How to Say “Oh My God” in Korean – Ways to show you’re surprised

Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
How to Say Oh My God in Korean

This article will show you how to say “oh my god” in Korean. After all, life is full of surprises and shocks, and showing your surprise is very important! You can say “oh my god” or some variant of that phrase such as “oh my gosh.”

A girl in a surprised expression with her arms up

Like in English, there are several ways to say it. We’ll show you how!

“Oh My God!” in Korean

Here are the most common ways of saying “oh my god” in Korean:

1. 세상에 (sesange)

This comes from the word 세상 (sesang), which means “world” (another, more common term for “world” is 세계 | segye).

세상에 (sesange) can be interpreted more literally as “never in the whole world would I have expected that.”

Oh My God in Korean with a guy covering his mouth

Sample sentence:

이런 세상에, 그녀는 정말로 사랑스러워! (ireon sesange, geunyeoneun jeongmallo sarangseureowo)

Oh my god, she’s so adorable!

2. 맙소사! (mapsosa)

This is another expression sometimes used to say “oh my god” in Korean. You may see this often in Korean subtitles in movies.

Oh My God in Korean with a guy with his hand on his mouth in panic

Sample sentences:

맙소사! 전 몰라요. (mapsosa jeon mollayo)

Oh my god! I don’t know!

맙소사, 난 이 일이 싫어 (mapsosa, nan i iri sileo)

Oh my god, I hate this job.

This video shows How to Say “Oh My God” in Korean

How to Say “Oh My God!” in Korean

“OMG” in Korean

“OMG” is simply an abbreviation of  the expression “oh my god.” In Korean, the closest term used to express “OMG” is 헐 (heol).

There are other ways that are used to express “OMG,” which is used in the same way as “oh my god” in Korean that we’ll discuss further below.

What does “heol” mean in Korean?

헐 (heol) translates to either “oh my god” or “OMG” in Korean. This is often mentioned when there is slight disappointment or concern due to something going wrong.

Other ways to say “oh my god” in Korean

Here are other similar ways to say “oh my god” in Korean. These expressions may not directly translate to “oh my god” like the ones above, but they are used in similar situations.

1. 어머 (eomeo)

This Korean word is often used as an expression of surprise, which can also be interpreted as “oh my god!”.

“Omo” in Korean

The word “omo” is another common romanization for 어머. This word still means “oh my god” in Korean.

2. 아이고 (aigo)

This is a common Korean expression that can be translated as a simple “oh!”,  “oh dear!” or “oh my god” in Korean.

What does “aigoo” mean in Korean?

“Aigoo” also means “oh my god” in Korean. This is another romanization of the word 아이고 (aigo).

3. 이런 (ireon)

The word 이런 (ireon), which usually means “this,” can also be used to mean “oh my god” in Korean. Its more literal meaning would be something like “how can this happen?” or “how did it come to this?”.

Sample sentence:

오 이런, 제게 이러지 마요. (o ireon, jege ireoji mayo)

Oh my god, don’t do this to me.

오 이런, 내가 방금 너의 칫솔을 사용했어. (o ireon, naega banggeum neoui chitsoreul sayonghaesseo)

Oh my god, I just used your toothbrush.

4. 오 마이 갓 (o mai gat)

The English phrase “oh my god” is well known in Korean, and often it is used instead of a Korean word. When it is written in Korean, it becomes 오 마이 갓 (o mai gat), and it is pronounced in such a way by Koreans.

This expression is also the basis of several Korean puns due to its similarity in sound to the word “mother’s” (엄마의 | eommaui). One example is the pun 엄마의 가스 레인지 (eommaui gaseu reinji).

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

A Word of Caution About Using Romanization

As you can see from the example of “oh my god,” when written in Korean, the sounds of the Korean language are different from the English language. The best way to sound like a Korean is to learn the Korean alphabet (Hangeul). That way, you can notice the different sounds used in Korean and get used to how Korean sounds. Learning Hangeul is very easy; it can be done in just a couple of hours!

If you want to learn some more essential phrases, check out this article or try our full Korean course.

Now that you know how to say “oh my god” in Korean let us know what things shock you and make you want to say “oh my god” in Korean.

    8 replies to "How to Say “Oh My God” in Korean – Ways to show you’re surprised"

    • Avatar for sazxnn sazxnn

      what’s the most common way of saying it though?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi! 세상에 is common in general. For younger people, 헐 is most commonly used. ^^

    • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

      There is a similar sounding expression, 어머나. It can mean “My goodness!” or “Oh!”

    • Avatar for Ji-hye Ji-hye

      I know we English speakers see those Korean phrases as substitutions of the “oh my G**” expression, but would Koreans interpret those phrases to mean “oh my G**”? Or would they stick to their literal translations? Cuz saying “never in the world would I have expected that” is not the same as “oh my …”

      I ask because I am a Christian and thus cannot take the Lord’s name in vain : ) Thank you

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Ji-Hye! “Oh my god” is usually translated as the phrases above, for example, “세상에” (what on earth …). Only when a character is a religious person, will the translation be “오, 주여” (oh, my lord). ^^

        • Avatar for Ji-hye Ji-hye

          Ah, okay. I had been kinda confused cuz “Mr. Sunshine” translated those phrases “이런” as “oh dear” etc. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Sage Eucliffe Sage Eucliffe

      Nice one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.