K-pop has actually taken the Western world by storm, with teams such together BTS, Blackpink, Stray Kids, and Twice captivating fans through their addictive songs and also magnetic personalities. If your pop culture consumption has actually primarily been in English up till now, the oriental tidal wave can seem intimidating and also confusing.

This isn"t assisted by the really K-pop particular language plenty of fans use — and also I don’t typical Korean. Paragraph such as "clearing the searches," "ending fairy," and also "finger heart" room widely understood amongst K-pop fans, however may just feel like a 3rd layer that incomprehensibility to newcomers.

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Fortunately, the K-pop community is always happy to assist anyone that asks. Whether you’re gaining into K-pop, desire to gain into K-pop, or just want to host a conversation v someone who’s currently into K-pop, this is a glossary of terms that will help you navigate the scene.


4D is oriental slang for someone who has a weird, eccentric personality. They seem come live in their very own strange world, regularly behaving person that is abnormal or unexpectedly. Despite it may seem prefer an insult, calling someone 4D is actually thought about a compliment, and 4D idols room loved for your weirdness. Idols who are taken into consideration 4D personalities encompass BTS’ V, Stray Kids’ Lee Know, and also GOT7’s Jackson.


Aegyo is once an idol plot cute, commonly pitching their voice higher, speaking in infant talk, and making gestures such as poking your cheeks or frame their face with your hands. The a little of fanservice typically performed on request, despite idols may display embarrassment or happy reluctance to carry out it.

Idols are well aware some world cringe at aegyo, and having to do it is a usual punishment for losing range show games. But some idols will also perform aegyo in ~ their other group members completely to stroked nerves them, i beg your pardon radiates solid sibling energy.


An all-kill or “perfect all-kill” is when a K-pop group is ranked at number one on all eight oriental music charts in ~ once. This is incredibly challenging to accomplish, and doing for this reason is a strong indicator that the team is an extremely popular.


An anti is someone that spends your time attack an idol they don’t like, together though they don’t have better things to do than needlessly spread malice. Antis will certainly tear under idols and also their fans because that trivial reasons, together as not liking a performer’s music or believing your fave is a better rapper. Antis frequently spread toxicity ~ above the internet, but it has been known to go further. In 2006, TVXQ"s Yunho to be admitted come hospital after drink orange juice the an anti had actually mixed v super glue.

It’s best to stop antis as soon as navigating the K-pop scene, but additionally be cautious not to end up being one yourself. That OK not to choose an idol or their music. It no OK to spread out hate, or assault others just because they gain a tune you don’t.


A person’s prejudice is their favourite idol in a K-pop group, if a “bias wrecker” is an additional member who tempts pan to switch their bias. One “ult” or “ult bias” is a fan’s favourite idol out of all idols in every groups. Having actually a predisposition is common, and not to be puzzled with being a solo stan.

Example: “RM keeps wrecking me, but Suga is my bias and I’m loyal.”

Big 3

The huge 3 room the three K-pop entertainment suppliers which have actually historically to be the largest and most successful: JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. JYP manages groups such as Twice, GOT7, and also Stray Kids; SM manages Exo, Red Velvet, and NCT; and also YG manages large Bang, Blackpink, and also Treasure.

Big struggle Entertainment has recently threatened this trinity through the phenomenal success the BTS, and also the upcoming debut the Enhypen — a joint job with CJ E&M.

Clearing the searches

Clearing the searches is a K-pop Twitter phenomenon in i beg your pardon fans consistently spam hopeful words alongside an idol’s name. Fans make a communal effort to carry out this when the immediately generated keywords connected with one idol in Twitter’s search bar room negative. The aim is to change these negative phrases with positive ones and drown the end derogatory tweets. Algorithm concerns are also why K-pop fans censor native such together “disband” and “die.”

K-pop fans generally invent exciting, spreadable lies in stimulate to clean the searches, hoping rather trying to discover out what’s happening will certainly inadvertently help. Common varieties of lies encompass that one idol has adjusted their hair colour, is associated to an additional celebrity, or has promised to release new content.


A comeback is as soon as a K-pop team releases and also promotes new music. The very first performance that a group’s brand-new songs is dubbed their “comeback stage,” after i m sorry they’ll promote their comeback by showing up on range and music reflects such as Weekly Idol and also M Countdown. This promotional duration lasts because that a few weeks before wrapping up v a “goodbye stage.” Comebacks often have a details theme or “concept” i m sorry ties a group’s songs together.


A daesang is the greatest accolade that deserve to be winner at one of the annual music award shows, the identical of song of the Year at the Grammys. One award present can have actually multiple daesang, like Song the the Year, Album of the Year, and Artist the the Year, however each daesang only has one winner. Winning a daesang is a far-ranging achievement for a K-pop group, v fans coordinating and campaigning to gain their favourite teams the win.

A daesang isn’t to be perplexed with a “bonsang,” i beg your pardon is choose a main prize as opposed to a cool prize. Bonsang are awarded to multiple artists, while just one insurance claims the daesang. Noteworthy award shows that grant daesang incorporate the oriental Music Awards, the golden Disc Awards, and the Gaon graph Music Awards.

Dance practice

Dance practice videos present K-pop groups performing the complete choreography because that a song without focusing on singing. This are typically recorded in a group’s practice room, v the idols dressed more casually 보다 they would certainly for a full performance.

While plenty of are straightforward, dance practices deserve to involve costumes, minor changes to choreography, and general goofing around.

Dating ban

Several South oriental entertainment service providers temporarily prohibit your artists native dating, v bans frequently lasting about three to five years after your debut. There room multiple reasons for this, including that it makes idols show up more dedicated to your fans, minimises potential because that scandal, and reduces distraction throughout those vital first years as soon as they’re structure up both their an abilities and a fanbase. That course, the hasn’t quit some idols from date in secret.


Dispatch is a oriental publication the reports top top the K-pop scene, and is most typically known because that its tradition of outing a celebrity pair every year on Jan. 1. K-pop idols often keep their romantic relationships mystery not just since of date bans, but additionally due to the basic desire to save their private lives private. The publication’s exercise of exposing couples is so infamous that fans and also idols alike have actually joked that pairs that seem close will certainly be featured on Dispatch.

Emotional support K-pop boy

An emotional assistance K-pop boy or girl is an idol the fans attract inspiration and comfort from. This reassurance is gained not only from one idol’s music, but also through observing their personality and an individual struggles. Idols such as Stray Kids’ Bang Chan have also been recognized to speak to fans during live streams, giving encouraging words come those who space going through a difficult time.

Example: “Bang Chan is my emotional support K-pop boy. His live streams really comfort me and assist me to keep going when I’m struggling.”

Ending fairy

An ending fairy is the member that a K-pop team who the camera lingers on at the end of a performance. The idol holds a pose and also looks directly into the camera till it cuts away, occasionally making a gesture such as winking. Typically there is simply one finishing fairy every performance, but there have the right to be lot of if the close-up shooting cuts in between two or three members. Choose performing aegyo, gift the ending fairy have the right to be embarrassing because that idols and also is sometimes the punishment for losing a game.


In K-pop, an era is the duration of time native one comeback to the next. One era ends once a K-pop group releases a brand-new title track, at which allude a brand-new era called after the track begins. Fans may nostalgically recall certain eras, or compare their bias’ looks throughout eras.


A fancam is a video clip that tracks a single idol transparent a team performance, enabling fans come follow your bias’ every move. Commonly shot in portrait mode, fancams are recorded by fans and music shows alike, with main fancams often released after phase performances.

K-pop fancams are commonly used come spam threads on Twitter, derailing write-ups or drown out information fans don"t want spread. This likewise has the included benefit of fostering fans’ favourite teams at the exact same time.


Fanchants are set cheering guides that K-pop pan follow during song performances. They have the right to be lyrics, responses, or also just group members’ names. Fans still yell, cheer, and also sing along throughout K-pop performances, however fanchants have tendency to be the loudest, and also are a far-reaching part that the concert experience. These organised cheers allow fans come participate and also show your appreciation for their idols while still being able to hear lock sing.


Fanmeets are peaceful performances with a small audience, generally focusing top top crowd interaction rather 보다 songs. Idols will play games, price questions, and may casually do their music, doing things such as switching parts among members. Entry come fanmeets is ticketed, and frequently marketed alongside concert tickets.


Fansigns room greeting occasions that offer K-pop fans a minute or therefore of one-on-one time with each member of a group. This permits them to have actually a conversation, obtain something signed, and potentially offer gifts depending on the entertainment this firm policies. Fansigns aren’t to be perplexed with fanmeets, wherein idols interact with the basic audience fairly than individually. Entrants in fansigns are likewise chosen by lottery, prompting devoted fans come buy multiple duplicates of one album to rise their odds.

Finger heart

A finger love is a gesture in i beg your pardon a human crosses your thumb and also index finger to do a little V, or the form of a tiny heart. Idols typically make this gesture to fans to indicate their love and appreciation — or to each other if they"re emotion playful.


Hard stans

Hard stans room fans that appreciate a K-pop star’s sexual side, and also tend to be the people who short article photos the idols’ abs on Twitter. Contrast with “soft stans,” who space much an ext platonic in your affections. Soft stans are more likely to call idols cute than sexy, and enjoy seeing them through plush toys and soft sweaters.


A hi-touch is an in-person occasion where fans have the right to briefly physically connect with their idols. Team members line up if fans relocate down the row, gaining a couple of seconds to provide them a hi-five and also maybe blurt the end a sentence. Hi-touches often take ar after concerts or during fanmeets, and also are much much faster than fansigns.


“Hwaiting” is an expression that encouragement and resolve, derived from the English word “fighting.” Idols may say this to equipment themselves up before taking the stage, or come bolster their members when challenged with a complicated game.


An idol is a K-pop artist who has actually debuted. Idols start as “trainees” who room taught exactly how to sing, dance, and rap by an entertain company. The size of this maintain varies depending upon the trainee, also lasting 15 years in one case. As soon as the firm finally deems the trainee ready they are permitted to officially debut and also begin their career. Newly debuted idols are dubbed “rookies” for the an initial two years or so.

Killing part

The killing part of a track is a segment that stands out, grabbing a listener’s attention and sticking in their brain. This could be memorable choreography, such together Ryujin"s shoulder dance throughout the opening of Itzy"s "Wannabe," or a remarkable lyric, prefer Felix’s “cooking favor a chef” heat in the second verse that Stray Kids’ “God’s Menu.” Notably, the killing component isn’t necessarily the chorus or hook, and also might no be repeated in the song.


Almost every K-pop group has a leader, that takes on the obligation of gift the group’s spokesperson and also decision-maker. The their project to guide the team, mediate between members, and occasionally pull them back in line. The leader is often the group’s oldest member yet doesn’t necessarily have to be, with RM best in the middle of BTS in terms of age.

Other leaders include Bang Chan of Stray Kids, S.Coups of Seventeen, and also Yeji that Itzy. Blackpink is unusual in that it walk not have an main leader, despite Jisoo makes a lot of decisions together the oldest.


A lightstick is an main cheering wand that K-pop fans wave at concerts. Lit v LEDs, this battery-powered rods have Bluetooth capabilities enabling them to irradiate up with time with a group’s music.

Lightsticks are among the most coveted items of K-pop paraphernalia, and also each team has their own stick particularly designed for them. Various groups’ lightsticks are additionally given their very own names, such together Twice"s liquid Bong, EXO"s Pharynx, and also Mamamoo’s Moobong.


A heat is a repertoire of idols within a K-pop group who all have something in common. Because that example, the dance heat is a group’s dancers, the maknae heat is the younger members, and the ‘00 heat is all of its members who were born in 2000. In Stray Kids, Felix and also Bang Chan are taken into consideration the “Aussie line” due to the fact that both are from Australia.

Fans likewise enjoy having fun with lines, giving various idol combine names choose “cutie line,” “dumpling line,” and also “husband line.”

Line distribution

Line circulation has naught to carry out with the above form of lines. Rather, that refers to how a song is break-up up, v each member of a team given different parts come sing. Fans may get indignant if they feeling a song’s lines weren’t evenly distributed amongst members.


A neighborhood is someone who is no a K-pop fan, and unfamiliar v the community’s terminology and intricacies. K-pop pan may gain excited as soon as locals take notification of your favourite groups, as it’s one indication that their popular is growing. However, pan can additionally become upset if they feeling the locals no affording your idols suitable respect and also acknowledgement.


Jungkook is BTS' youngest member, known among fans together the golden Maknae.Credit: ELVIE MAE PARIAN / dearteassociazione.org


The hatchet “maknae” isn’t particular to K-pop. Rather, it’s offered in Korean communities to describe the youngest person in a group. In K-pop, a group’s maknae will regularly be babied, teased and also doted on by their fellow members. Idols who space their groups’ maknae encompass BTS’ Jungkook, Mamamoo’s Hwasa, and Twice’s Tzuyu.

Many korean honorifics additionally frequently show up in the K-pop scene. Males use “hyung” and “noona” to describe older men and women respectively, if women use “oppa” and “unnie.” A younger human being is dubbed a “dongsaeng” nevertheless of gender, and a “sunbae” is who who began at your rectal or school prior to you. Girlfriend may therefore hear idols describe performers that debuted prior to them as “sunbaenim.”


A ment is a portion of a concert whereby idols speak to fans and give speeches. Ments offer idols a quick break from your vigorous dancing, and also can result in some heartfelt and hilarious moments. If an idol walk aegyo at a concert, the will most likely be during a ment.


A multi is someone who is a fan of multiple K-pop groups. Multis commonly use portmanteaus of your groups’ fandom names to determine themselves. Because that example, pan of BTS are referred to as “Army” and also fans of Stray kids are referred to as “Stay,” therefore multis who assistance both contact themselves “Stayarmys.”

Music show

Music shows are weekly oriental television reflects on i m sorry K-pop stars perform and promote their music. Multiple groups will show up each episode, performing their latest songs and giving brief, casual interviews. Comeback stages are commonly performed on this shows.

Music shows additionally grant the number one team an award at the end of each episode, chose from a mix of sales, streaming numbers, and online voting relying on the show. This is one of the reasons K-pop fans feverishly stream your group’s music and also encourage rather to do the same, typically coordinating ar streaming and also voting events. Music shows incorporate Inkigayo, display Champion, M Countdown and also Music Bank.


Photocards are basically K-pop commerce cards, v each map bearing a photo of an separation, personal, instance idol. Most album releases include a couple of arbitrarily photocards, however they can additionally be derived through promotional events. Pan buy, sell, and also trade photocards with each other, aiming to build complete to adjust or collect all their bias’ cards.

Point dance

A suggest dance is a prominent, signature move in a song’s choreography. If who asked friend to execute a K-pop dance on the spot, chances are you’d incorporate the allude dance. In comparison to the killing part, the point dance is an ext likely come be recurring throughout the song, frequently during the chorus. Over there can likewise be multiple allude dances in one song.


An idol’s position within a K-pop team determines what areas of performance they are mostly responsible for. While every members are normally well-rounded, every idol specialises in specific skills, whether the be dance, rap, or singing.

Common positions encompass main and also lead dancers, rappers, and vocalists; the leader; the maknae; and also the visual. Every member deserve to hold one or much more positions, and also positions can likewise be shared among them. Because that example, BTS" Jungkook is the group"s main vocalist, lead dancer, and also maknae, yet his other member V is a command dancer as well.

Relay dance

A relay run is a power in i beg your pardon a K-pop group will line up behind each other and take turns to dance to your song. Every idol will dance for a couple of seconds before moving come the ago of the queue, letting the next human in line have their turn and also continuing come cycle with until the tune ends.


“Saranghae” is the informal way of speak “I love you” in Korean. Idols will regularly say this to fans during appearances.


A sasaeng is one obsessive fan that violates the border of a common idol-fan relationship. Sasaengs may attack an idol’s privacy, taking part in stalking behaviour such together tracking under idols in their an individual time, breaking right into their homes, contacting their family members members, and also stealing from them. Some sasaengs have additionally physically attacked or attempted to kidnap idols.

Sasaengs are widely reviled in K-pop communities, and will often be reported to the harassed idol’s entertainment firm when identified. Fans also attempt to suppress photographs derived by sasaeng fans and refuse to spread them, hope to protect their idols’ privacy.


“Selca” is the oriental word for “selfie.” Idols will write-up selcas for their fans on your group’s official Instagram account, and also many fandoms have actually unofficial “selca days” where they short article their very own to social media.


Skinship refers to platonic physics affection, such together hugs, head pats, cuddles, and cheek kisses. A portmanteau the the words “skin” and also “relationship,” skinship is frequently displayed between idols in the same group, and indicates a an extremely close bond.

Solo stan

A solo stan is a fan that loves one member of a group yet feels ambivalent at most toward the rest. They’re frequently harmless, spending your time concentrating love on their bias and ignoring the other members. However, if required to extreme, solo stans can become “akgae.” Akgae space solo stans who actively hate the other members of your bias’ group, ending up being antis.


SOPA is an acronym for Seoul Performing arts High School. Numerous K-pop idols to visit or have actually attended this school, including The Boyz’ Eric, Ateez’ Yunho, and BTS’ Jungkook. Students who have actually debuted may sometimes stay the school’s distinctive uniform in vlogs or livestreams, which is composed of a shining yellow blazer with navy trim.


A sub-unit is comparable to a line in that it is a smaller group of idols within an developed group. However, fairly than having a properties in common, sub-units are much more official, long-term musical groups that release their very own side projects. This offers idols the opportunity to be an ext experimental, or demonstrate an abilities they could not use so often. Because that example, Stray Kids’ sub-unit 3Racha is written of Bang Chan, Changbin, and also Han, and also focuses much more on impactful lab performances.

Survival show

A survival show is a television display in which numerous trainees contend to earn a place in a brand-new K-pop group. Trainees are removed throughout the present via a mix the audience voting and judges’ decisions, through the group’s last lineup revealed in the finale.

Survival shows incorporate I-Land, which produced Enhypen, and also Sixteen, which produced Twice. The Stray children survival show was distinctive in the the group had currently been formed, through trainees rather working to prove castle were great enough to stay in it.

V Live

V Live is a video streaming website supplied by K-pop artist for your broadcasts. If one idol is livestreaming, chances are that on V Live. Groups also upload prerecorded performances, music videos, and also in-house selection shows to the website.

Variety show

Variety shows are korean television reflects such as Weekly Idol and also After institution Club, in i m sorry celebrity guests offer interviews, pat games, and also do brief dance performances. Unequal music shows, variety shows emphasis on idols’ personalities rather 보다 their phase performances, and also each illustration is committed to one group. K-pop groups frequently appear on range shows when promoting new releases.


The visual in a K-pop group is the member considered the most striking or visually appealing. A who aesthetic very nice one is subjective of course, however idols and fans alike have tendency to agree particular members fit korean beauty requirements best. The concept is the a visual’s charismatic good looks will spark people’s curiosity, leading to them to provide the group’s music a shot. Visuals include SF9’s Rowoon, Red Velvet"s Irene, and Stray Kids’ Hyunjin.

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Fortunately, girlfriend don’t need to study or memorise all these terms in order to dive into K-pop. Many of them you will do it absorb through constant exposure, like discovering a language by life in an unfamiliar country.

The best way to sign up with the K-pop step is simply to watch a couple of fan compilations, inspect out some performances, and just see where the music takes you.

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