[UPDATED: 110609] Korean and KPOP Terminologies every TF (True Fan) should know


First and foremost, I do not advocate the use of Korean words in order to express ourselves as fans, but even I myself am sorely guilty of the crime of overusing them such as “Omo!” or “Aigoo…” or “YAH!” or most commonly “Oppa! Saranghaeyo! :””””>”. Now, the truth is, non-KPOP fans will never understand our need to use these words so often. Why? Because they haven’t been exposed long enough in the sunny rays of KPOP to unconsciously (and consciously) use these words. Plus, they find it annoying because it sounds weird when a non-Korean says it. “Nuff said.

But despite these little prejudices, I believe that every TF must know the following terms which thou shall use sparingly (seriously). First and foremost, the most important part in addressing your KPOP loves… the honorifics:

  1. Oppa- used by females only to a guy who is older than she. It is also used as a term of endearment for a boyfriend. Using this to a much older guy will 10 times out of 15 make their hearts beat a little faster than before. Commonly heard in fangirls and fangays.
  2. Unnie- used by females only to a woman who is a little older than she. Usually heard very commonly in girl groups.
  3. Noona- used by males only. This is basically the opposite of “Oppa”. Much older women also enjoy being called “Noona” by young and cute guys. Commonly heard in fanboys.
  4. Hyung- used by males only for older brothers or close older male friends. Commonly heard in boy groups. Terms like hyung, noona, etc. technically mean “older brother, older sister, etc” but it generally means you have a close relationship with them (like a boyfriend would be oppa), or fans call their idols that.
  5. Ahjjussi- a term used for much older men. This is considered disrespectful in some cases when the man is not really that old (but you know, has an old face). Use with caution.
  6. Ahjjumma- a term used for much older women. Same with “Ahjjussi”… use with caution.
  7. Umma- a term for “Mother or mom”, generally used when the person is close to the mom. Omoni is the more respectful term.
  8. Appa- a term used for “Father or dad”, generally used when the person is close to the dad. Aboji is the more respectful term.
  9. Dongsaeng- a younger brother/ sister or used as a term for the younger members in the group. The dongsaengs of a certain member has to be respectful to those older than them.
  10. Maknae- the youngest or the baby in the family or group. The maknaes are usually the bullied/ bossed around ones in a KPOP group, they are also the first to be noticed most of the time in the public (other than the group’s resident mascot).
  11. Sunbae- someone who has been in the industry longer than them (be it a day or years), a senior.
  12. Hoobae- a junior.

Also some of the suffixes they add are “-ah” (used if the relationship is very close), “-shii” (a formal honorific. Used between exchanges in public broadcasts even in between close friends or members), and “-nim” (a honorific used for total respect for a person).

Now that you got that down, at least you’ll know how to address them when you see them. Also, if you want to annoy the hell out of non-KPOP fans, you are welcome to use these terminologies as often as you want. ;) If you want to add a little more fire into your non-Korean tongue, feast your eyes on the common used Korean sentences that you will encounter once or a million times in your life as an obsessed K-POP fan(insert gender here):

  1. Annyeong (informal)/ Annyeonghaseyo (formal)- This is how to say “Hello” in Korean.
  2. Yeoboseyo- “Hello” when greeting on the phone.
  3. Bogoshipeo (informal)/ Bogoshiposeyo (formal)- “I miss you”
  4. Saranghae (informal)/ Saranghaeyo (formal)- “I love you”
  5. Kamsa (informal)/ Kamsamnida (formal)- “Thank you”
  6. Anieyo- “It’s okay” or “No, it’s fine”
  7. Duguseo- “Who’s there?”
  8. Jebal- “Please”
  9. Wae/ Waeyo- “Why?”
  10. Yeppuda- meaning “Beautiful” the word is familiar in the song “Noona Neomu Yeoppo” meaning “Big sister, you’re so beautiful.” So Neomu yeoppo means exactly that. ;)
  11. Kyeopta- means “Cute”, commonly heard in females when they see something adorable.
  12. Eotteoke- meaning “What do I do?” or “What to do?”. You will hear this so often you’ll end up saying it yourself, I’m telling you. Most of the time international fans spell it out as it is pronounced “Ottoke”.
  13. Mashisoyo- it means, “It’s delicious” or simply stating something is yummy.
  14. Uljima- “Don’t cry”. Fans say this to their idols who are crying.
  15. Kajima- “Don’t go”
  16. Kojima- “Don’t lie” or you can say “Kojimal” if you think that person is a liar.
  17. Mianhe (informal)/ Mianhamnida (formal)- “I’m sorry”
  18. Gwenchana- means “I’m okay.” which is usually the answer to the question, “Gwenchaneyo?” which means, “Are you okay?”
  19. Saengil Chulka Hamnida- “Happy birthday”. Commonly seen in Twitter when fans are greeting their idols for their birthdays. :)
  20. Shibal- never use this word. It means “Sh*t” or “F*ck” in Korean. I’m just teaching you this not so that you will use it, but so that you will know it when you hear it being said to you. :D

Respectfully, if you do not know said Korean, never use the informal tone because it is seen as disrespectful. Usually, fans do not speak informally to their idols as well. The only time you can speak informally to a Korean is if you are close to that person or if you are speaking to a much younger person. In Korea, older people or teenagers have agreements to become informal when they learn that they are of the same year.

And so we come to the second part of my lesson are the words that practically EVERY TF must really know (actually, if you’ve been watching a lot of variety shows and dramas as much as me, you’d already know these without any effort). There might have been a time in your early days as a KPOP fan when you hear other sunbae fangirls words that aren’t familiar to you at all and it’s embarrassing to ask because it feels like you’re being left out. Well fear not, little one, because here is your ultimate guide to KPOP lingo:

  1. Hwaiting/ Fighting- used for encouragement. You probably read these a lot in game shows or even in a thread or comment box online.
  2. ‘Year-line/liners- usually a group of people who are in the same year (example: ’93-line consists of ’93-liners SHINee’s Taemin, f(x)’s Luna, T-ARA’s Jiyeon, and IU).
  3. NG- “Not Good”. You’ll hear/ read this often in commercial/ movie/ drama shoots where they show the bloopers of the actors. “NG” basically means a mistake.
  4. CF- I seriously don’t know what it stands for, but I guess it means “Commercial Film” but I’m not sure. Basically, it’s a commercial. Obviously. When an idol has a lot of CFs, they are usually seen as very beautiful people. Example: SNSD’s Yoona
  5. OMO- it’s not an abbreviation. It’s the equivalent to “Oh my GOD” or “Woah”.
  6. Aigoo/ Aiyoo/ Aish- similar to “OMO”, but is expressed in exasperation rather than surprise.
  7. Daebak- also like “OMO” and “Aigoo”, this time expressed in amazement or appreciation for something. It is equivalent to “Wow!” or “Awesome!”
  8. Aegyo- excessive cutesy behavior which is either adorable or puke inducing. Most of the time seen in variety shows where the MCs will ask you to do such an act. Idols do it so often, so practice is required on their part. ;)
  9. Aing- I don’t really know what this means, actually. I think it also means “act cute” or “be cute”. I dunno. Someone look this up for me. Haha
  10. Chingu- it’s Korean for “friend”, but fellow KPOP fans will refer to you as “Chingu” just because we’re friendly. :D
  11. Skinship- two or more people touching in one way or another. Two idols or celebrities doing skinship is always a cause for celebration/ frustration/ anger in the case of the fangirls. Most of the time, two celebrites who are initiating skinship are those in dramas/ varieties and shows like We Got Married.
  12. Hyungwhore- someone who talks to and hangs around a lot with his hyungs. Commonly used for SHINee’s Minho who is often seen with his Super Junior hyungs in events.
  13. Noonakiller- someone who captures the hearts of noonas easily without much effort. Commonly used for SHINee’s Minho (again lol) and Taemin who have been shooting arrows at Noonas since 2008.
  14. Ship/ Shipping- a pairing you support. It can be either for a girl and a boy or homo. Seriously. I totally ship SooheeChul (An Sohee/ Kim Heechul), WooU (Jang Wooyoung/ IU), YongSeo (Jung Yonghwa/ Seohyun), and of course EunHae (Eunhyuk/ Donghae)
  15. 4D- commonly used to define a celebrity’s personality. It means someone who is unique (in a weird or somehow creative way) and is out-of-the-box. Most 4Ds are AB blood types, because it is believed in Korea that AB blood types are weird.
  16. Stage- a “performance”.
  17. Selca- short for “self-camera”. Idols take pictures or videos of themselves or with other fellow idols and friends and post them on Twitter/ Me2day/ Cyworld for their fans to see.
  18. MV- Music Video. Obviously.
  19. Netizen- an internet user. Netizens are cut between two types these days: the Korean netizens, and the International netizens. Most International netizens refer to the K-netizens as just “netizens” because they do not understand that they are netizens themselves. K-netizens have developed a bad reputation in the International netizen’s minds because of their delusional view of their idol’s lives, though this does not stand for the case of all K-netizens. The netizens are also very well known for their good eyesight because they see everything that the idols do, thus criticize them for the littlest and biggest things.
  20. Schedule- a timetable for the idols. They have to follow this schedule from second to second because of the strict ruling of the companies. Most of the time, the fans go against the companies for giving their idols too much of a schedule that the idols themselves lack enough sleep to get through the day. It is also well-known that the infamous schedules of SM artists are the reason for the constant news of sick and fatigued artists.
  21. Saesang fans- the most hated type of “fan” out there. Saesang fans are obsessed type of fans who stalk their idols (and I mean, the bad type of stalking where you are ACTUALLY stepping into the privacy of the idol) and a long history of saesang fans’ stories have been seen over the past years. The most shocking saesang fan story was when a girl sent 2PM’s Taecyeon a love “letter” written with blood. And not just any type of blood, mind you, it was blood coming from her period. She also sprinkled it with her pubic hair for a touch of  “class”. If you want to read more about it, you may search for it in Google. There’s an article about it in Allkpop.
  22. Anti-fans- maybe a little less worse that the Saesang fans (but still horrible) are the Anti-fans. The antis are those who bash and hurt (yes, hurt) the idol group or idol they hate (for some reason), also they create havoc in fandoms by creating fanwars. Antis have gone too far over the years. It would have been forgivable to most people if they just use words to hurt the idols, but to actually harm them is horrible. One example is when TVXQ’s Yunho was sent a drink with glue in it by an anti. He was sent to the hospital shortly after. Other examples are when idols get into relationships. A significant other will always be hurt because the anti would bash on that person. In some cases, this causes extreme depression and it even led to suicide to some others.
So now you speak the speak and talk the talk, you can consider yourself a real fan right? Well, not exactly. Not unless you are familiar with all the fandoms and understand the different fandoms, you cannot really consider yourself a real KPOP fan. You are just a fan of whatever you fandom. Plus, if you want to address a fan or the fans of a particular group, it’s not really nice to call them by so on’s fans (example: Those bitchy… err, loyal SNSD fans). So here I am again to brief you with every single fandom out there (except for the 1st generation idols, disbanded groups, groups without fanclubs and 2011 rookie groups lol):
2AM (official fanclub: I AM)
Year formed: 2008
Color: Black/ metallic gray
Year formed: 2008
Color: Black/ metallic gray
(note: 2AM and 2PM are in one group called “One Day”, and basically they’re split into two subgroups)
Year formed: 2009
Color: Hot pink and Black
4Minute (4NIA)
Year formed: 2009
Color: None
After School (PLAY GIRLZ)
Year formed: 2009
Color: none
B2ST/ BEAST or Boys of the East Standing Tall (B2UTY)
Year formed: 2009
Color: Pearl midnight blue/ navy
Big Bang (V.I.P)
Year formed: 2006
Color: originally black & white, now bright yellow and neon pink
BoA or Beat of Angel (Jumping BoA for Korea/ SOUL for Japan)
Year formed: 2000
Color: Pearl yellow
(note: unofficial club members call themselves BoAjjangers)
C.N.Blue or Code Name Blue (BOICE)
Year formed: 2010
Color: Dark blue
Dong Bang Shin Ki or DBSK/ Tong Vfang Xien Qi or TVXQ/ Tohoshinki or THSK/ Rising Gods of The East (CASSIOPEIA or “Cassie”)
Year formed: 2003
Color: Pearl red
Year formed: 2003
Color: None
FT Island or Five Treasure Island (PRIMADONNA)
Year formed: 2007
Color: Sunshine yellow
Infinite (INSPIRITS)
Year formed: 2010
Color: None
Year formed: 2007
Color: Pearl peach
MBLAQ or Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality (A+ or A-PLUS)
Year formed: 2009
Color: Pearl chocolate brown
Miss A (SAY A)
Year formed: 2010
Color: None
One Way (ONE LOVE)
Year formed: 2010
Color: None
Bi or Rain (CLOUD)
Year formed: 2002
Color: Silver
Se7en or Choi Dong Wook (LUCKY SE7EN)
Year formed: 2003
Color: Green/ Blue/ Pink 7-shaped lightsticks
SHINee (SHINee World or “Shawol”)
Year formed: 2008
Color: Pearl aqua
Year formed: 1998
Color: Orange
So Nyuh Shi Dae or SNSD/ Girl’s Generation (SONE or “So One”)
Year formed: 2007
Color: Pastel rose
SS501 or Super Stars of Five United as One/ Double-S Five-Oh-One (TRIPLE S)
Year formed: 2005
Color: Pearl light green
Super Junior/ SuJu/ SJ ( ELF or “Everlasting Friends”)
Year formed: 2005
Color: Pearl Sapphire blue
Year formed: 2008
Color: Pearl pink balloons with kiss marks
Wonder Girls (WONDERFUL)
Year formed: 2007
Color: Pearl burgundy
ZE:A or Children of Empire (ZE:A’STYLE)
Year formed: 2010
Color: Purple
Unfortunately groups such as Secret, Sistar, Teen Top, Co-ed and so forth have not released any official statements about their fanclub names. I’ll just have to wait and add them when they do come, okay? So don’t be angry if your favorite group ain’t here.
Special thanks to HELLOKPOP.com for the information about Infinite’s fanclub, Sparkling Magazine PH for the information about the group’s fanclub dates, OMNIGLOT.com for some Korean word help and URBANDICTIONARY for the hilarious definitions for the Korean jargon. 

4 thoughts on “[UPDATED: 110609] Korean and KPOP Terminologies every TF (True Fan) should know

  1. I’m actually a little curious since I haven’t found anything on it. Or maybe I’m not typing in the right sentences lol. But Chingu means Friends of the Same age group right? (I read above I’m just double checking)

    If so is it wrong to call an Idol Chingu? If they are part of the same #Liner as you? Or do you have to know them well? Like I’ve read a few places that you can only call people Chingu if you know them well. While on the other hand, I’m reading you can call people Chingu once you find out they are of the same age group etc. I feel calling Idol Oppa and Eonnie etc a little weird. At least saying it out loud anyway. In a Letter, it wouldn’t be so bad because that’s private between you and the idol and from what I understand Some but not all actually enjoy being called Oppa, etc?

    Not that I’m going to go around saying it haha that would be a bit awkward. I only say this stuff to one of my friends. But it just came across my thoughts and I figured id ask.

    Hopefully, it’s not a Stupid Question… I’ll feel silly if it ends up being a stupid question. Haha xD

    But anyway Thank you kindly for taking the time to read it.

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