I have always assumed that 호프 - beer - was short for Hofbräuhaus, a famous brewery in Munich.

Is this correct? Or could it be from the word 'hops', or some other origin?

  • 1
    No one seems to know for sure. See topa.co.kr/archives/536. According to it, the first attested use was in 1986 when OB (Oriental Brewery Company) opened a chain of drinking establishments named "OB호프." If so, we may want to say that the expression comes from "Hof" as "OB court" would make some sort of sense. (I don't think people refer to beer as 호프 though; only to the establishment as 호프집.)
    – Catomic
    Dec 24, 2016 at 2:49
  • Come to think of it there would be a far more pertinent sense of the word as found in Gasthof, where eating and drinking takes place.
    – Catomic
    Dec 24, 2016 at 4:23
  • @Catomic "no-one knows for sure" would be a legitimate answer - especially if you could include the info about "OB호프" and translate some of the key points from that topa link, which looks great. Dec 24, 2016 at 9:05

2 Answers 2


I found good article about it in Korean http://topa.co.kr/archives/536

호프 in Korean, it is from (Hofbräuhaus). According to article(its not news btw)

"과거의 신문을 검색해보면 1986년 11월 5일에 OB맥주가 서울의 동숭동 대학로에 ‘OB호프’라는 이름의 생맥주 체인점을 열면서 사용하기 시작한 것이 그 효시라는 기사를 발견할 수 있습니다."

Which means one of famous beer name OB beer open bar name 'OB호프' then 호프 became 호프


This comes from German: hof(bräuhaus)

Etymologically, the Old Norse word hof is the same as the German word hof, which originally meant a hall and later came to refer to a court (originally in the meaning of a royal or aristocratic court) and then also to a farm.

So, apparently it is unrelated to "hop" which I'm kind of surprised to learn..

hop (n.1) usually hops, type of twining vine whose cones are used in brewing, etc., mid-15c., from Middle Dutch hoppe "the hop plant," from Proto-Germanic *hupnan- (source also of Old Saxon -hoppo, German Hopfen), of uncertain origin origin, perhaps from PIE root *(s)keup- "cluster, tuft, hair of the head," for its "tuftlike inflorescence." Medieval Latin hupa, Old French hoppe, French houblon are from Dutch.

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