Bias, comeback, and aegyo: What all these Okay-pop phrases truly imply

Bias, comeback, and aegyo: What all those K-pop words actually mean

Okay-pop has taken the Western world by storm, with teams reminiscent of , , Stray Children, and Twice charming followers with their addictive songs and magnetic personalities. In case your popular culture consumption has primarily been in English up till now, the Korean tidal wave can appear intimidating and complicated. 

This is not helped by the very Okay-pop particular language many followers use — and I don’t imply Korean. Phrases reminiscent of “clearing the searches,” “ending fairy,” and “finger coronary heart” are broadly understood amongst Okay-pop followers, however may really feel like a 3rd layer of incomprehensibility to newcomers.

Thankfully, the Okay-pop group is all the time pleased to assist anybody who asks. Whether or not you’re stepping into Okay-pop, need to get into Okay-pop, or simply need to maintain a dialog with somebody who’s already into Okay-pop, right here’s a glossary of phrases that can enable you navigate the scene.


is Korean slang for somebody who has a bizarre, eccentric persona. They appear to stay in their very own unusual world, typically behaving unusually or unexpectedly. Although it could seem to be an insult, calling somebody 4D is definitely thought of a praise, and 4D idols are cherished for his or her weirdness. Idols who’re thought of 4D personalities embody BTS’ V, Stray Children’ Lee Know, and .


Aegyo is when an idol acts cute, usually pitching their voice greater, talking in child discuss, and making gestures reminiscent of poking their cheeks or framing their face with their fingers. It’s a little bit of fanservice often carried out on request, although idols could show embarrassment or playful reluctance to carry out it.

Idols are nicely conscious some individuals cringe at aegyo, and having to do it’s a frequent punishment for shedding selection present video games. Nonetheless some idols will even carry out aegyo at their fellow group members purely to harass them, which radiates sturdy sibling vitality.


An all-kill or “excellent all-kill” is when a Okay-pop group is ranked at primary on all eight Korean music charts without delay. That is extremely tough to perform, and doing so is a powerful indicator that the group could be very common.


An anti is somebody who spends their time attacking an idol they don’t like, as if they don’t have higher issues to do than needlessly unfold malice. Antis will tear down idols and their followers for trivial causes, reminiscent of not liking a performer’s music or believing their fave is a greater rapper. Antis usually unfold toxicity on the web, nonetheless it has been recognized to go additional. In 2006, after ingesting orange juice that an anti had blended with tremendous glue.

It’s finest to keep away from antis when navigating the Okay-pop scene, but additionally watch out to not turn out to be one your self. It’s OK to not like an idol or their music. It isn’t OK to unfold hate, or assault others simply because they take pleasure in a tune you don’t.


An individual’s bias is their favorite idol in a Okay-pop group, whereas a “bias wrecker” is one other member who tempts followers to change their bias. An “ult” or “ult bias” is a fan’s favorite idol out of all idols in all teams. Having a bias is frequent, and to not be confused with being a solo stan.

Instance: “RM retains wrecking me, however Suga is my bias and I’m loyal.”

Huge 3

The Huge 3 are the three Okay-pop leisure firms which have traditionally been the most important and most profitable: JYP Leisure, SM Leisure, and YG Leisure. JYP manages teams reminiscent of Twice, GOT7, and Stray Children; SM manages Exo, Red Velvet, and NCT; and YG manages Huge Bang, Blackpink, and Treasure.

Huge Hit Leisure has not too long ago threatened this trinity by way of the exceptional success of BTS, in addition to the upcoming debut of Enhypen — a joint challenge with CJ E&M.

Clearing the searches

is a Okay-pop Twitter phenomenon wherein followers repeatedly spam optimistic phrases alongside an idol’s identify. Followers make a communal effort to do that when the mechanically generated key phrases related to an idol in Twitter’s search bar are detrimental. The purpose is to switch these detrimental phrases with optimistic ones and drown out derogatory tweets. Algorithm issues are additionally why Okay-pop followers censor phrases reminiscent of “disband” and “die.” 

Okay-pop followers steadily invent thrilling, spreadable lies with the intention to clear the searches, hoping others looking for out what’s taking place will inadvertently assist. Widespread varieties of lies embody that an idol has modified their hair color, is said to a different movie star, or has promised to launch new content material.


A comeback is when a Okay-pop group releases and promotes new music. The primary efficiency of a gaggle’s new songs is named their “comeback stage,” after which they’ll promote their comeback by showing on selection and music reveals reminiscent of Weekly Idol and M Countdown. This promotional interval lasts for a couple of weeks earlier than wrapping up with a “goodbye stage.” Comebacks typically have a selected theme or “idea” which ties a gaggle’s songs collectively.


A daesang is the very best accolade that may be gained at one of many annual music award reveals, the equal of Tune of the 12 months on the Grammys. One award present can have a number of daesang, like Tune of the 12 months, Album of the 12 months, and Artist of the 12 months, however every daesang solely has one winner. Profitable a daesang is a big achievement for a Okay-pop group, with followers coordinating and campaigning to get their favorite teams the win.

A daesang isn’t to be confused with a “bonsang,” which is sort of a important prize versus a grand prize. Bonsang are awarded to a number of artists, whereas just one claims the daesang. Notable award reveals that grant daesang embody the Korean Music Awards, the Golden Disc Awards, and the Gaon Chart Music Awards.

Dance observe

Dance practices movies present Okay-pop teams performing the complete choreography for a tune with out specializing in singing. These are usually recorded in a gaggle’s observe room, with the idols dressed extra casually than they might for a full efficiency. 

Whereas many are simple, dance practices can contain costumes, minor modifications to choreography, and basic goofing round.

Courting ban

A number of South Korean leisure firms quickly , with bans usually lasting round three to 5 years after their debut. There are a number of causes for this, together with that it makes idols , minimises potential for scandal, and throughout these essential first years once they’re build up each their abilities and a fanbase. After all, that hasn’t stopped some idols from relationship in secret.


is a Korean publication that experiences on the Okay-pop scene, and is mostly recognized for its custom of outing a star couple yearly on Jan. 1. Okay-pop idols typically preserve their romantic relationships secret not simply due to relationship bans, but additionally because of the easy want to maintain their non-public lives non-public. The publication’s observe of exposing {couples} is so infamous that followers and idols alike have .

Emotional help Okay-pop boy

An or lady is an idol that followers draw inspiration and luxury from. This reassurance is gained not solely from an idol’s music, but additionally by way of observing their persona and private struggles. Idols reminiscent of Stray Children’ Bang Chan have additionally been recognized to talk to followers throughout stay streams, providing encouraging phrases to those that are going by way of a tough time. 

Instance: “Bang Chan is my emotional help Okay-pop boy. His stay streams actually consolation me and assist me to maintain going once I’m struggling.”

Ending fairy

An is the member of a Okay-pop group who the digicam lingers on on the finish of a efficiency. The idol holds a pose and appears immediately into the digicam till it cuts away, typically making a gesture reminiscent of . Normally there is only one ending fairy per efficiency, however there might be a number of if the close-up shot cuts between two or three members. Like performing aegyo, being the ending fairy might be embarrassing for idols and is usually the punishment for shedding a sport. 


In Okay-pop, an period is the time frame from one comeback to the following. An period ends when a Okay-pop group releases a brand new title monitor, at which level a brand new period named after that monitor begins. Followers could nostalgically recall sure eras, or examine their bias’ appears to be like all through eras. 


A fancam is a video that tracks a single idol all through a gaggle efficiency, permitting followers to comply with their bias’ each transfer. Incessantly shot in portrait mode, fancams are recorded by followers and music reveals alike, with official fancams typically launched after stage performances.

Okay-pop fancams are steadily used to spam threads on Twitter, derailing posts or drowning out information fans don’t need unfold. This additionally has the additional benefit of selling followers’ favorite teams on the similar time.


Fanchants are set cheering guides that Okay-pop followers comply with throughout tune performances. They are often lyrics, responses, and even simply group members’ names. Followers nonetheless yell, cheer, and sing alongside all through Okay-pop performances, however fanchants are typically the loudest, and are a big a part of the live performance expertise. These organised cheers permit followers to take part and present their appreciation for his or her idols whereas nonetheless having the ability to hear them sing.


Fanmeets are relaxed performances with a small viewers, usually specializing in crowd interplay moderately than songs. Idols will play video games, reply questions, and will casually carry out their music, doing issues reminiscent of switching elements amongst members. Entry to fanmeets is ticketed, and steadily offered alongside live performance tickets.


Fansigns are greeting occasions that give Okay-pop followers a minute or so of one-on-one time with every member of a gaggle. This permits them to have a dialog, get one thing signed, and probably give items relying upon the leisure firm’s insurance policies. Fansigns aren’t to be confused with fanmeets, the place idols work together with the overall viewers moderately than individually. Members in fansigns are additionally chosen by lottery, prompting devoted followers to purchase a number of copies of an album to extend their odds.

Finger coronary heart

A finger coronary heart is a gesture wherein an individual crosses their thumb and index finger to make a small V, or the form of a tiny coronary heart. Idols steadily make this gesture to followers to point their love and appreciation — or to one another in the event that they’re feeling playful.

Idols could show finger hearts whereas saying “saranghae.”


Arduous stans

Arduous stans are followers who admire a Okay-pop star’s sexual facet, and are typically those who put up images of idols’ abs on Twitter. Distinction with “delicate stans,” who’re way more platonic of their affections. Delicate stans usually tend to name idols cute than attractive, and luxuriate in seeing them with plush toys and delicate sweaters.


A hi-touch is an in-person occasion the place followers can briefly bodily work together with their idols. Group members line up whereas followers transfer down the row, getting a couple of seconds to present them a hi-five and possibly blurt out a sentence. Hello-touches typically happen after concert events or throughout fanmeets, and are a lot faster than fansigns.


“Hwaiting” is an expression of encouragement and resolve, derived from the English phrase “preventing.” Idols could say this to gear themselves up earlier than taking the stage, or to bolster their members when confronted with a difficult sport.


An idol is a Okay-pop artist who has debuted. Idols start as “trainees” who’re taught methods to sing, dance, and rap by an leisure firm. The size of this coaching varies relying upon the trainee, even lasting in a single case. When the corporate lastly deems the trainee prepared they’re allowed to formally debut and start their profession. Newly debuted idols are known as “rookies” for the primary two years or so.

Killing half

The killing a part of a tune is a phase that stands out, grabbing a listener’s consideration and sticking of their mind. This may very well be memorable choreography, reminiscent of Ryujin’s shoulder dance through the opening of Itzy’s or a notable lyric, like Felix’s “cooking like a chef” line within the second verse of Stray Children’ Notably, the killing half isn’t essentially the refrain or hook, and won’t be repeated within the tune.


Virtually each Okay-pop group has a frontrunner, who takes on the duty of being the group’s spokesperson and decision-maker. It’s their job to information the crew, mediate between members, and infrequently pull them again in line. The chief is commonly the group’s oldest member however doesn’t essentially must be, with RM proper in the midst of BTS when it comes to age. 

Different leaders embody Bang Chan of Stray Children, S.Coups of Seventeen, and Yeji of Itzy. Blackpink is uncommon in that it , although Jisoo makes quite a lot of selections because the oldest.


A is an official cheering wand that Okay-pop followers wave at concert events. Lit with LEDs, these battery-powered rods have Bluetooth capabilities enabling them to mild up in time with a gaggle’s music. 

Lightsticks are some of the coveted gadgets of Okay-pop paraphernalia, and every group has their very own stick particularly designed for them. Totally different teams’ lightsticks are additionally given their very own names, reminiscent of Twice’s Sweet Bong, EXO’s Pharynx, and Mamamoo’s Moobong.


A line is a group of idols inside a Okay-pop group who all have one thing in frequent. For instance, the dance line is a gaggle’s dancers, the maknae line is its youthful members, and the ‘00 line is all of its members who have been born in 2000. In Stray Children, Felix and Bang Chan are thought of the “Aussie line” as a result of each are from Australia.

Followers additionally take pleasure in having enjoyable with strains, giving varied idol combos names like “cutie line,” “dumpling line,” and “husband line.”

Line distribution

Line distribution has nothing to do with the above kind of strains. Somewhat, it refers to how a tune is break up up, with every member of a gaggle given totally different elements to sing. Followers could get indignant in the event that they really feel a tune’s strains weren’t evenly distributed amongst members.


A neighborhood is somebody who shouldn’t be a Okay-pop fan, and unfamiliar with the group’s terminology and intricacies. Okay-pop followers could get excited when locals take discover of their favorite teams, because it’s a sign that their reputation is rising. Nonetheless, followers may also turn out to be offended in the event that they really feel the locals aren’t affording their idols correct respect and acknowledgement.

Jungkook is BTS' youngest member, known amongst fans as the Golden Maknae.

Jungkook is BTS’ youngest member, recognized amongst followers because the Golden Maknae.



The time period “maknae” isn’t particular to Okay-pop. Somewhat, it’s utilized in Korean communities to seek advice from the youngest particular person in a gaggle. In Okay-pop, a gaggle’s maknae will typically be babied, teased and doted on by their fellow members. Idols who’re their teams’ maknae embody BTS’ Jungkook, Mamamoo’s Hwasa, and Twice’s Tzuyu.

Many Korean honorifics additionally steadily seem within the Okay-pop scene. Males use “hyung” and “noona” to seek advice from older women and men respectively, whereas ladies use “oppa” and “unnie.” A youthful particular person is named a “dongsaeng” no matter gender, and a “sunbae” is somebody who started at your office or college earlier than you. You could subsequently hear idols seek advice from performers who debuted earlier than them as “sunbaenim.”


A ment is a portion of a live performance the place idols discuss to followers and provides speeches. Ments give idols a brief break from their vigorous dancing, and might result in some heartfelt and hilarious moments. If an idol does aegyo at a live performance, it would probably be throughout a ment.


A multi is somebody who’s a fan of a number of Okay-pop teams. Multis steadily use portmanteaus of their teams’ fandom names to determine themselves. For instance, followers of BTS are known as “Military” and followers of Stray Children are known as “Keep,” so multis who help each name themselves “Stayarmys.”

Music present

Music reveals are weekly Korean tv reveals on which Okay-pop stars carry out and promote their music. A number of teams will seem every episode, performing their newest songs and giving temporary, informal interviews. Comeback phases are usually carried out on these reveals.

Music reveals additionally grant the primary group an award on the finish of every episode, determined from a mix of gross sales, streaming numbers, and on-line voting relying upon the present. This is among the causes Okay-pop followers feverishly stream their group’s music and encourage others to do the identical, steadily coordinating group streaming and voting occasions. Music reveals embody Inkigayo, Present Champion, M Countdown and Music Financial institution.


Photocards are principally Okay-pop buying and selling playing cards, with every card bearing a photograph of a person idol. Most album releases embody a few random photocards, however they will also be obtained by way of promotional occasions. Followers purchase, promote, and commerce photocards with one another, aiming to construct full units or accumulate all their bias’ playing cards.

Level dance

A degree dance is a distinguished, signature transfer in a tune’s choreography. If somebody requested you to a Okay-pop dance on the spot, chances are high you’d embody the purpose dance. In distinction to the killing half, the purpose dance is extra more likely to be repeated all through the tune, steadily through the refrain. There will also be a number of level dances in a single tune.


An idol’s place inside a Okay-pop group determines what areas of efficiency they’re primarily chargeable for. Whereas all members are typically well-rounded, every idol specialises in particular abilities, whether or not that be dance, rap, or singing. 

Widespread positions embody important and lead dancers, rappers, and vocalists; the chief; the maknae; and the visible. Every member can maintain a number of positions, and positions will also be shared amongst them. For instance, BTS’ Jungkook is the group’s important vocalist, lead dancer, and maknae, however his fellow member V is a lead dancer as nicely.

Relay dance

A relay dance is a efficiency wherein a Okay-pop group will line up behind one another and take turns to bop to their tune. Every idol will dance for a couple of seconds earlier than transferring to the again of the queue, letting the following particular person in line have their flip and persevering with to cycle by way of till the tune ends.


“Saranghae” is the casual manner of claiming “I like you” in Korean. Idols will typically say this to followers throughout appearances.


A is an obsessive fan who violates the bounds of a standard idol-fan relationship. Sasaengs could invade an idol’s privateness, participating in stalking behaviour reminiscent of monitoring down idols of their private time, breaking into their properties, contacting their members of the family, and stealing from them. Some sasaengs have additionally bodily assaulted or .

Sasaengs are broadly reviled in Okay-pop communities, and can typically be reported to the harassed idol’s leisure firm when recognized. Followers additionally try to suppress pictures obtained by sasaeng followers and refuse to unfold them, hoping to guard their idols’ privateness.


“Selca” is the Korean phrase for “selfie.” Idols will put up selcas for his or her followers on their group’s official Instagram account, and plenty of fandoms have unofficial “selca days” the place they put up their very own to social media.


Skinship refers to platonic bodily affection, reminiscent of hugs, head pats, cuddles, and cheek kisses. A portmanteau of the phrases “pores and skin” and “relationship,” skinship is commonly displayed between idols in the identical group, and signifies a really shut bond.

Solo stan

A solo stan is a fan who loves one member of a gaggle however feels ambivalent at most towards the remaining. They’re usually innocent, spending their time focusing love on their bias and ignoring the opposite members. Nonetheless, if taken to excessive, solo stans can turn out to be “akgae.” Akgae are solo stans who actively hate the opposite members of their bias’ group, turning into antis.


SOPA is an acronym for Seoul Performing Arts Excessive Faculty. Many Okay-pop idols attend or have attended this college, together with The Boyz’ Eric, Ateez’ Yunho, and BTS’ Jungkook. College students who’ve debuted could typically put on the college’s distinctive uniform in vlogs or livestreams, which consists of a shiny yellow blazer with navy trim.


A sub-unit is just like a line in that it’s a smaller group of idols inside a longtime group. Nonetheless, moderately than having a trait in frequent, sub-units are extra official, everlasting musical teams that launch their very own facet tasks. This offers idols the chance to be extra experimental, or show abilities they may not use so typically. For instance, Stray Children’ sub-unit 3Racha consists of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, and focuses extra on impactful rap performances.

Survival present

A survival present is a tv present wherein a number of trainees compete to earn a spot in a brand new Okay-pop group. Trainees are eradicated all through the present through a mixture of viewers voting and judges’ selections, with the group’s last lineup revealed within the finale.

Survival reveals embody I-Land, which created Enhypen, and Sixteen, which created Twice. The Stray Children survival present was distinctive in that the group had already been shaped, with trainees as an alternative working to show they have been ok to remain in it.

V Reside

V Live is a video streaming web site utilized by Okay-pop artists for his or her broadcasts. If an idol is livestreaming, chances are high it’s on V Reside. Teams additionally add prerecorded performances, music movies, and in-house selection reveals to the web site.

Selection present

Selection reveals are Korean tv reveals reminiscent of Weekly Idol and After Faculty Membership, wherein movie star friends give interviews, play video games, and do brief dance performances. In contrast to music reveals, selection reveals deal with idols’ personalities moderately than their stage performances, and every episode is devoted to at least one group. Okay-pop teams steadily seem on selection reveals when selling new releases. 


The visible in a Okay-pop group is the member thought of essentially the most putting or visually interesting. An individual’s aesthetic enchantment is subjective after all, however idols and followers alike are inclined to agree sure members match Korean magnificence requirements finest. The idea is {that a} visible’s charismatic attractiveness will spark individuals’s curiosity, inflicting them to present the group’s music a shot. Visuals embody SF9’s Rowoon, Crimson Velvet’s Irene, and Stray Children’ Hyunjin.

Thankfully, you don’t have to check or memorise all these phrases with the intention to dive into Okay-pop. Most of them you’ll soak up by way of fixed publicity, like studying a language by dwelling in an unfamiliar nation. 

One of the best ways to affix the Okay-pop scene is solely to look at a couple of fan compilations, take a look at some performances, and simply see the place the music takes you.

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