When you are starting to get into K-POP, you may hear some words and terms that you may not understand what they mean. In this industry, there are quite a lot of terms that artist and fans use so knowing the basic terms are important. In this article, you will learn of the simplest terms that you need to remember so that you will not be confused anymore when watching or reading things and so that you can use these terms yourself to explain certain things regarding K-POP.

  1. IDOL – An idol in k-pop is basically every artist in k-pop. Groups are called idols, the members individually are called an idol, and solo artist as well. Basically it just means an artist or rather anyone in the k-pop industry.
  2. STAN – This word is an important word in k-pop. To “stan” a group or artist means to like and follow the activities of that artist or in an easier way, it basically means to support an artist or group. For example, saying “I stan EXO” means that I support them and am a fan of them. Now “stanning” a group is although greater than just being supportive because to “stan” a group or artist means to know a lot about them, follow their activities, and things like that.
  3. BIAS – Similar to its actual meaning, a bias in k-pop is the person you prefer or your favourite member of a group. Choosing your bias is definitely a hard decision (I can relate) but once you keep watching videos and such it will come to you and you will know who it is. You may hear the term “ultimate bias” as well and that is basically your number one favourite k-pop idol. If you like many artists and groups, you will end up with a lot of biases, so your ultimate bias is the person you like the most among all of the rest. For example, “My bias in GOT7 is Jinyoung” which means that my favourite member in GOT7 is Jinyoung.
  4.  COMEBACK– I have mentioned this term in one of my other articles  but if you haven’t read it, a comeback is basically when an artist or group returns with a new album and starts promoting (performing) their title track on music shows and broadcasts. Comebacks are a big deal because weeks before the set date for an artist’s comeback, teasers are put out which makes the excitement and hype for the comeback huge. During an artist’s comeback, they usually appear on variety shows as well as the music shows. For example, SEVENTEEN’s comeback date is December 5th in which they will release their new album after their last comeback which was 5 months ago.
  5. AEGYO – The term “aegyo” refers to acting cute and innocent and in usually done using a cute/baby voice, cute gestures and facial expressions. Fans often ask both male and female idols to do this as they find it very cute. There are many popular and viral aegyo acts like “Gwiyomi”  or “Shy shy shy” that many idols do when asked to do aegyo. To see an example of the “shy shy shy”, check out the Pictures section in the menu bar.
  6. SELCA – A selca in the k-pop world basically refers to a selfie in our world. A selca or selfie is a self taken photo that is usually taken on a phone. Fans definitely love it when their favourite idols take selcas!
  7. FIGHTING (also pronounced HWAITING) – The term “fighting” is not a term used to describe literal fighting, but it is a term for encouragement. It is similar to saying things like “you can do it!” or “let’s do this!” So instead of saying those phrases, idols and fans like to use the term “fighting!” or “hwaiting!” instead. When saying this term, it is often shown in a gesture which is to raise your fist in the air, like shown in the gif below.


    This is usually how the phrase “fighting!” or “hwaiting!” is said. Credit

  8. SKIN SHIP – The term “skinship” basically refers to when idols touch or show affection to each other but it does not necessarily refer to a major touch or anything romantic. Hugs, hand holding, or even brushing the shoulder of someone else is considered examples of skinship.
  9. MAKNAE – I have talked about this term in one of my past articles talking about the positions in k-pop groups, but if you have not read that article, I will briefly explain what this is. A “maknae” is a term used to call the youngest member of a group. So whoever the youngest member is of a group, they are automatically called the “maknae” and is know as that. Since they are known as this title, they often say it in their introductions of themselves.
  10.  ALL-KILL – This may sound violent but this term is opposite of what you way think. An “all-kill” refers to when a song hits #1 or the top spot on all of Korea’s major music charts. When a song tops all these charts, it is labeled as an All-Kill. This makes fans very proud and happy when their favourite idols get an all-kill because it shows the song’s popularity and fame across Korea.

These 10 terms are the most basic but important terms you need to know as you get into K-POP. Of course there are many more, but knowing these few terms will get you a long way. I hope this helped you become less confused about certain words and helped you to explain things more easily. What is your favourite K-POP term? Let me know in the comments below!


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