I know you see a lot of K-pop edits on your timeline, whether or not you want to. We are legion, and we’re not going anywhere soon, so why not take a moment to understand half the shit we talk about? Here’s a crash course on essential K-pop lingo. You’re welcome.

The big three

If you learn nothing about K-Pop, know this one. There are a lot of K-Pop entertainment companies, but the most popular are: JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment. They’re the oldest companies known for consistently producing some of the most successful acts in K-Pop history.

RELATED: How to Spot a K-Pop Fan in Nigeria


A bias is a fan’s favourite member of a band. Multi stans have ‌ult-bias who’re their favourite member of all the groups they stan. It may not even be a member of their favourite group. 


Simply put, it’s when a K-Pop group “comes back” with a new album.  Instead of saying a group released an album, we say they’re having a comeback. Before you ask, no, singles don’t count.


A daesang is equal to an EGOT you win in one night. It’s the most significant achievement a K-Pop group or artist can have. They usually present this award at the two most important Korean music award shows: the Golden Disk Awards and the Seoul Music Awards. Now, you know.


SNS is how Koreans refer to social media, and  most stans pick it up and refer to all social media apps this way. 


“Aegyo” means to behave cutely. It’s basically planned cuteness for fan service. So when you see a K-Pop idol make heart cheeks or shake like a puppy, that’s Aegyo. Don’t even judge us. It’s cute.


You know how some people are busy-bodies and do too much? That’s a sasaeng. They stalk idols to know where they live, then break into their apartments so they always somehow have the idols’ belongings. These guys are unhealthily obsessed, and no one likes them.  


Sunbae is a senior group that debuted before a younger group from the same company. Hoobae is the junior group of the Sunbae. For example, Girls Generation are Sunbae to Red Velvet and Aespa. Think of it as a  relationship between an egbon and an aburo. 


The maknae is the youngest member of a group. Some of the most popular maknae are Lisa from Blackpink, Jungkook from BTS and I.N from Stray Kids. For New Jeans, they’re all Maknae, please. 


A line is a group of people categorised together. We have a lot of these. The most popular, age line, is all idols from different or the same group born in the same year. BTS’ Jungkook and GOT7’s Yugyeom are both ’97 liners.

In a group, there’s a dance and vocal line, made up of the main dancers or vocals of the group. 

There’s also the rap line which, as you can guess, are the main rappers in the group.

Finally, the visual line, the prettiest faces in the group. We usually like to say it’s all of them, but hmm. There are lines to categorise non-Korean members: Japanese line, Chinese line, Thai line. We also like to create fake ones, like “abs” line, as a joke. Wow, we’re so funny. 

Killing part

You know how you watch a movie and have that one scene you think was the best part? That’s what the killing part is. It could be a part of a song, choreography, a pose or even a perfectly timed beat drop fans love and never shut up about. 

READ ALSO: Popular K-Pop Fandoms And How to Identify Them


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.