K-Pop Slang Terms & Jargon Only True Fans Understand

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Foodie, Animal Lover, Slang & Language Enthusiast

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Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of K-Pop, a genre that’s more than just music—it’s a global phenomenon filled with dedicated fans and unique culture.

This guide delves into essential K-Pop slang terms and jargon that every true fan needs to understand. From understanding what a “bias” is, to celebrating an “all-kill”, this glossary of K-Pop lingo is your ticket to feeling even more connected with your favorite idols.

So, let’s dive in and decode the language that unites K-Pop fans worldwide, strengthening the bond within this thriving fandom.

Bias

Definition: Bias is a term used to describe your favorite member in a K-pop group.
Example: My bias in BTS is Jungkook because of his incredible voice and dance skills.

Bias Wrecker

Definition: The member of a K-pop group who makes you question who your bias is because they’re also very charming or talented.
Example: Although my bias is Jungkook, Jimin is my bias wrecker because he’s also very talented and charismatic.

All-Kill

Definition: When a song or album takes the top spot on all major South Korean music charts.
Example: BTS achieved an All-Kill with their latest album, topping all major music charts in Korea.

Maknae

Definition: The youngest member of a K-pop group.
Example: Jungkook is the maknae of BTS.

Aegyo

Definition: A Korean term that refers to a cute display of affection often expressed through a cute/baby voice, facial expressions, or gestures.
Example: Jimin often shows his aegyo when he’s interacting with fans.

Daebak

Definition: A Korean word that translates to “big win” or “jackpot”. In K-pop slang, it’s used to express amazement or excitement.
Example: The new BTS music video is daebak, I can’t stop watching it!

Oppa

Definition: A Korean term used by females to refer to an older male. It’s often used by K-pop fans when talking about their favorite male idols.
Example: Taehyung is my oppa. I love his deep voice.

Unnie

Definition: A Korean term used by females to refer to an older female. Often used in fandoms to refer to female idols.
Example: Jennie is my unnie, her fashion sense is amazing.

Hyung

Definition: A Korean term used by males to refer to an older male. It’s often used in the context of male K-pop idols’ relationships with each other.
Example: Jungkook often refers to Jin as Jin-hyung as a sign of respect.

Noona

Definition: A Korean term used by males to refer to an older female. K-pop fans may use this term when referring to their favorite female idols.
Example: IU is my favorite noona. Her voice is so soothing.

Hallyu

Definition: Refers to the “Korean Wave” – the global rise in popularity of South Korean culture, particularly K-pop and K-dramas.
Example: BTS is often credited for their role in the current Hallyu phenomenon.

Comeback

Definition: Refers to a K-pop artist releasing new music and performing again after a break.
Example: Fans are eagerly anticipating BLACKPINK’s comeback next month.

Fancam

Definition: A video filmed by a fan at a concert or performance, usually focusing on a single member of the group.
Example: The fancam of Lisa’s dance break has gone viral.

Stan

Definition: A term that means to be an extremely devoted fan of a particular artist or group.
Example: I stan TWICE; their music always brightens up my day.

Fangirl/Fanboy

Definition: Refers to female/male fans who are very passionate about a particular artist or group.
Example: I’ve been a fangirl of EXO since their debut.

OTP

Definition: Short for “One True Pairing”. It refers to a favorite relationship or friendship between two idols in a group.
Example: My OTP in BTS is VMin (V and Jimin), they are always so cute together.

Era

Definition: Refers to the period of promotion for a specific album. Each era has its distinct concept, fashion, and choreography.
Example: The “Love Yourself: Answer” era in BTS’s career was very impactful for me.

CF

Definition: Stands for “Commercial Film”. Refers to an advertisement featuring K-pop idols.
Example: The new CF with Red Velvet promoting a makeup brand is very creative.

Fanmeet

Definition: A meeting arranged by the idol group’s agency where fans can interact with the idols, often through games or Q&A sessions.
Example: I’m excited about the upcoming GOT7 fanmeet, I hope I can ask them a question.

Lightstick

Definition: A special electronic device that fans use at concerts to show support for their favorite group. Each group has a uniquely designed lightstick.
Example: The lightstick for MONSTA X is shaped like a beautiful jewel.

Idol

Definition: A term used to refer to K-pop artists, as they are not just singers, but also role models who influence fashion, dance, and more.
Example: HyunA is a popular idol known for her unique style.

MV

Definition: Short for Music Video.
Example: The MV for “Boombayah” by BLACKPINK is really energetic and fun.

Trainee

Definition: A person who is training under an entertainment company with the hope of debuting as an idol.
Example: Many idols go through years of training as trainees before they debut.

Sasaeng

Definition: An overly obsessive fan who invades the personal space of an idol, often disregarding their privacy.
Example: The entertainment company had to take legal action against sasaengs who were stalking the members of the group.

Selca

Definition: A Korean term for “selfie”.
Example: The latest selca that Jimin posted on social media was absolutely adorable.

Netizen

Definition: A combination of the words ‘internet’ and ‘citizen’. It refers to internet users, particularly those who actively participate in online communities.
Example: Netizens have been praising the new IU song for its meaningful lyrics.

Debut

Definition: The first official introduction or performance of a new K-pop group or artist.
Example: Ever since their debut, Stray Kids has been known for their energetic performances.

Sub-unit

Definition: A smaller group formed from the members of a larger group, who release their own songs and albums.
Example: One of the most famous sub-units is EXO-CBX, which includes Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin from EXO.

Visual

Definition: The member of the group who is considered the most physically attractive by Korean beauty standards. This member often gets a lot of screen time in music videos.
Example: According to many fans, Irene from Red Velvet is the visual of the group.

Ult

Definition: Short for “Ultimate”. Refers to someone’s ultimate favorite group or idol.
Example: While I like many groups, my ult is BTS. They are just unbeatable in my eyes.

Main

Definition: Refers to the member who has the main role in a specific area such as vocals, dance, or rap. This member is often seen as the best in their role within the group.
Example: The main dancer in ITZY is Yeji. Her moves are always on point.

Line

Definition: Refers to members in a group who share a common role or attribute, like the “vocal line” or “maknae line”.
Example: The rap line in BTS includes RM, Suga, and J-Hope.

Leader

Definition: The member of a K-pop group who is seen as the spokesperson and usually communicates on behalf of the group.
Example: RM is the leader of BTS and often speaks for the group in interviews.

Center

Definition: The member who often stands in the center during performances or photoshoots, often due to their outstanding visuals or stage presence.
Example: Nayeon often takes the center position in TWICE’s choreography.

Concept

Definition: Refers to the theme or idea that a K-pop group or their specific album is promoting. This can influence their music, fashion, and music video styles.
Example: The dark and mysterious concept for VIXX’s “Voodoo Doll” was well-received by fans.

Rookie

Definition: A term used to refer to a newly debuted K-pop group or artist.
Example: The rookie group, ENHYPEN, has been gaining a lot of attention for their unique sound.

Fansign

Definition: An event where fans can meet idols, get autographs, and interact with them briefly.
Example: I was lucky enough to win a spot in the fansign event and got my album signed by all the NCT members.

Hwaiting

Definition: A Korean phrase equivalent to “You can do it” or “Fighting”. It’s often used to encourage or cheer on someone.
Example: As the concert began, fans shouted “Hwaiting!” to cheer for their idols.

Chingu

Definition: A Korean term for “friend”. It’s often used among fans and idols with the same age.
Example: Seulgi and Wendy are chingus, they were born in the same year.

Sunbae

Definition: A Korean term used to refer to someone who has more experience or has been in the industry longer. In K-pop, it’s often used to refer to groups or artists who debuted before others.
Example: Super Junior are sunbaes to many younger K-pop groups.

Hoobae

Definition: A Korean term used to refer to someone who has less experience or has been in the industry for a shorter time. In K-pop, it’s often used to refer to groups or artists who debuted after others.
Example: TXT are hoobaes to their senior group, BTS.

Dongsaeng

Definition: A Korean term for a younger friend or sibling.
Example: In BTS, V often calls Jungkook his dongsaeng.

Skinship

Definition: A term for physical contact like holding hands, hugging, or touching – a common way to show closeness or affection in Korean culture.
Example: The skinship between the members of ASTRO shows their close bond.

Fangift

Definition: Gifts that fans send to their favorite idols.
Example: Fans often send fangifts such as letters, fan art, or plushies to their favorite idols.

Photocard

Definition: Collectible cards featuring photos of idols that are often included in an album. Some fans collect photocards of their biases.
Example: I was excited to find a photocard of my bias, Mark, in my new GOT7 album.

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