Terms of affection are very common in Korean, and there are quite a few you can use depending on your relationship with the person. For today, we’re going to talk about ‘jagiya’ and what it means and when to use it.
The basic meaning of this word is the equivalent of ‘baby’, ‘honey’, or ‘darling’ in English. You can use this towards your boyfriend or girlfriend and although it’s a word mostly used by younger couples, even older couples are using it now. Married couples can also use it sometimes, although there are more words of affection that they prefer to use like ‘여보’.
Hyo prefers to just call me by my name, or use terms of affection in English rather than Korean (she claims it sounds too cheesy in Korean).
Here are some example sentences using ‘자기야’:
자기야 결혼기념일 축하해. (ja-gi-ya gyeol-hon-gi-nyeo-mil chu-ka-hae) = Happy anniversary honey.
자기야 잘못이 아니었어. (ja-gi-ya jal-mo-si a-ni-eo-sseo)= Baby, it wasn’t your fault.
자기야, 제발 울지 마. (ja-gi-ya, je-bal ul-ji ma) = Please don’t cry, baby.
자기야 뭐 가져다 줄까? (ja-gi-ya mwo ga-jeo-da jul-kka) = Can I get you something honey?
자기야 멋있어. (ja-giya) = Babe you look awesome.
자기야, 늦어서 미안해. (ja-gi-ya, neu-jeo-seo mi-an-hae) = Honey, sorry for being late.
자기야, 내가 이불 덮어 줄게. (ja-gi-ya, nae-ga i-bul deo-peo jul-ge) = I’ll tuck you in honey.
If you’re a bit above the beginner level in Korean, you’ll notice that this word contains another common word, ‘자기’. This word means ‘self’ or ‘one’s self’. According to some research we did on Naver, the reason why you call your lover ‘자기야’ is that you are so close to them that you also think of them as part of yourself. Like the person you love is also the same as you.
They are your soulmate!
Then you add on’야’ which is added to someone’s name when you call them.
If you want to learn more affectionate words in Korean, check out our Korean Terms of Endearment post and infographic.