Questionable group names are nothing new in K-Pop — just look back at first-generation idol groups like Fin.K.L or Sechs Kies, pronounced very similarly to “sex-kiss.” However, 2023 seems to be filled with more polarizing group names than usual. These five names, in particular, have left many scratching their heads, sparking debates and even triggering name changes.
Fans were excited to hear that Jellyfish Entertainment would be debuting a new project group consisting of BOYS PLANET fan favorites who didn’t make it into the final lineup of ZEROBASEONE. That excitement, however, was somewhat hampered when the company announced the group’s name: BLIT.
While BLIT was supposed to stand for “Boldly Leaping into Tomorrow,” the majority of fans just couldn’t overlook its similar to a certain private part of a woman’s anatomy.
why did they have to name the group BLIT like that rhymes with clit, spit, shit, tit, and pit IJBOL
— evil junhyeon (@awehao) August 3, 2023
now who tf said BLIT stands for boy clit IM FUCKING WHEEZING pic.twitter.com/tXf5leoojX
— el ✰ (@kkoocoded) August 3, 2023
The name caused such a stir in social media, from discussions to memes to opinion pieces, the faux pas luckily came to Jellyfish Entertainment’s attention. Ultimately, the agency decided to choose a new name: EVNNE, pronounced “even.”
Reactions to the new name were mixed, particularly with regard to the spelling, but most can agree it’s an improvement on the original!
EVNNE (evenings newest etoiles)…. another bad acronym brought to you by the company of VIXX (voice visual value in excelsis) https://t.co/h49FPAQt5f
— sakuya 🌟 in japan! (@hakyeonni) August 9, 2023
2. EL7Z UP
Formed through the recent Mnet survival show Queendom Puzzle, EL7Z UP is another group name that fans were disappointed to hear this year.
Surprisingly, the name was even less favorable when it was first announced, with Mnet originally spelling the name as EL7Z U+P. Unsurprisingly, fans were immediately frustrated with the choice. The most common grievance was its complicated spelling, making it difficult to type or even search for in the digital age.
the WIFI PASSWORD name ouuu that's not…. https://t.co/cV7OSnOh7K
— keita fans kwangya (@luvedoge) July 25, 2023
el7z u+p…this the ugliest group name i’ve ever seen. i’ve seen less letters in my calculus problems i hate y’all so much WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS pic.twitter.com/XQO6oXiXLJ
— ella ♡̶ (@ludawoniric) July 25, 2023
It seems the agencies involved heard fans complaints, because the plus symbol was soon removed from the name, and the group debuted as EL7Z UP (pronounced “elz-up”). Even now, however, not everyone is a fan.
On one hand, many acknowledged the cleverness behind the name’s meaning — it’s “PUZZLE” spelled backwards, with the inclusion of the number “7” to represent the group’s seven members. On the other, numerous fans still complained the name was too complicated and even “corny.”
Another survival show name that’s had fans perplexed is I’LL-IT, formed by HYBE subsidiary BE:LIFT through the JTBC show R U Next? this year.
The name’s meaning is intended to communicate the message “I will be it,” similar to group names like IVE (representing what the members have) and ITZY (which also roughly translates to “I have it” in Korean).
vcha…i’ll-it.. what is going on with these k-pop companies😭
— rubie (she/her) (@auditiontwtceo) September 22, 2023
But, the ambiguity of the name’s pronunciation left viewers puzzled from the start. The name is supposed to be pronounced exactly like its constituent words, “I’ll” and “it.” Unfortunately, many misread it as similar in sound to the word “illiterate.”
— mio (@ate_mis) September 1, 2023
On top of that, many simply weren’t happy that the name included not one, but two punctuation marks — another nightmare for SEO.
LOOSSEMBLE seems to be a name that Orbits either love for hate. Formed by CTD ENM with five members of the recently disbanded LOONA, LOOSSEMBLE is a combination of “LOONA” and “assemble.”
It also continues LOONA’s penchant for rich backstory; according to CTD ENM, the LOOSSEMBLE is a spacecraft manned by members Hyunjin, Yeojin, Vivi, Go Won, Hyeju. For these reasons, many fans love the creative name.
Others, though, don’t like that the spelling is so similar to “loose,” with one fan even complaining that it sounds like the name of a medication.
i’m sorry to everyone but loossemble is such a bad name https://t.co/0sBp8oeheX
— ✿ (@MlFUNE) August 1, 2023
Cool but whoever chose that name should be fired that’s mad ugly 💀
— Kiwi Tea (@kiwwitea) July 31, 2023
One entity in particular did not like the name: BlockBerry Creative, LOONA’s former agency. Shortly after LOOSSEMBLE’s formation, the company initiated yet another lawsuit between themselves and the artists, complaining that the new group name was an infringement on their original trademark. However, the courts ruled in LOOSSEMBLE’s favor, even going as far as to say that all 12 original LOONA members should have the right to use their original group name. This comes after members Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Choerry redebuted under the original LOONA unit name, ODD EYE CIRCLE, following BlockBerry Creative’s failure to trademark the moniker.
Loossemble has won their lawsuit against BBC, who had filed a civil lawsuit in an attempt to halt and ban the group's activities due to their name's resemblance to LOONA.
The court cited that the credit, reputation, and customer attraction associated with the name ‘LOONA’… pic.twitter.com/Ueu3X8oF7U
— Pop Base (@PopBase) September 20, 2023
5. YOUNG POSSE
Last but certainly not least controversial is the name of DSP Media’s new girl group set to debut in mid-October 2023: YOUNG POSSE.
At first glance, there’s no glaring issue with the name, but a large number of fans have raised worries about how close the group’s name sounds to “YOUNG P*SSY.” Given the young ages of the members, many are concerned that the group could be sexualized because of the name, sparking debate across social media.
Young Posse? More like Pussy (kitten/cat) wtf
— Agus x Wony🥳 (@anjass67) September 19, 2023
Whoever is naming these new kpop groups, albums, songs needs to be captured and neutralized. https://t.co/W6fxLoESim
— FiFi Fanboy (@fifty_fifty_fan) September 19, 2023
Some fans even questioned how they could get in touch with DSP Media to change the name. However, it seems the agency is sticking with their decision, as there has been no announcement about a change less than a month until YOUNG POSSE’s debut.