The K-pop community has been around for decades, so there’s no doubt that more and more fans across the world are discovering this genre. As many old-time fans know, understanding the language used in the K-pop community can sometimes be confusing, especially for the new stans who don’t speak Korean as their first language. Consisting of words in both Korean and English, K-pop slang is a language of its own, and you should familiarise yourself with these words.
Whether you’ve been part of the K-pop community for several years or just started getting into this new music genre, you must know some of the words the K-pop fandom uses. Read on to find out the 7 standard terms K-pop stans use when referring to their idols!
Before your favorite K-pop artists became who they are now, they started as trainees. Trainees refer to the students at K-pop entertainment companies (e.g. Big Hit, JYP, SM Entertainment) who spent many years training their dancing and singing skills before they are given a chance to debut – whether as a soloist or a part of a group.
Language lessons such as Korean, English, and Japanese are also being taught along with the singing and dancing sessions. After all, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication before they can become full-fledged idols in South Korea.
In the K-pop slang language, debut is often used when referring to a trainee who has finished the training and has transitioned to an idol.
This transition is often accompanied by releasing their first official single or performing for the first time in a public place – whether as a soloist or a part of a group.
You may have heard this word hundreds of times, as it refers to K-pop stars. Idols are used to refer to a soloist or a member of a famous group. This term is often used to address a renowned Korean artist who has already debuted or is no longer a trainee at an entertainment agency.
Every one of the K-pop artists and idols has thousands to millions of fans worldwide, who admire them very much and will do anything to make their idols happy. However, certain obsessive fans have crossed the line of being ordinary fans and are closer to being stalkers.
These kinds of fans are called Sasaeng. Sasaengs are fans who invade their idols’ privacy and make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable in terrifying ways.
You’ve probably heard of this term being used to describe some idols in the group. This term refers to the youngest member of a girl group or a boy group. Examples will include Jungkook from BTS and Lisa from Blackpink.
This word has an additional term derived from it called “Golden Maknae”, which often refers to a maknae who are all-rounders. They excel in all performing fields such as dancing, singing, and visuals.
There’s no denying that all K-pop idols are attractive. However, the term ‘visual’ in the K-pop slang language often refers to the best-looking group member based on Korean beauty standards.
This word can cause debate and controversy among the fans about who the visuals of a certain group are, but one of the most agreed-upon visuals are BTS’ Jin and Blackpink’s Jisoo.
Bias is often one of the first words a new K-pop stan learns, especially if you stan a girl or boy group. This term refers to your favourite member of the group. This can be divided into two subsets: Bias group and Ultimate Bias.
Bias group is used to describe your all-time favourite group among other K-pop groups, while Ultimate Bias refers to your favourite idol out of all the groups that you stan.
Along with this, there is also a term called “Bias Wrecker”, this refers to your second favourite in a group, who sometimes overtake your original bias and steal the chance of being your new favourite.
Learning how to explore the world of K-pop community and fandom is a challenging but rewarding accomplishment! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a fan for a decade or just got into listening to K-pop for a few months, because K-pop fandoms are a loving community and will welcome you with all their facts, gossip, and slang words. That is why you must know some of the essential catchwords that are commonly used in this community!
Whether you want to befriend other Korean stans in your fandom community or looking to travel to Korea soon to attend your favourite artist’s concert, it would be excellent preparation to know not just basic K-pop slang words but also the Korean language! Learn their beautiful language by enrolling in a Korean language school in Singapore today!