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10 Basic K-pop Terminology Every Fan Should Know

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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:

  1. Aegyo
    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!
  1. All-kill
    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.tumblr_m7mit1vzro1qm2emuo1_500
  1. 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.

  2. Chaebol
    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.

    tumblr_n5e12dPCtb1tz51jho1_500

    Lee Min Ho in the Heirs. GIF: Tumblr

    tumblr_mszxjhHg0W1rvfwtlo1_500

    So Ji Sub in Master’s Sun. GIF: Tumblr

  3. 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.

    GIF: Tumblr

    GIF: Tumblr

    tumblr_lqaxvccbaB1qep2guo2_500

    GIF: Tumblr

    tumblr_m2azh1jXKt1rnjo6eo2_500

    GIF: Tumblr

  4. Makjang
    Makjang is a story line in K-dramas that seems ridiculous and impossible yet it keeps the viewers hooked. An overly dramatic plot.

    That feeling when you watch a makjang drama. You want to stop but you can't. GIF: Tumblr

    That feeling when you watch a makjang drama. You want to stop but you can’t. GIF: Tumblr

    Photo: tumblr

    Photo: tumblr

  5. Maknae
    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“.

    GIF: Tumblr

    GIF: Tumblr

    GIF: Tumblr

    GIF: Tumblr

  6. 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.

    Photo: dramafever

    Photo: dramafever

    Photo: Tumblr

    Photo: Tumblr

    Photo: soshified

    Photo: soshified

    6rs-kai-oppa

  7. Sasaeng
    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.

    Photo: Tumblr

    Photo: Tumblr

  8. 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.

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