10+ K-Pop Phrases That Were Once Frequently Used, But Are Not As Common Now

Did you recognize them all?

These Korean phrases were once frequently used by K-Pop idols and in K-Pop fandoms. While some of the phrases are still heard today, they’re not as commonly used as they once were.

If you’re a new K-Pop fan, there may be a few phrases you haven’t heard before. They may bring back some memories if you’ve been a fan for a while!

1. Bagel

Former SECRET member Hyosung, who was praised as a “bagel” idol

“Bagel” is a phrase that combines “baby” and “glamour,” and was used to describe someone who was considered to have a youthful face and a glamorous figure.

2. Skinship

BTS’s J-Hope (left) and Jin (right)

“Skinship” describes casual physical contact or touch used to show affection, typically between friends.

3. Minihompy

Example of a “minihompy” | @KoreanUpdates/Twitter

Cyworld is a Korean social networking site that was popular in the early 2000s. Users were able to create mini-homepages, or minihompys, which they could personalize to express themselves.

4. Ulzzang

Pre-debut aespa’s Karina | Pinterest

Ulzzang is a Korean term meaning “good looking,” or “best face.” Ulzzang was used to describe people who were considered exceptionally attractive, which earned them attention and fans through their school, community, or social media. 

Many K-Pop idols were known as ulzzangs before their debut, including aespa‘s KarinaRed Velvet‘s IreneBlock B‘s Jaehyo, and EXO‘s Sehun to name a few. 

5. S-line

TWICE’s Tzuyu

S-Line was another way to describe an hourglass figure and derived from the curviness of the letter “S” and the “line” referring to the body line. TWICE‘s Tzuyu, AOA‘s Seolhyun, Girls’ Generation‘s Yoona, and HyunA are among some of the idols commonly referenced as having an S-Line.

6. Kkap

2AM’s Jo Kwon

Kkap referred to intentionally dancing in an energetic, goofy, and exaggerated way. It was often used for comedic moments on variety shows and idols became known for their kkap dances, such as 2AM‘s Jo Kwon, former Miss A‘s Min, and SHINee‘s Key.

7. 4D

(From left to right) BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, Lisa, Rosé, and Jennie

“4D,” or “4D personality,” was used as an endearing way to describe someone who seemed like they were in their own world, and whose personality was unpredictable and eccentric in a lovable way. Former 2NE1‘s Park BomTXT‘s Beomgyu, and BLACKPINK‘s Jisoo are a few idols with adorable personalities that keep you on your toes!

8. Kill-heel

IVE’s Wonyoung

“Kill-heel” is a variation of “killer heels” and refers to stilettos or any other high heel that is potentially dangerous to walk in due to the height of the heel.

9. Selca


Selca is another word for a selfie, and is a combination of the words “self” and “camera.”

10. Aegyo-sal

TXT’s Soobin

Aegyo-sal can be translated to “cute (or lovely) fat” and refers to the pocket of fat under the eye. Aegyo-sal became a trend, with idols emphasizing their aegyo-sal through make-up or their “eye smiles.” 

11. Flower Boy

The “Boys Over Flowers” cast who played the famous F4 friend group, who were considered “flower boys.”

“Flower boy” is described as,

… a man having a soft appearance, smooth skin, decent manners and wearing fashionable makeup and clothes.

—Rupsikha Baruah

“Flower boy” is still used today, but it doesn’t seem to be used as often as it was in K-Pop’s earlier generations.

Source: Reddit
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