• Charley Magazine

Music Glossary: K-Pop

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

By Rachael Lovette

While some popular words used among K-pop fans are simply Korean, some terms are unique exclusively for fans. Slip into the world of K-Pop with this handy glossary.

Aegyo: Acting overly cute and innocent, often using baby-like voices and gestures doneby idols to charm fans.

Age Line: When members of a group share the same birth year.

Akgae: Someone who stans to an extreme extent only one member of the group while actively disliking the others.

All-kill: When a song takes the number one spot on all either Korean music charts, killing all other competition.

Anti: Someone who hates a particular idol or group.

ARMY: Fandom name for BTS fans.

ATINY: Fandom name for Ateez fans.

Beagle Line: The members of a K-pop group who are the most playful and/or loud.

Bias: The member of an idol group who is your absolute favorite.

Bias Wrecker: An idol in your favorite

group who is revealed in a new light, making you question your devotion to your original bias.

Big Three: Reference to the top entertainment production companies in K-pop; YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and SM Entertainment.

Black Ocean: What happens when a large group of fans simultaneously turn off their light sticks during a performance as an act of shunning a group or artist.

Blink: Fandom name for BLACKPINK fans.

Body rolls: A dance move performed by idols to drive fans crazy.

CF: The acronym for “commercial film” featuring popular favorite K-drama and K-pop stars.

Charm: When a K-Pop idol possesses an interesting personality or traits.

Chocolate abs: Ultra-toned abdominal muscles, usually on a man, that resembles the sections of a Hershey’s bar.

Co-ed: A K-Pop group with both guys and girls.

Comeback: When an idol or group announces the promotion of a new single or album and is entering a new ‘era.’ Can be as short as a few weeks and as long as a few years or more.

Concept: The theme of an album that is reflected in the way the idols perform, dress, and interact. These themes can change dramatically from album to album ranging from overly cute and innocent to edgy and sensual.

Daesang: The highest award an idol or group can receive. {BTS MAMA WIN}

Debut: The official “coming out” and/or first official performance or appearance of a future actor or K-pop group.

Era: The time an idol or group promotes a particular album or song.

Fan Café: Free to join and run as a venue for companies to release official information and idols to connect with fans.

Fan Cam: Closeup videos filmed by fans of a specific member or sub-unit of a K-Pop group.

Fan Chants: A chant alongside a specific song used by fans to cheer or show support during live performances.

Fan Club: Paid one-year membership with fan-only content, merchandise, priority entry to music shows, and early ticketing for fan meetings and performances.

Fanservice: Hip thrusts, lip bites, abs-flashing, humping the floor, etc. by idols for fans.

Finger Heart: Creating a tiny heart shape by pressing the thumb and index finger together at opposite diagonals.

Flower Boy: A highly conventionally attractive Korean male who puts extreme effort into his appearance including fashion, makeup, and hairstyling.

Gayo: Special end of the year stages and performances from idols and groups as a thank you.

Hwa-ting!: Encouraging phrase meaning “You can do it!”, “good luck!”, or “let’s go!”

Hyung: Oldest male member(s) of a K-Pop group.

Idol: Someone who has completed years of training and successfully debuted as a highly-skilled singer, dancer, actor, and overall performer.

Idol Groups: A band of two or more singers who perform, record, and live together.

Koreaboo: A non-Korean person with a strong interest in Korean pop culture.

K-Pop: Short for Korean pop music and includes elements of hip-hop, EDM, pop, and rock music.

Light Stick: LED wand-like stick used by fans to show appreciation to an idol or group during a performance, award show, or concert.

Maknae: The youngest member of an idol group.

Manner hands: When a male comes close to touching the shoulder, waist, or thigh of a female, but never quite lands.

MOA: Fandom name for Tomorrow X Together fans.

Monbebe: Fandom name for Monsta X fans.

Music Shows: Weekly popular programs where idols can make a comeback and perform their music for the public.

MV: Music video.

Netizen: Internet citizens who troll actors, K-dramas, idols, and groups online as a means to end their careers for sport.

Nugu: Idol or group that is relatively unpopular or unknown (rude to call anyone this).

Once: Fandom name for Twice fans.

Oppalogist: Oppa + apologist. A fangirl who defends her male bias’s problematic behavior irrationally.

OT(x): Usually seen as OT6 or OT7, meaning when someone’s bias is all members of a K-pop group.

Plastic Prince: A flower boy who achieved his beauty through plastic surgery and makeup.

Reveluv: Fandom name for Red Velvet fans.

Rookie: Idol or group who has just debuted and has yet to be accepted by fans as an official idol or group.

Sangnamja: A stereotypical macho man or manly man

Sasaeng: Extreme fans that are considered obsessive, crazy, outrageous, or even dangerous.

Selca: Selfie.

Seven Year Curse: The theory that K-pop groups only last seven years after their debut due to disbandment by their producers or members dropping out.

Ship: The desire by fans for two people, either idols or K-drama characters to be in a relationship.

Skinship: When two people touch, whether it’s a brush, a tap, a hug, or a squeeze.

Stan: Enthusiastic and dedicated fan.

Stay: Fandom name for Stray Kids fans.

Sub-unit: A smaller K-pop group within a larger group that allows them to showcase certain talents or skills.

The Center: The member of a K-pop group who is always placed in the middle during promotions, photoshoots, video shoots, etc.

The Dance Line: Members of a K-Pop group who are the lead dancers in tough choreography.

The Face: The member of a K-pop group whose main role is to bring public attention to the group. (can sometimes overlap with The Visual)

The Leader: Member of a K-pop group usually responsible for organizing the group and acting as a middleman between the agency and the group, as well as a translator during interviews.

The Rap Line: Members of a K-Pop group who get to shine during rap breaks.

The Visual: Member of a K-pop group that is considered the most physically attractive in the group.

The Vocal Line: Members of a K-Pop group who have the hardest or most interesting vocal parts of a song.

Trainee: A wannabe idol signs with a company and trains for years before hopefully being launched into idol-dom.

Unnie: Oldest female member(s) of a K-Pop group.

USP: Each member of a K-pop group's unique selling proposition.

Variety shows: Entertainment shows idols go on to promote the group, upcoming single or album.

V Live: Platform where K-pop idols can connect with fans through behind the scenes footage, videos, and live streams.

Rachael Lovette is the Digital Director at Flower Bomb Media with a passion for everything K-Pop, fashion, model advocacy, and pop culture. Make sure you follow her on Instagram as she journeys through the fashion industry from behind the lens.

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