The K-Pop fandom is vibrant and exciting—complete with its own slang. Whether you’re new to the scene or a veteran fan, here are 10 K-Pop terms you need to know
The impact of Korean pop culture has grown even more significant across the globe—and the Hallyu shows no signs of slowing down. Fans have formed a community that is just as bright and exciting as the artists and groups that they follow. And part of this colorful k-mmunity is a new culture that has developed around it: from fandom names, fan chants, special events and even special K-pop slang terms.
Whether you’re a newbie to the scene looking to increase your fandom cred or simply a long-time fan who wants a refresher, here’s a handy guide to the fan terms you need to know:
This refers to a song hitting number one on all the major music charts (such as Melon or Naver Music) at the same time.
Example: “The group’s latest single was an All-Kill!”
The “anti-fan” (or just “anti”) quite literally represents the opposite of what a fan is. Antis often dislike a group so much that they spend tons of time mocking and criticizing its group members. (Rather counterproductive, but antis do exist within the community and well IRL!)
Example: “It’s better to block that anti than try to argue with them.”
A “bias” is a fan’s favorite member within a group—whether because they find them attractive, admire their talent or just appreciate their overall appeal. Some K-Pop fans have an “ultimate bias” or their favorite not just from a group but out of all K-pop idols. Meanwhile, a “bias wrecker” is a member who unexpectedly catches a fan’s attention and makes them rethink their original bias.
Example: “I picked him as my bias because he’s really good at dancing, but their vocalist might be my bias wrecker.”
Meaning “grand prize,” this word is a catch-all term for the highest and most significant achievements a K-Pop artist or group can receive based on sales. These usually are under categories like Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year.
Example: “Bought their new album; hoping they get daesang!”
The maknae is the youngest member of a K-pop group.
Example: “She’s very mature for a maknae.”
In an idol group, members are usually given certain positions (which may overlap) such as leader, rapper, vocalist, dancer and visual. “Visual” is the member that usually has extremely attractive or exceptionally striking looks.
Example: “The group’s visual just posted a picture of her freshly-dyed pink hair.”
Sunbae and Hoobae
Sunbae is a title used to talk about a senior artist or idol with more experience within the industry, while hoobae is used as a descriptor for those with less experience.
Example: “Aww, this hoobae interacted with her sunbae on this variety show.”
This translates to “stalker fans” who are so obsessed with a group that they will do anything—even dangerous and illegal acts—to get close to their favorite group or bias. Many have made news headlines for breaking into idols’ homes or dorms, causing accidents or even physically harming the idols themselves.
Example: “The sasaeng in the news followed him from practice at the studio all the way to his dorm.”
“Killing part” refers to a part of choreography, song, music video or performance that is considered the best.
Example: “Wait ‘til you see the chorus; it’s the killing part!”
Aegyo refers to cute behavior or mannerisms. It can be performed by any idol, regardless of gender.
Example: “His aegyo looked more scary than cute, sadly.”
This translates to: “You can do it!” It is usually said to cheer someone on—your favorite group, your bias or even just your friends and loved ones.
Example: “They’re about to take the stage! Fighting!”
While learning K-Pop terms isn’t a fan requirement when keeping up with your favorite idols, these can come in handy when connecting with fellow K-Pop fans. With K-mmunity PH, you’ll find yourself immersed in all the wonderful and amazing things that Korean culture has to offer.