K-pop is more than just music, with its ever-growing international fan base it has also developed its own culture. A big part of this culture are the special words and phrases the online K-pop community loves to use. If you’re just starting out as a K-pop fan, or you’re already a fan but aren’t too sure what certain words mean within the K-pop fandom, these 12 terms may be helpful as you delve deeper into your K-pop addiction.

1. Stan: An overzealous fan or a fan who actively follows a K-pop group’s activities. For example, I totally stan BTS or I am a BTS stan.

2. All-Kill: An All-Kill is when a song tops all the major digital music charts in Korea. Instiz is the chart which compiles song rankings from all of Korea’s major digital music charts. When a song hits #1 on all the charts, Instiz will label it as an All-Kill. Fans are very proud when their favorite idols get an All-Kill, as it can be a certification of the song's popularity in Korea.

3. Triple crown: This is when a K-pop group’s song gets #1 on all three of Korea’s major music shows: MCountdown, Music Bank, and Inkigayo. Also used by K-pop fans as certification of a groups popularity. Once an idol group gets a triple crown, it often means they aren’t newbies or rookies anymore. For example, BTS were no longer considered rookies after winning a triple crown for the song " I Need U."

4. CF: Stands for “commercial film.” It’s essentially a commercial but with a cheesy theme and cute over-the-top acting. K-pop fans often use number of CF’s to determine an idol group's popularity in Korea. Chicken CF's are the most popular kind of commercials, 

5. Netizens: This one is quite simple. They are “internet citizens,” or the online community. Specific to korea are the K-Netizens.

6. Sajaegi: A slightly negative term. It’s when a company has bought back CD’s in order to boost sales. Netizens are notorious for accusing K-pop groups of sajeaegi, especially those groups who rise to fame quickly. 

7. Eye-smile: When an idol smiles and their eyes create a cute crescent-moon shape. My favorite kind of smile! Who has the best eye-smile you ask? Well, BTS's Park Jimin, of course. 


8. Maknae: Used by K-pop fans to refer to the youngest in a group. They may be youngest, but trust me, they don’t always look it! I'm looking at you BTS Jungkook!

9. Sunbae/hoobae: A Sunbae is a senior with more experience within the industry while the hoobae is the junior who has less experience within the industry. For example, BIGBANG is BTS’s sunbae because they debuted earlier.

10. Year-line/ liners: A relatively new term, it means a group of idols born in the same year. For example, some 94 liners would be Miss A’s Suzy, BTS Rap Monster, f(x)’s Krystal.

11. Ship/shipping: To root for or support a pairing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be romantically. For example I very much ship BTS's Rap Monster and Ailee! They would totally be best friends.

12. Skinship: When idols touch and show affection, not necessarily romantically. Patting each other's butt jokingly, hugging, or holding hands are examples.


Fighting!/Hwaiting!: Used as a word of encouragement. You will frequently hear you favorite idols use this word. BTS fighting!

Just like the Hallyu trend, the K-pop terms list is ever expanding. What K-pop terms have you recently come across that baffled you?


2014 BIGBANG +a Concert in Seoul

Starring BIGBANG and

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