at home, honey.
There are several choices of endearment that you can use! Just ask your partner which one they prefer and use that word to call them by.
Other Meanings of 자기 (jagi)
While the word 여보 (yeobo) only means “honey,” the word 자기 (jagi) can also mean “self,” “myself,” or “oneself.”
For example, you might hear the phrase 자기 소개 (jagi sogae). This phrase means “self-introduction,” not “introduce your honey.”
As the word for “self” is usually used in formal settings, and the word “honey” is generally used in informal situations, it should be easy to tell which one is which based on the context.
Can you use 자기야 (jagiya) in formal settings?
The word “honey” is not usually used in formal situations like interviews or presentations, just as you wouldn’t use it in these situations in English.
You may wish to talk about your partner in the third person when speaking politely or formally to others. In these situations, it would be better to use a term such as a husband (남편 | nampyeon), wife (아내 | anae), boyfriend, or girlfriend (read the article: How to Say “Friend” in Korean to learn how to say “boyfriend in Korean” and “girlfriend” in Korean).
A Word of Caution About Romanization
Although using romanized Korean words can be a valuable way to pick up a few words, it can only get you so far. If you genuinely want to learn Korean, then it is a good idea to take the time to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
Understanding Hangul can help you notice grammar points and articles and separate these from vocabulary, making it easier to learn both. It will also help you with your pronunciation and intonation, and the best thing is that it is very easy to understand. Hangul can be learned in just 90 minutes!
Now that you know how to say “honey” in Korean, go out and tell your loved ones that they are your “honey.” Can’t remember this word? Create some strategies and associations for this vocabulary so you can remember it better.