As most of us might have noticed, Korean music (dubbed as K-pop) has become more and more popular in recent years. The likes of Seventeen, Blackpink, EXO, and BTS have dominated the world stage, and now hold concerts and guests in shows in western countries.
Now, even more people are turning into fans of these acts, who are all so talented at singing and dancing might we add, because of the quarantine. (Read: What Types of Music Are on the Pope’s Playlist?)
And with the fandom life comes the plethora of terminologies you can hear during live shows and read on Twitter feeds of fan accounts. It can get tricky and overwhelming at times, especially for new fans, because there are so many words and terms you’d have to learn.
But worry not, because My Pope lists some of the most common K-pop slang so the new fans can be up to speed with all the terms that are being used by co-fans!
K-Pop Slang 101: Bias
The word ‘bias’ when used in K-pop means your favorite member. Taking from its meaning in English, a bias is the group member you like the most among all the members. Sometimes, biases can change depending on the era (a time when idols release new music), especially if an idol sounded or looked particularly good during that time.
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “He was my bias during the Left & Right era.”
K-Pop Slang 101: Ult
‘Ult,’ short for ultimate, is a fan’s most favorite individual among all the idols and groups they support. For example, if a K-pop stan (fan) likes five groups, has a bias for all these five groups, but ranks someone their most favorite out of all their biases, then that’s their ult! (Read: 5 K-Pop Fans Share Why They Support Korean Artists)
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “She is my ult because she is the best dancer for me.”
K-Pop Slang 101: Wrecker
A wrecker in the K-pop sense is someone who makes you rethink your bias. Just like when another member from your favorite group looked super adorable during a performance, and you reassess your bias list because of it. And just a warning, in the K-pop scene, you will meet so many wreckers that will confuse you— just hang in there and stick to your original bias!
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “Joshua became my wrecker because he looked handsome during their performance.”
K-Pop Slang 101: Sasaeng
Sasaeng isn’t actually a good term to be associated with. That’s because a sasaeng is someone who obsesses over an idol to the point that they stalk them and even follow them into their houses. Many idols have already experienced being stalked by this kind of fans and quite frankly, it’s creepy and not at all heartwarming. (Read: BTS’ New Single Racks up Billions, Boosts Economy Within 3 Weeks)
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “He was traumatized after being followed by a sasaeng to his house.”
K-Pop Slang 101: Akgae
Another one on our list of negative terms is ‘akgae,’ which is short for akseong gaeinpaen. It means ‘malicious individual fan’ or someone who only likes one particular member of a group and sends hate to the others. Not to be confused with solo stan as solo stans are those who only like one member and don’t mind the others— solo stans don’t send hate!
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “I don’t understand how anyone can be an akgae— you can support a member without sending the others hate!”
K-Pop Slang 101: Fanchant
Fanchants are the things that fans shout during concerts, at certain parts of songs or performances. This can either be song lyrics, names of members, or a short phrase which are chanted during the performances in order for fans to be more involved at concerts.
Fun fact: one of the hardest K-pop fanchants is for 13-member group Seventeen. For their song ‘Getting Closer’, fans have to chant 13 names in order of age (youngest to oldest) and then chant it once again, this time oldest to youngest! (Read: 4 Korean Love Teams Who Became Real-Life Couples)
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “Have you learned the fanchant for tomorrow’s concert already?”
K-Pop Slang 101: Lightstick
A lightstick is what a fan would bring to a concert which they sometimes use to create images or words to show to their idols. Some can connect to a mobile phone app and can be programmed to be in sync with the songs the group will be performing. And these lightsticks come in all shapes and sizes: Blackpink’s lightstick looks like a toy hammer with hearts on both sides, while iKon’s is in the shape of a baseball bat aptly called the KonBat.
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “The group released a new version of their lightstick today!”
K-Pop Slang 101: Selca Day
Selca day is a specific day of the month when fans post their selfies onto their fan accounts. Selca, which is short for selfie camera, is a day when fans would post their favorite selfies (sometimes with a concept) beside their bias’s photo. During selca days, fans also love to compliment their co-fans! The selca day is thought to have begun with boy group BToB and their fandom, Melody.
Here’s how to use it in a sentence: “I’m still trying to think of a concept for this month’s selca day!”