With so many K-pop groups and singers in the world, it's important for new and existing fans alike to brush up on the backstory behind each fandom. Before rocking merch exclusive to one artist or repping your faves with their signature light stick at a show, get to know what the fandom names represent — and how they started. This list of K-pop group fandom names shows all of the biggest artists have a nickname they call their followers, and they're
always packed with so much underlying meaning.
As any K-pop lover can tell you, fandom names make fans feel so connected with each other. Often, they’re related to the artist's name, or they reference a special song by them. Knowing the backstory behind each makes you feel like you’re in on a very cool secret.
so many K-pop artists with big followings, so it may be hard to remember every single fandom name out there. That's where this little guide comes in. Whenever you find yourself joining a new fandom, keep this list bookmarked. It will provide a much-needed intro to your new community. Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
BTS is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which J-Hope once explained means to be "
resistant to [the] bullets" society aims at teens. It was only fitting, then, that the group named their fandom ARMY, aka, Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth.
While appearing on
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in July 2021, RM revealed they almost called their fans “The Bells” because, in Korean, it sounds like “bang wool,” which is similar to their group name, Bangtan Sonyeondan. “Thank God that [it changed]. ARMY is so much better,” he said. Natt Lim/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Jean Chung/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
A month after TXT debuted in March 2019, they revealed the original name for their fans, “Young One,” which is a play on the Korean word for “forever.” However, in May 2019, they announced they changed it due to similarities with another fandom name. That August,
TXT finally announced their fans are called “M.O.A,” which stands for “moments of alwaysness,” because they believe they’ll be with fans “always and forever.” Thankfully, things ended up working out because now, fans can’t imagine being called anything other than “M.O.A.” VCG/Visual China Group/Getty Images
"If you love us even once, we will repay your love with twice of our love," TWICE said of their fandom name, adding
ONCE and TWICE "go together like needle and thread." THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images
Before SEVENTEEN's debut in 2015, they performed a song called "Shining Diamonds," so to honor their early days, they
dubbed their fans carats, who help them shine. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Seven is a lucky number and represents the number of members in the group, so
"iGOT7," means to be lucky to have each other. In Korea, the fandom name is shortened to "AhGaSe," which means a baby bird, as seen on the group's light stick. JTBC PLUS/ImaZinS/Getty Images
As you may have guessed,
ReVeluv is a combination of "Red Velvet" and "love." "We chose it because we wanted the name to represent the loving relationship that Red Velvet has with all of you. So let’s love each other and treasure each other for a really long time," the group explained in an April 2017 Instagram post about the name. THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Jim Spellman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Jun Sato/WireImage/Getty Images
If you mash
"ATEEZ" with "destiny," you get "ATINY," which means the group and their fans were meant to be together. Jean Chung/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
MooMoo adorably plays on the group's name. Since the word also means radish in Korean,
their light stick is shaped like the vegetable, too. VCG/Visual China Group/Getty Images
L stands for love because EXO loves and appreciates all their fans. It's also located between K and M in the alphabet, so
EXO-L is always surrounded and protected by two of the group's sub-units EXO-K and EXO-M. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images (G)I-DLE's Korean name includes the words "girl" and "children," so naming their fans after Peter Pan's Neverland — the place where children remain young forever — was a perfect idea. "The meaning is that we will be with our fans for a long time and not change," the group said in their October 2018 announcement about the name. The Chosunilbo JNS/ImaZinS/Getty Images E.L.F is an acronym for everlasting friend, representing Super Junior and their fans' tight bond. THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images Han Myung-Gu/WireImage/Getty Images
Besides being a play on the word "iconic," iKONIC means that
fans are part of iKON, hence why the words are so close in spelling. JTBC PLUS/ImaZinS/Getty Images
The people you consider the closest to you are part of your inner circle, so it's a fitting name for WINNER's fans, who are always there for them.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
For the first two years after Day6's debut in 2015, fans referred to themselves as "Sunday." Finally, in 2017, the group announced their fans will officially be called "My Day," named after their song of the same name released that year. It means
Day6 and their fans are the sources of energy that make each other's day. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
If WIZ*ONE made you think of wizard, that's because
IZ*ONE's fans are "making a magical future" with them. THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images 24
MOMOLAND: Merry Go Round
THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images
Since MOMOLAND wants people of all ages and genders to enjoy their music, their fandom name perfectly represents that message because to them,
Merry Go Round is a "ride that people who usually can’t go on rides go on," and "once you get on, you can’t get off." THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images 26
Tiffany Young: Young Ones
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images VCG/Visual China Group/Getty Images
The group thought of Shawol by combining "SHINee" and "world" together.
THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images
It's obvious why GFRIEND calls their friends "buddies": they consider them close like friends.
VCG/Visual China Group/Getty Images CREDIT: STARSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
CRAVITY, the rookie K-pop group from Starship Entertainment, calls their fans “LUVITY.” During a May 2020 VLIVE, they explained the name is for “p
eople who love CRAVITY.” The Chosunilbo JNS/ImaZinS/Getty Images Photo Courtesy of BELIFT LAB
If you love ENHYPEN, consider yourself an ENGENE. According to a press release by the group’s agency, Belift Lab,
the name is a combination of the words "engine" and "gene,” and it has two meanings. First of all, it represents how fans are the engine that drives ENHYPEN’s growth and development. Secondly, it represents the belief that the group shares a "gene" with their fans to connect, discover, and grow with each other. THE FACT/ImaZinS/Getty Images
"It means the future of being together forever with fans who exist for EVERGLOW," the group told their followers.
No matter how big or small a fandom is, having a name for it is important because it creates a sense of belonging for people who share the same love for an artist. Luckily, the next time you chat with other K-Pop fans, you'll know what each of their fandom names signifies.