K-Pop Dictionary

Essential K-pop Lingo – 5-Year-Curse, Age Line, All-Kill, Bagel Girl/Boy and more

Do you already know how to pronounce Korean consonants and vowels? Cool! Continue the lesson below, but if you need to learn them or need a quick refresher, you can do that for free Complete Beginner Lesson #1 – CONSONANTS & VOWELS : Let’s Learn How to Read and Pronounce Korean alphabet Hangul 한글!

5-Year Curse

“Jinx Whereby Popular Groups Will Face Hardships or
Disbandment in Their Fifth Year”

Many Fans of KPOP superstitiously believe there’s a reason why popular groups like H.O.T., Big Bang, TVXQ, Shinhwa, Super Junior have
experienced bad luck over the past five years. On the other hand, others have shrugged it off as pure coincidence. They believe people have a habit of taking ordinary events and turning them into curses!

Tomi : Breaking news, guys! Cutie 5 just broke up!
Yena: Oh no, the 5-year curse is true… they debuted exactly 5 years ago!

Age Line

“Group of People Born in the Same Year”
The term “line” can be translated as “grouping” or “belonging”, and when combined with the term “age”, it means a group of people who were born in the same year. It is always grouped by the last two digits of the year, rather than their age.

Tammy, Yohan, and Juno are from the 93-line (o)
Tammy, Yohan, and Juno are from the 23 year old-line (x)
Ara: Nice to meet you all! My name is Ara, and was born in 1994. Oh, my blood type is AB.
Yumi, Jihun, and Tony: Welcome to the 94-line!

RELATED : How old are you? Why do Korean people ask for your age at the first encounter? No need to panic! Here’s why.

Odd questions and compliments from Koreans – What’s your blood type?

애교살 Aegyo Sal

“Lower Part of the Eyelid”
A word that refers to the lower eyelid; not to be confused with eye bags which sits below “aegyo sal” and give you a hung-over zombie look. Fuller “aegyo sal” is commonly achieved through plastic surgery, and is usually performed by injecting one’s own abdominal fat, or a commercial filler. The belief is that having fuller “aegyo sal” makes eyes look bigger and youthful.

Jenny: Hey girl, your eyes look different, what happened?
Tina: Can you tell? I just got my aegyo sal injected at Dr. Kim’s office.
Jenny: Oh, that’s sweet! You do look younger. Will I get the same result if I drink 5 glasses of wine and have an all-nighter tonight?
Tina: Haha you can try but I am sure it will only get you puffy eyes!

How To: Aegyo Sal (Puffy, Smiling Eyes) in 3 Steps! | Elle Yamada

아이구 Aigoo (Aigo)

An expression used to show frustration, embarrassment, and surprise. English equivalents are “aw man” and “oops”. It is also used when scolding somebody.

Aigoo! I forgot to do my homework!
Aigoo, I have no money in my wallet.
Did you break this vase? Aigoo, you clumsy little bastard!

Are there Korean dialects? Why Koreans say “I go”? When ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no’

올킬 All-kill

Winning All Major Music Download Sites”
A word used to describe an artist or a group topping all major music download sites (i.e., Melon, Soribada, Dosirak, etc.), it is said to be an “all￾kill”, since it is “killing all the charts”. It is relatively easy to achieve an all-kill in the daily charts, but weekly or monthly charts are more difficult.

Yay! Our Oppa’s new single all-killed the charts!


A shortened phrase for “anti-someone”. A person or a group of people who show hatred toward a certain artist or a group; mainly because of an
ongoing rivalry between the artists or a group they like. Some would go as far as sabotaging their rival’s concerts or sending threatening packages like knives, blood-covered dolls, etc.

JAJA has so many antis, especially from the ABAB fan club. I am pretty sure it’s because JAJA crushed them by all-killing the chart when their new song came out the same time theirs did. ABAB’s sales was just lackluster.

베이글 녀/남 Bagel Girl (Nyeo)/Boy (Nam)
(be-i-gŭl nyŏ/nam)

“Someone Who Has a Baby Face With An Amazing Body”
For female idols, “bagel” is a compound word made up of “(ba)by face” and “(gl)amorous”, thus pronounced as “bagel”. Here, “glamorous” is used
to mean “voluptuous”. This is a term exclusively used for female idols who have a younger-looking face and a voluptuous body. For male idols,
“glamorous” is changed to “gladiator”.

Hyuni’s such a bagel neyo – she has the face of a high school girl and the body of a pin-up girl.
I never knew Wonki had such a great body because of his baby face. He is a great example of a bagel nam.

Finger Heart

A Cute Way of Showing Affection

The act of crossing two fingers, thumb and index finger, to form a little heart shape. While there are many theories as to the origin of this hand gesture, no one is 100% sure who invented it.

Jeremy: Here you go!
Sonya: Awww, is that a finger heart?
Jeremy: Nope, just a booger.

도깨비 Do Kkae Bi

Korean Goblin

(RELATED : What do Koreans believe about afterlife? Mythical creatures and ghostly beings of Korea)

Also known as Korean goblins, they are legendary creatures from Korean mythology and folklore that are believed to possess extraordinary powers and abilities. They like to play tricks on humans, but also like to help them. It was also the name of a hit K-Drama featuring Gong Yoo (English title = Goblin: The Lonely and Great God).

What? You were in Los Angeles last night and now you are in Seoul? Are you a do kkae bi?

빨리빨리 Bbal Li Bbal Li

Hurry Up, Hurry Up! / Quickly, Quickly!

(RELATED : Ppali Ppali 8282 빨리빨리! Why are Koreans always in a hurry?)

It’s probably one of the words, if not THE most, that best describes the characteristics of the Korean people because they just want things done quickly. Although it has many aspects such as doing a shoddy construction job, many think the “빨리빨리” spirit is why Korea has the fastest Internet connection speed, fastest recovery from complete war devastation, speedy logistics/ delivery system, as well as serving as the test-bed for world’s most advanced technology.

Mark: Slow down, bro! You are going 100 miles in a 60 mile zone! You are go￾ing to get us both killed!
Victor: You fool! TWICE will be on TV in five minutes and we are going to miss it!
Mark: What!!! Put the pedal to the metal already!!! Bbal Li Bbal Li !!!


Subtitles Translated by Fans

(RELATED : Why do Korean TV shows have subtitles?)

It refers to the subtitles of a foreign film or a TV program which has been translated by fans, purely out of their fan heart. Often they are more
complete than other subtitles because many of the translations require full knowledge of the story to be accurately translated – it’s best to be translated by someone who knows the story well.

Big thanks to all Fansub makers around the world! If it weren’t for your help, at least half of the globe would have been missing out on K-Pop !

Trot singer 이찬원 Lee Chan Won’s Fan Cafe

팬카페 Fan Café

Online Fan Forum
An online fan forum mainly consisting of message/bulletin boards, a photo gallery, and a chat room. Unlike the official homepage, it’s run by the fans. It’s probably the go-to place for the latest news/rumors because you can interact with other fans on a real-time basis, and see rare fan photos/clips. Most of the fan cafes are based on the Naver or Daum platform, which require you to sign up for a user ID in order to participate. They usually have a leveling up system, based on the amount of participation/contribution. The higher your level becomes, the more privileges you get, such as being able to see private posts that are reserved for a certain level of members only. The only downside is that most of them are managed in Korean, and user IDs are available only to Korean nationals and residents.

RELATED : Why do Koreans love INTERNET EXPLORER? “Official ID Certificate?” Google vs. Naver!

The only downside about fan cafes is that you can’t get to sit down to have a cup of coffee.

가시나 Ga Shi Na

Girl / Bitch
Originally a Kyeongsang-province dialect for “a girl,” but nowadays it has a slightly negative nuance like “bitch,” and is used to address a girl in a de￾meaning/disrespectful manner. But of course, it’s casually used among girls who are close to each other. It’s also the name of a song by Sunmi.

Doug: Yo! Ga shi na!
Jane: Did you just call me a bitc*?
Doug: Noooooo – I was just singing the song by Sunmi!

쩔어 Jjeol Eo

Freaking Awesome / Epic / Unbelievable
Similar to “대박” (daebak, “jackpot,” “awesome” – see K-Pop Dictionary 1 for more information) in meaning. It has a dual nuance, depending on the situa￾tion (positive as well as negative).

Wow! I just got a ticket to BTS concert! Unbelievable… Jjeol eo!

The content your enjoying is complimentary from “The K-Pop Dictionary.” If you wish to learn all 500 essential K-pop words and phrases to fully understand what your favorite idols are saying, check it out on Amazon worldwide.

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