Family-in-law Terms in Korean 

 April 29, 2022

By  Smriti

In our previous post we have already learnt about the basic terms used for family members in Korean. After learning the basic terms for family members. Let's look at the Korean terms for the in-laws.

Therefore today I will let you know about all the terms used for In Laws in Korea as well as how to use them in the right manner.


Mother-in-law in Korean

The terms used  for mother-in-law can be expressed in a number of ways in Korean.  The title used to address mother-in-law in Korean depends on which side of the family she belongs to.

In Korean mother-in-law for the husband’s side is called 어머님 (eomeonim) or 시어머니 (sieomeoni).

For the wife’s side, it’s 장모 (jangmo).


Father-in-law in Korean

Similarly the terms used  for father-in-law can be expressed in a number of ways in Korean.

The Korean term also depends on the side of the family he belongs to. The father in law from husband’s side father-in-law is called 아버님 (abeonim) or 시아버지 (siabeoji).

For the wife’s side, it’s 장모 (jangmo).


Sister-in-law in Korean

In Korean there are different terms for sister-in-laws. Depending on whether she's the older or younger sister the term differs in Korean.

For the husband’s side to address the older sister the terms used is 형님 (hyeongnim) and 언니 (eonni). 

While the terms used for the younger sister is 동서 (dongseo) and 아가씨 (agassi) in Korean.

For the wife’s side, the term used for older sister-in-law is 처형 (cheohyeong) or 형님 (hyeongnim), while the younger sister-in-law is 제 (cheoje) in Korean. 

For the guys, you can call your younger brother’s wife as 제수 (jesu) and 올케 (olke) if you’re a girl.

If you're a guy you can call your older brother's wife as 형수님 (hyeongsunim).

If you’re a girl, you can call your older brother’s wife as 새언니 (saeeonni).


Brother-in-law in Korean

For the husband's side, you can call your husband's older brother as 아주버님 (ajubeonim) or 형님(hyeongnim). 

If he’s younger, you can call him 시동생 (sidongsaeng) or 서방님 (seobangnim) if he’s married and 도련님 (doreyonnim) if he’s unmarried.

For the wife’s side, the older brother-in-law is called형님(hyeongnim) and the younger one is called 처남 (cheonam).

If you're a guy then you can call your younger sister’s husband as 매제 (maeje), and 제부 (jebu) if you’re a girl.

If you're a guy then you can call your older sister’s husband as 매형 (maehyeong) and 형부 (hyeongbu) if you’re a girl.


Terms used by husbands to address the wife's side of the family

Following are terms used by husbands to address the wife's side of the family.

No.

Korean term

Meaning in English

1

장인

Father in law

2

장모

Mother in law

3

형님

Older brother in law

4

아주머님

Older brother in law's wife

5

처남

Younger brother in law

6

처남댁

Younger brother in law's wife

7

처형

Older sister in law

8

형님

Older sister in law's husband

9

처제

Younger sister in law

10

동서

Younger sister in law's husband

 

Terms used by wife to address the husband's side of the family

Following are terms used by wife to address the husband's side of the family.

No.

Korean term

Meaning in English

1

시아버지

Father in law

2

시어머니

Mother in law

3

아주버님

Older brother in law

4

언니

Older brother in law's wife

5

도련님

Younger unmarried brother in law

6

서방님

Younger married brother in law

7

동서

Younger brother in law's wife

8

언니

Older sister in law

9

서방님

Older sister in law's husband

10

아씨

Younger sister in law

11

서방님

Younger sister in law's husband

If there are no terms that you are familiar with, then the easiest way would be using their names, however in this situation, you may still get confused.

So the trick is to learn slowly and use 님 after the term to sound polite. 

See also : Emotions in Korean Language

Complete List of Body Parts vocabulary in Korean

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