Several K-Pop Terms You Should Know
Korea is popular with its Korean Pop (K-POP) industry. While some popular words used among K-Pop fans are just Korean words, there are some terms that are completely unique to just fans. In this article, Channel-Korea will explain K-Pop’s most common phrases and terms. Stay tuned and keep scrolling down.
Sasaeng is is an obsessive fan who stalks, or engages in other behavior constituting an invasion of the privacy of a Korean idol or another public figure. The term sasaeng comes from the Korean words sa meaning “private” and saeng meaning “life,” in reference to the fans’ intrusion into the celebrities’ private lives.
Sasaeng fans are described as often being female, aged 17 to 22, and driven to commit what in some cases may amount to borderline criminal acts in order to gain attention from celebrities. Examples of such acts include seeking out celebrities at their dorms or homes, stealing their personal belongings or information, harassing family members, and sending idols inappropriate gifts such as lingerie.
Many sasaengs are motivated by a desire to gain recognition from their idols and stand out from other fans.
Normally people would ask questions like: “Who’s your favorite member of XX?” Well, bias means exactly the same thing. Your bias is your favorite member of a group; the same goes for your bias group which is your favorite group. Your bias is your favorite idol or actor who you’ll support no matter what. Fans can have a bias from each group you like.
There is ult bias (ultimate bias) and bias wrecker. Ult bias is your absolute member of all idol groups. On the other hand, your ultimate bias is like the king or queen on your bias list. Meanwhile, bias wrecker is a member who can make you want to switch from your current favorite.
Bonsang is the Main Prize. Bonsang is awarded to up to 12 artists by calculating album and digital sales with an online vote and a final judgment by the judges of the award ceremony.
A Daesang is the highest award an idol can receive. They’re usually in categories such as Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Artist Of The Year, and focus on sales. Daesang is usually awarded to the best artist among up to 12 artists by calculating album and digital sales with an online vote and a final judgment by the judges of the award ceremony.
Fan cams are videos focused on a specific idol during concerts, awards shows, or music variety show performances.
Masternim, Fansite Master, Masternim Noona
Masternim is a fan who follows idols during their work schedule to take pictures of them. Masternim, also known as fansite or fansite master, and masternim noona. They travel all over the world (or within South Korea) to follow a specific idol or group and take high-quality photos of them at a concert.
A fansite usually takes photos of a particular idol (or the entire group, but mostly only focuses on a single member) at a public place, such as during filming, at an airport, or at a concert using professional-grade lenses. These fans are typically female, but there are male fansite photographers as well.
Fansites are also those responsible for idol birthday gifts. Fundraising drives are held months in advance to collect donations from fans in exchange for photobooks or season greetings (usually every end of the year) and printed photographs, and fansite culture demonstrates how K-Pop fans, international and domestic, can not only be passive consumers but active participants in fandoms.
A fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fandoms started to become popular during the early 1980s and continued to grow rapidly into the 1990s with the emergence of Seo Taiji as a teenage idol. Fangirls gained more prominence in the press after the retirement of Seo Taiji and Boys in the late 1990s and were described as teenaged girls who dedicated their everyday lives to following, watching, or admiring an idol star.
Many fandoms of K-Pop are located outside of South Korea as part of a phenomenon called Hallyu 2.0, which is characterized by the extension of the Korean Wave into global markets. Due to location barriers, fans belonging to global fandoms turn to social media as a platform to consume K-Pop as well as network with other fans to organize and distribute fan activities and products such as dance cover videos, fan fiction, and group orders to purchase K-Pop products.
Age line refers to idols who were born in the same year. For example, BTS’s Jungkook, SVT’s Mingyu, SVT’s DK, and GOT7’s Yugyeom are the ’97 liners. The same goes for iKON’s Bobby, SVT’s S.Coups, and BTS’s V who are the ’95 liners.
Shortened to anti, this simply means someone who hates a particular celebrity. An anti-fan is someone who enjoys writing, discussing or in some cases making derivative works about a piece of media, but solely for the purpose of railing against or parodying it. It can also be a person with hatred towards a celebrity or icon.
All-Kill is when a song ranks #1 across all of Korea’s major real-time music charts like Melon or Naver Music. It’s pretty difficult to accomplish as some of those charts are updated hourly. It’s a massive achievement for any idol group that gets an all-kill. In most cases, this happens as soon as the song is released but achieving an All-Kill is a major mark of how popular a song is.
Fan chants are words shouted by fans during performances. They usually include naming all the members of a group during the intro to their song, and then repeating specific words or lines throughout. Idols usually make a fan chant tutorial through their SNS.
At the end of each year, The big broadcaster who airs various kinds of music shows (such as MBC, KBS, and SBS) will make a festival show. There will be some special stages and performances of your favorite idols. The three festival shows that will be aired are named KBS Gayo, MBC Gayo, and SBS Gayo. It’s a chance to see special collaborations between groups that usually go down in K-Pop history.