"Oh mah gah" vs Koreans

I recently read an “I did it for science” column that mentioned Asian massage parlors and how the proprietor said “Oh mah gah” a lot. I assumed at the time that this was an Asian accented version of “oh my God”.

But tonight I saw a repeat of Lost (“This Place Is Death”) and Sun says something in Korean that sounded an awful lot like “Oh mah gah”. The subtitled translation of the whole sentence which began with “omg” was “I met a new friend for you in America”.

So is there some Korean phrase that sounds like “oh mah gah”, and is it something that a Korean is likely to say in the spirit of “ahh” or “I see” or “oh my”?

Perhaps the Korean person was saying 어머나 (Eo-meo-na/Uh-muh-na), meaning “Oh, dear me!” A conservative count of the number of times I hear that expression per school day would be about two thousand, given a student population of just over 800 at my school.

(I missed the edit window.)

By the way, a Korean pronunciation of “Oh, my God!” would sound like “Oh, mah-ee got” (오 마이 갓) since the phonetic rules of the language don’t permit a D sound at the end of a word. this expression, I hear about ten thousand times every day. (That’s only a slight exaggeration, sadly.)

True, but then you also get the smartarse students who say “Oh my Godeu” 오 마이 가드 just for the attention.

Who was she talking to? Was it her mother perhaps? I’ve never seen the show so I don’t know if that’d be plausible, but she could be saying 엄마 가 (uhm-ma ga) which mean Mom-- with the last syllable being a lead in to whatever was next (Mom did this). This is probably less likely than Monty’s explanation, although I’m not sure why either would would translate as “I met a new friend for you in America.”

Ah, and after a brief search on Google, I see that I might have been right. Looks like she’s talking to her mother?
If only I can guess this well on Tuesday!

The hip thing among Chinese school kids these days is “Oh my Lady Gaga.” I wish I was kidding.

even sven: It’s the same here, at least in my neighborhood.

She was talking to her daughter.

Looks like Lostpedia has a transcription:

It’s whatever she says during the “I met a new friend for you in America” subtitles.

This part:

is the word ‘mommy’ ( 엄마/eom-ma) followed by the grammatical particle 가 (ga) marking ‘mommy’ as the subject.

I lived among Koreans for several years. A phrase that sounds like that was splashed into many sentences.

Once I asked my friend (who frequently used it when talking to her children on the phone) what it meant.

She told me “Mother says” is the definition.
A year or so later I was talking to a young Korean attorney and she said that most of the phrases and words I remembered (I was telling her the words I know) are “filler words” and of course things you see on a menu or ask a food server.

On direct discussion of the sound OH MAH GAH she told me something quickly and I stated that my friend said it means “Mother says” to which she replied something like "no, it means {something I did not memorize so can not repeat here and can only describe as not mother says} then she said something like um well yes it can mean that but usually we say it to mean {}.
So today I came looking on the Internet to see that other meaning but can not find it.
I guess I have to be content that when a mother is talking to her children it may mean Mother says and just let it go at that.

There are other sounds that just get put into sentences so they flow and the ever popular jiguum which means “right now” and is used quite frequently to round out a sentence as far as I know and that was another of the filler words according to the young Korean attorney.
I would love to have a complete understanding.

This entire thread so far has failed to address OP’s original question: Why is this being said at Asian massage parlors?

(Maybe “I’ve found a new friend for you” is the euphemism for “Would you like your happy ending now?” :cool: )