K-Pop is the land of unique everything: songs, clothes, choreography, and let’s not forget—names. Some group names are so strange, people still remember them even years after debut.
2020 is coming and still nothing has changed. In fact, K-Pop names are arguably getting even more questionable. Here are just some group names that netizens thought were weird…until they grew to love or accept them.
CUBE Entertainment‘s newest girl group confused netizens with the stylizing of their name the moment it was revealed. Many wondered if it was pronounced “gih-dul” or “gee-ih-dul”. Apparently neither, as they go by the name (여자)아이들 in Korean which stands for (Girl)-Idol in English.
The actual way to pronounce (G)I-DLE is by dropping the “G” and is saying “Idle” as in idol. The members, fortunately, have taken the questions in stride, patiently explaining their name for viewers time and time again.
— 바틀🦁 (@bottttttl) May 22, 2018
Girl group fromis_9 was formed as a result of Mnet‘s survival show Idol School. Fans, sadly, weren’t loving the number in the name, thinking it unnecessary.
They enjoyed the meaning behind fromis_9 a bit more, as it stands for “From Idol School” and “Promise”, with the “9” representing all members.
Besides being a five-member group but having the number “6” in their name, no one really knew how to pronounce AB6IX when the name was just revealed.
Luckily for potential fans, Daehwi was able to explain in a short video that it is pronounced as “A B Sik-su”.
Hi, I'm AB6IX's Daehwi
— Baejin & Daehwi's noona (@jinhwinoona) March 30, 2019
IZ*ONE is another relatively confusing name to say aloud. Many fans called them “eye-zone” in the beginning and misplaced the asterisk in their spelling.
In reality, IZ*ONE is pronounced as “Eyez-ONE” in English, “Ah-ee-jeu-wahn” in Korean (아이즈완), and “Aizuwan” (アイズワン) in Japanese.
The group of Woo Jinyoung from Produce 101 Season 2 and Mixnine debuted earlier this year. Like AB6IX’s situation, the number in D1CE promptly made netizens scratch their heads in confusion. The meaning behind their name was also not easy to guess.
D1CE really stands for “DICE + The Once, Leader” and is pronounced as “D Once”. The group name means to become the first and foremost player in the music industry.
The latest “What was their company thinking?” group name was HINAPIA. a group made up of four former PRISTIN members. The name itself just didn’t resonate well with fans, with many thinking it lacked a distinct K-Pop vibe or idol feel.
Standing for the interesting words “Hi New Amazing Utopia”, everything about it made people sit up and take notice.
7. Weki Meki
Weki Meki is an almost alien-like name because the two words are so similar in sound and looks. Koreans particularly had a hard time remembering and saying it.
What is this group lol
Wikipedia? Namuwiki? Are you a dictionary group?
– Korean Netizens
Weki Meki stands for eight unique girls (Meki) that hold keys to open another world (Weki). The first syllables in the name make up WE and ME, symbolizing how the girls work in harmony. After hearing this meaning, fans definitely stood behind the group even more.
Korean fans were again doubtful when Gugudan‘s name was first revealed as it literally means “multiplication table” in Hangul. To them, it was a completely random name that decidedly had nothing to do with music.
Still, their CEO chose it among an entire list exactly because of how different the word was. He explained that Gugudan represents nine girls with nine multiplied different charms, something their fans can attest to.
9. Cosmic Girls
While many agree that Cosmic Girls itself is a sweet name, its abbreviation WJSN was the one that was hard to remember.
As the members are separated into four subgroups for each letter in the acronym Wonder, Joy, Sweet, and Natural. however, it made it easier for fans to recall.
Saturday was just another day of the week before this girl group came around. Why exactly they chose Saturday instead of the other six days, their company SD Entertainment hasn’t explained.
Netizens speculate it may have something to do with the group’s cute and bubbly concept like the feelings they experience on a weekday. This is enough for fans who simply enjoy the girl’s personalities and talents.
SF9 as an abbreviation is undoubtedly as cool as the group itself. What it means, however, made the public raise their brows in question. Short for “Sensational Feeling 9″, English speakers thought it made little sense.
Their fanclub FANTASY also has an equally stand-out meaning: “Future : Accompany : Next : Together : Affect : SF9 : You”, making SF9 a unique group behind their charismatic charms.
Favorite is a six-member girl group that debuted in 2017. While there was nothing immediately strange about their name, the problem arose when people tried to search for them online.
Fans found that they needed to input the words “K-Pop” or “Group” after Favorite to make their searches accurate.
13. Stray Kids
Stray Kids is the beloved newest boy group from JYP Entertainment. The only questionable thing about their name was the “Kids” part of Stray Kids, since many of the members will leave their teenage years in a few years.
Maknae I.N will turn 20 years old in 2021, making fans wonder how the members will feel as they perform at thirty year old’s under the name Stray Kids.
TXT stands for “TOMORROW X TOGETHER“, a hopeful message about uniting under one dream to build a new tomorrow.
The only drawback to this name, fans think, is how lengthy the Korean version is, as they call them Tumoroubaitugedeo (투모로우바이투게더) all in one go.
No one really knows where the “N” in SNUPER came from, especially since it only means “Higher than Super”. What the “super” here is exactly was also not clarified by their company.
Was it super talent? Super strength? Super visuals? Whatever it was supposed to mean, SNUPER made sure to have them all.
Like Favorite, Nature is a little difficult to search for online. Key words are necessary to find their music videos, songs, or articles unless one wishes to get redirected to videos sharing soothing water sounds or plant care websites.
Since the group debuted in 2018, they’ve been able to fill up more search engine results for fans to be able to locate them more easily.
17. Berry Good
Fans thought Berry Good was a cute name for a cute group, but the meaning behind it amused many.
The girls were formed under the goal “to fulfill good nutrition”, a relatively strange and unrelated motto for singers.
The most recent addition to the “What is this name?” group is none other than SuperM! While fans found the meaning behind it classy (the “M” in SuperM stands for both Matrix and Master, with each member already being an established star in their own groups), it wasn’t enough.
BONUS: The OG questionable group names!
NU’EST is another cool sounding name with a confusing pronunciation and meaning. Standing for “NU(new), Establish, Style and Tempo”, the group aims to “create new music according to a new style”.
Funnily enough, there are even guides on how to pronounce NU’EST online, which many fans still need despite the group being in the industry for almost a decade.
Rain‘s highly anticipated boy group made the public pause when their name was revealed. MBLAQ, to many, looked like a bunch of unrelated letters jumbled together.
Its abbreviation, “Music Boys Live In Absolute Quality”, wasn’t much better. Fortunately for the group, they were able to own up to the name and make it as impressive as the members themselves.
Unlike a number of abbreviated group names, U-KISS‘s surprisingly makes sense: “Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star” which shared their dreams of being a world-wide phenomenon.
The length, big words, and “kiss” in their name, unfortunately, did not do them many favors. They were still able to go a long way in their careers though, branding them as one of K-Pop’s iconic senior idols with a memorable name.
22. TEEN TOP
Finally, the list would not have been completed without mentioning TEEN TOP! Netizens immediately found a two-fold problem to their name when they debuted in 2010.
First, the members quickly outgrew their teenage years, with maknae Changjo having turned 20 years old in 2015, just four years after debut.
Their name also, until this day, is a mix of the most hilariously random group of words to ever come out of K-Pop—”Teenager Emoboy Emotion Next generation Talent Object Praise”.
Fans wondered what the company was trying to say when they decided on that particular meaning, and if they even envisioned the group to last into their twenties and thirties.
To everyone’s delight though, TEEN TOP is still going strong! They recently made a comeback in 2019 with their song “Run Away”, keeping the name TEEN TOP despite all members being grown men.
While many K-Pop group names range from unusual to downright weird, the idols themselves have proven that there is more than what meets the eye…and that they can make a name for themselves beyond what the public calls them.