Hello new friends, old friends and that one really confused parent (Don’t worry… My mum was just like you XD)!
I know I promised you that every week we would be uncovering a new/different area of fanspeak (the language of the fandoms, for all you newbies ^^), but it’s been a while since our last session (here’s a link in case you forgot XD), and I sincerely apologise… I found it oh-so-difficult to explore a new fandom ><.
However! As some of you know from my YouTube videos, I have been getting deeper and deeper and deeper into the Kpop (Korean pop) fandom, which a lot of you have said was a huuuuuge mistake (it takes over your life XD), and have found that Kpopers (as the fans call themselves) have an immense array of specific vocab hidden up their glittery sleeves, which can prove to be quite daunting for new fans, old fans and parents (no, your son is not cursing you in some strange new form of slang, he’s simply asking to be fed) alike. And hence, this week’s/month’s/year’s edition of “Need to Know Lingo” is born.
Let me start off the glossary with a slight disclaimer thing: many of these words are borrowed from the Korean language, and are therefore romanized for my English-reading audience to read with ease. Also, these are the meanings from an international/English-speaking fan’s point of view, so don’t go yelling these words out the next time you pass by your local Korean ‘ahjumma’ (older, married woman) XD
The inner language geek within me would also like to point out how interesting it is that, despite having equivalents for many of these words in our native (or not…) English, we insist on borrowing certain terms from the target language (in this case, Korean). It’s also pretty fascinating (she says, adjusting her pocket protector, and pushing her nerd frames up her nose), how people, or fangirls/boys, use these ‘borrowed’ words to define and form their idiolect (which is basically just a person’s individual speech style).
Anyway, enough of the technical nerdy stuff:
Here we have it. THE list (I spent ages researching the most important/everyday words, and even longer narrowing it down to the top 10 (+2) for you guys) …
(In no particular order)
Oppa (also, Oppar): A term used by females to address a male older than them who they are close to (biological or not). Usually used in Kpop world by female fans referencing their favourite male idols. Eg “Did you hear about Eric Oppa’s new MV?” (Related words are: unnie: female calling older female, noona: male calling older female, hyung: male calling older male)
MV: Abbreviated term for ‘Music Video’. Eg:
Aegyo: Another Korean word. Being overly cute or innocent (BEWARE, PARENTS! YOUR CHILD MAY TRY USING THIS TO GET SOMETHING FROM YOU… I know: I’ve tried using it XD). Here’s a short compilation.
Comeback: This is when fans get overexcited, and there’s a sudden influx of Kpop on Tumblr and Instagram and everywhere… It’s when a group literally, come back. In Kpop culture, groups perform several ‘comeback stages’ when promoting their newest album/song. Eg: “I HAVE BEEN WAITING YEARS FOR BIGBANG’S COMEBACK AND WOW. YARS PLEASE.”
Daebak: (Korean word) A personal favourite of mine. It means awesome. But it’s really versatile, you can use it as an exclamation any time, really XD. Eg: “Daebak! He actually noticed you!” (Here’s Daesung, from popular group, BigBang’s song, DAEBAK)
Maknae: (The Korean words should be pretty obvious by now…) The youngest member of a group, family or friendship circle. In Kpop terms, the maknae of a group usually has a mischievous demeanour with an angelic face. Kyuhyun from Super Junior is an excellent example of this.
Koreaboo: (Often used as an insult) Like the ‘Weeaboo’ term from the anime edition, it’s a term used to describe non-Koreans who try to act Korean (they usually end up offending a LOT of people). Also:
Ulzzang: Literally means ‘Best Face’. There are many, many ulzzang contests that take place every week, where people battle it out to gain the title of Ulzzang. There have been several instances where these ulzzangs get scouted and become Korea’s ‘Next Big Thing’. (models, actors and even singers ><). Here are a few examples of some Ulzzangs:
Selca: A portmanteau of two English words: self and camera… Yes, it is the Korean term for selfie (a need-to-know-word, in my opinion XD). Eg: “AKSJDF;SKJFKF! JUGNKOOK’S SELCA WITH GDRAGON! MY HEARTEUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!” (“By golly, Jungkook’s selfie with the legendary artist GDragon really made my day.”). (Selca Noli is used to mean amusing oneself (nori = play) by taking selfies)
Netizen: Another portmanteau: ‘net’, from Internet, and ‘izen’ from Citizen, therefore, a citizen of the internet. Eg: “DISHONOUR ON YOU, YOU DESPICABLE NETIZENS, FOR HURTING MY OPPA’S FEELS!”
AND NOW PRESENTING WHAT (in my opinion) ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN KPOP JARGON… ARE. YOU. READY?
(Ultimate) Bias: Your all-time fave in a group (an Ultimate Bias -UB- is your favourite artist ever… your Number 1.) Under no circumstance do you insult someone else’s bias/UB. You just don’t. Unless you have a death wish. No “that’s a boy????”. No “but she’s so ugly!”. And NEVER EVER say he’s rubbish at acting/singing/dancing/rapping/whatever. NEVER. Understand???
Here’s my UB, just so you all know to stay away XP (It’s Suga from BTS)
Fighting! (Also hwaiting, 화이팅): Legitimately favourite word ever. At first, I was real confused as to why every time idols would yell out “FIGHTING” at each other before going on stage, why every time a character in a kdrama (Korean drama) had an exam coming they’d throw a defiant fist in the air whilst repeating the same phrase or they’d whisper it to themselves before a date. However, after extensive research (okay. I lie. I just typed it into Google ><), I found out that the word, despite having been borrowed from English, it has taken to mean something a little different in Korea. It means something along the lines of ‘good luck’. So don’t forget to throw a “Fighting!” at your bestie about to sit her exam ^^
So there we have it, chingus (friends XD)! The Need to Know Lingo of Kpop. These few words should be enough to help you get settled into the Kpop life safely and comfortably… Enjoy your stay, and try not to drown too quickly XD
UPDATE!!! A lot of you have been asking if I could give you some suggestions for Kpop songs… And I shall deliver! I collated an array of different songs for you guys…
And here are some MVs ^^