K-Pop takes acronyms to a whole new level. Take boy group U-KISS, for example. Their name stands for: Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star. For girl group EXID, their name means: EXceed In Dreaming. The names look simple on the surface, but the group names are given an extra layer of depth. Within groups are members who sometimes go by what looks like acronyms as well – but as you’ll see below, it can stand for the initials of his/her name or it’s a phonetic spelling of his/her last name, making it simple for Western pronunciation. And sometimes, it just looks cool! Here are 7 more K-Pop idols whose stage name are letters. If you think I’ve missed any below, be sure to check out my first edition here—chances are, your other favorites are most likely there!

1. Stage name: T.O.P

Real name: Choi Seung Hyun

Group: BIG BANG

The BIG BANG member and rapper almost debuted under the name of Mark, suggested by their CEO, Yang Hyun Suk. The name Mark didn’t fit Choi Seung Hyun, so singer, se7en, suggested the unique and fitting stage name, T.O.P.


2. Stage name: JB

Real name: Im Jae Bum

Group: GOT7

JB’s stage name comes from the initials of his real name, Jae Bum. Before being the leader of GOT7, JB made his debut as an actor in the drama, Dream High 2, which also co-starred another member of the boy group, Junior.


3. Stage name: ZN

Real name: Bae Jin Ye

Group: LABOUM

ZN wears many hats in LABOUM: lead rapper, lead dancer, and sub-vocalist. There is no official confirmation on what her stage name stands for, but when the letters ZN are written in Korean, 지엔, it looks like a variation on her real name JinYe (진예).


4. Stage name: P.O

Real name: Pyo Ji Hoon

Group: Block B

The stage name of the youngest member of Block B, P.O, comes from his last name, Pyo. If you say the rapper’s stage name, P.O (two syllables), quickly, it sounds like his real last name, Pyo (one syllable).


5. Stage name: H.O

Real name: Ho Song Jae

Group: MADTOWN

H.O is the vocalist and youngest member in Madtown. His stage name is derived from his last name, Ho.


6. Stage name: I.M

Real name: Im Chang Kyun

Group: Monsta X

I.M is the youngest member and rapper of Monsta X. His stage name is derived from the initials of his last name, Im. He can speak English and used to live in Israel and Boston, MA.


7. Stage name: AJ

Real name: Kim Jae Seop

Group: U-KISS

On the program Weekly Idol, AJ said his stage name was given to him by the company’s president and that it doesn’t have a real meaning. Starting in August 2012, due to his wishes to finish his studies, AJ has been attending Columbia University in New York, officially starting his hiatus with the group. Up until late 2013, he made a special appearance at U-KISS’ Valentine’s Day event and formed a sub-unit with fellow U-KISS members, Eli and Kevin, called uBEAT.

COMING SOON

Bong Soon - a Cyborg in Love

Starring Cho Kyu Hyun and Yoon So Hee

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Whose stage name stands out the most to you? Let me know below!

All photos credited as watermarked.