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8 most essential terms in K-pop fandom

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Oct 1, 2018 - 18:10
  • Updated : Oct 1, 2018 - 18:10

If you are new to K-pop, the sheer amount of terms you encounter in K-pop fandom can be overwhelming.

To help you better navigate the online K-pop scene, here is a list of some of the most-used terms.

1. Bias

“Who’s your bias?” is one of the most frequently asked questions in K-pop fandom; it essentially means “Who is your favorite member of a group?”

The term in K-pop describes a fan’s bias toward a celebrity not against.

2. Stan

An obsessive fan who worships his or her favorite celebrity. The term is not exclusively used in K-pop fandom and is often used as a verb to mean that you idolize or love someone -- “I stand BTS,” for example.

3. Comeback

A comeback is one of the most used terms in K-pop news, referring to a new release.

Music programs often have a “comeback special” for K-pop acts who have returned with a new single or album. Teaser images or videos are often released in the run-up to a big comeback.

4. Sasaeng fans (life or death fans)

Sasaeng fans are extremely obsessive fans whose interest for a celebrity has morphed into an unhealthy and excessive form that borders on stalking.

The term carries a negative connotation, and regular fans often do not like to be lumped together with them.

5. Jikcam (fan cam)

Jikcam, which translates to “direct camera,” refers to videos filmed by fans themselves. Some people follow idol groups and film high-definition videos for a living, which can attract as many if not more views on platforms like YouTube than their official counterparts.

Some prefer the rawness of such videos to TV broadcasting that tends to be heavily edited.

6. All-kill

All-kill is achieved when a song tops all the major music charts in Korea, typically including digital streaming and download charts such as Mnet, Bugs and Melon.

Another term “triple crown” refers to when an artist tops the singles chart on all three major music programs on South Korean TV including “Inkigayo,” “Music Bank” and “M Countdown,” which is interchangeable with “Show! Music Core.”

7. Eye-smile

This happens when idols smile and their eyes take the shape of a thin crescent moon in a genuine look of happiness.

8. Maknae

Maknae is a Korean word originally used to refer to the youngest sibling. However, in K-pop fandom, it is used to refer to the youngest member of a group.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)

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