Sunmi Seeks Fans’ Help To Understand A Popular Slang

K-Pop singers seem to keep getting confused by this one word.

Sunmi might be one of the biggest soloists in K-Pop, but her relationship with her fans has always been easy-going.

Sunmi | @official_sunmi_/Twitter

The singer is very active on her social media accounts and often interacts with fans directly. She is especially active on X (formerly Twitter), where she reposts fans’ Tweets and responds to them pretty often.

On October 6, Sunmi went on a Tweeting spree, catching up with the changes on the platform. Due to some policy changes on the app, many celebrities lost their account’s verified badge, and Sunmi is one of them. But she mentioned that she might leave it like this because “it seems pretty cool.”

Her labelmate, GOT7’s BamBam tried to offer help, but Sunmi responded, Idk what’s going on here.”

In the middle of this chaos of her lost blue check, Sunmi was also trying to figure out something else. And that is the meaning of “Mother.”

The singer posted a screenshot of a fan’s comment that referred to her as “Oh Mother,” and in the caption, she wrote, “What does mother mean?

The term “mother” comes from the queer ballroom culture, and specifically from queer Black and Latin American communities. In its original use, “Mother” would be a person in charge of real-life responsibilities for leading their groups to victory in ball competitions and daily life.

But now, it has evolved in its meaning and become a staple of online slang. The term is used by fans to complement their favorite female celebrities, implying that they are badass or untouchable.

While fans offered their various explanations for the term under Sunmi’s Tweet, many were reminded of other K-Pop artists who were confused by the term, too. When BoA saw a comment calling her “mother” during a livestream, she mistakenly thought it was someone trolling her.

TWICE’s Jihyo also had a funny moment of realizing the real meaning of “mother” during her interview with Teen Vogue. You can read more about it here.