10 Basic K-pop Terminology Every Fan Should Know
K-pop fans use a lot of terminology that gets us confused sometimes. If you are new in Kpop you’ll notice a lot of people use words that are foreign to your ears. I’ve had an experience talking to my sister about K-pop and she was talking about how makjang some idol stories are and I was like, ‘what’s that?’ Or what’s an aegyo? Most of you already know these terms but some of you might need a refresher course.
We’ve made a list of 10 of the most used Korean terminology thrown casually by K-pop fans:
Acting and looking extremely cute, adorable and charming. Like how the way they dress, make cute faces and do lovable acts around other members. Idols like to show off their aegyo, the most noted one being Sunny of SNSD. Having aegyo is big in the K-pop community and fans love it when their idols have aegyo!
An All-kill happens when a song or album tops major Kpop music charts (MelOn, Genie, MNet, Bugs and Soribada). Idols and groups who have achieved this include 2NE1, SNSD, EXO, Winner and many others. Fans celebrate when their idols get an all-kill on the charts.
- CF (Commercial Film)
Basically a commercial. Korean commercials tend to have a theme. It can be funny, weird and cute. A number of Kpop groups and idols have starred in CFs.
In K-dramas the Chaebol are the heirs to a wealthy family. K-dramas tend to use the Chaebol and a normal yet charming girl/ boy as the center of the story. Chaebols tend to act superior, spoiled and bratty. Most Chaebol roles are played by males rather than females. A good example would be Lee Min Ho from the Heirs and Boys Over Flowers.
- Eye Smile
The way the eyes form a crescent moon shape when smiling genuinely. Their eyes become small giving them an adorable look. An eye smile accompanied by aegyo will sure to melt fangirl and fanboy hearts. Go Hye Sun has a really sweet eye smile.
Makjang is a story line in K-dramas that seems ridiculous and impossible yet it keeps the viewers hooked. An overly dramatic plot.
In every group, there is always the youngest member or the “Maknae”. Most maknae have that innocent aura but is really mischievous. Super Junior’s Kyuhyun is the perfect example of an “Evil Maknae“.
- Oppa/ Unnie/ Hyung/ Noona
These are the terms you so commonly hear from fangirls and used in dramas. For girls, if someone is older than you, you can use “Oppa” for males and “Unnie” for females. For guys, it’s “Hyung” for the older males and “Noona” for older females.
Simply put, Sasaeng and overly obsessive fans who do crazy things. The worst of sasaeng fans do extreme and dangerous things such as breaking into their idol’s house and stalking.
- Sunbae/ Hoobae
Sunbae means “senior” in Korean. This term is used for those who are of higher grade than you in school or someone who has a higher rank in a company if you are working. Hoobae are the “juniors”. It’s like a senior-junior relationship.
Now we’re done and you can spread your new-found K-pop knowledge to others. Use these words in the proper way of course! Impress your friends who are new in Kpop with your knowledge in K-pop terminology.