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Hangugeo 101: KPOP Edition

Last time, we taught you some sentences and phrases used in Korean Variety Shows and Korean Dramas. If you are also interested in Korean Slangs we also did a three – part series here. (1) (2) (3)

For this edition of Hangugeo 101, we’ll be telling you about the korean jargons used in the Kpop fangirling world. You might have heard some of these words repeatedly and not actually understanding it. So let’s do a run down for you so you will be able to also use these words next time.

1. 애교 (Aegyo)

To those that still doesn’t know about this, it’s one of the popular form of idol fan service. This is when they act all cute and try (sometimes very hard) to mimic a child’s voice.

One of the best aegyo that we’ve seen in our lifetime

2. 대상 (Daesang)

Fans anticipate this at every awards show. Considered as the highest form of award given during the particular awards ceremony and is usually given in categories. Popular categories are the Song of the Year, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. It is also the source of pride of kpop fans for their beloves group but also a source of envy and fanwars (But we won’t talk about that). Awards ceremonies for films and TV programs also use the concept of Daesang.

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3. 가요 (Gayo)

These are the annual Music Festivals organized by the three public TV networks in Korea: KBS, SBS and MBC and are held at the end of every year the same time as some of the music awards events. What fans anticipate the most on these shows are the special stages prepared by idol groups. This includes cross-agency collaborations.

4. 막내 (Maknae)

The title given to the youngest member in an idol group. Being the group maknae has its perks for being the youngest, but some maknaes fall to the category of being an “evil maknae”.

The original Evil Maknae is coming back!

5. 포가 (Poka)

It’s actually a slang used by local fans in Korea so it might be unfamiliar to some. This stands for Photo Card, or the kpop merchandise that have the picture of idols with digital signatures and messages printed on it. You can get these for free on albums, but you woul need to pray that it will be your bias’ picture.

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6. 오프 (Opeu)

Another local Kpop slang in Korea; this stands for “Offline Fangirling”. Literally, it’s what fans do that needs their physical presence. These includes concerts, fan meetings, fan sign events, music shows, going to cafes owned to cafe owned by these idols, visiting their agencies, waiting at the airport, amonf many others.

7. 사생 (Sasaeng)

This is what you call former Kpop fans turned into overly obsessive idol stalkers. There are alot horror stories related to this word like stealing underwears, hiding on dormitory cabinets, texting, calling, car chasing and many others that already fall into the category of harrassment. These type of people are very active during the 2nd generation idols. Nowadays, 3rd generation idols experience it less as some fanclubs already have self-regulatory rules that they follow.

8. 선배 / 후배 (Sunbae / Hoobae)

The culture of seniority in Korea and is the counterpart of Japan’s Senpai / Kohai culture. If for example you are a newly – debuted idol, Sunbae refers to idols who debuted before you while those who will debut after you will be your Hoobae.

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Sunbae and Hoobae relationships are treated as a serious matter as the concept of seniority is deeply ingrained in the Korean culture. Hoobae groups are expected to bow and greet their Sunbaes whenever they meet. Also, Hoobaes recognize and respect their Sunbaes and treats them as role models.

EXO bowing to GD at a KCon event

9. 개인기 (Gaeingi)

One of the (hidden) requirements for being an idol. This is an idol’s “individual skill” a.k.a. the weird talent needed on variety shows. The korean variety scene have scene a large range of these talents, from voice imitations to opening candy wrappers using their feet. For rookies, having a unique and impressive gaeingi means success on variety shows.

A gaeingi genius, Kim Heechul.

10. 집 (Jib)

The Korean word 집 literally translates to “house”. However, in the Kpop context in refers to an artist’s full length album. So whenever you hear, 1jib, 2jib, 3jib, it refers to an artist album in the order of release.

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