20+ Questionable K-Pop Group Names Companies Should’ve Thought Twice About
K-Pop is the land of unique everything: songs, clothes, choreography, and let’s not forget—names. Some group names are so questionable, people still remember them even years after debut.
2020 is coming and still nothing has changed. In fact, K-Pop is arguably getting even stranger and more questionable. Here are just some group names that netizens thought were weird…until they grew to love or accept them.
Is it pronounced “gih-dul” or “gee-ih-dul”? Apparently neither. CUBE Entertainment‘s latest girl group goes by the name (여자)아이들 in Korean which stands for (Girl) Idol.
To make things a little more confusing, the actual pronunciation of (G)I-DLE is just “Idle”. The members, however, have taken everything in stride, patiently explaining their name for viewers.
— 바틀???? (@bottttttl) May 22, 2018
Top visual 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. The meaning behind fromis_9 is “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 group was just revealed. Luckily for potential fans, Daehwi was able to explain in a short video that it is pronounced “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 viewers call them “eye-zone” and misplace the asterisk when spelling their name.
In reality, it is pronounced IZ(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 a bit confused. The meaning behind their name was also not easy to guess.
D1Ce really stands for “DICE + The Once, Leader” and is pronounced as “The Once”. The group name means to become the first and foremost player in the music industry, a goal they began to reach with their August 2019 debut.
The latest scratch-your-head group name was HINAPIA made up of four former PRISTIN members. Standing for the words “Hi New Amazing Utopia”, it definitely made people sit up and take notice.
7. Weki Meki
Weki Meki is an almost alien-sounding name because of the tones one uses to say it, as the two words are so similar in sound and looks. Their name stands for eight unique girls (Meki) that hold keys to open another world (Weki).
Korean fans in particular were doubtful when Gugudan‘s name was first revealed. It literally means “multiplication table”, something decidedly not music-related.
Still, their CEO chose it exactly because of how unique it was, explaining that Gugudan represents nine girls with nine multiplied different charms.
9. Cosmic Girls
While many agree that Cosmic Girls itself is a sweet name, its abbreviation WJSN is hard to remember. The members are actually separated into four subgroups for each letter in the acronym: Wonder, Joy, Sweet, and Natural which makes it a little easier to recall.
Saturday was just another day of the week before this girl group came. Why exactly they chose Saturday instead of, say, Sunday or Friday, their company, SD Entertainment, hasn’t explained.
People speculate it may have something to do with the group’s cute and bubbly concept like the feelings they experience on a weekday.
As an abbreviation, SF9 is as cool as the group itself. What it means, however, is making people raise their brows in question. Short for “Sensational Feeling 9″, it makes little sense to native English speakers, not that they really mind.
Their fanclub FANTASY also has an equally stand-out meaning: “Future : Accompany : Next : Together : Affect : SF9 : You”.
Favorite is a six-member girl group that debuted in 2017. While there’s nothing immediately strange about their name, the problem arises when people tries to search them online. One still needs to put 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 just two years.
TXT stands for “TOMORROW X TOGETHER“, a hopeful message of coming together under one dream to build a new tomorrow.
The only drawback would probably be how lengthy their Korean name is, as Koreans call them Tumoroubaitugedeo (투모로우바이투게더) all in one go.
No one really knew where the “N” in SNUPER came from, especially since it only means “Higher than Super”. What the “super” here is was also not clarified.
Super talent? Super strength? Super visuals? Whatever it is, SNUPER has them all.
Like Favorite, Nature is a little difficult to search online. Key words are necessary to find their music videos, songs, or articles unless you wish to get redirected to videos sharing soothing water sounds or animal care books.
17. Berry Good
Berry Good is a relatively cute name for a cute group, but the meaning behind it is the one that amused many. They 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! To be fair to SM Entertainment, the meaning behind it is arguably classy. The “M” in SuperM stands for both Matrix and Master, with each member already being an established star in their own groups.
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 their name.
Rain‘s highly anticipated boy group made fans pause when their name was revealed. MBLAQ, to many, looked like a bunch of letters jumbled up 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 they were.
Unlike a number of abbreviated group names, U-KISS‘s stands out for actually making sense: “Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star”.
The length, big words, and “kiss” in the name, unfortunately, did not do them many favors. They were still able to go a long way in their careers, branding them as one of K-Pop’s iconic senior idols.
22. TEEN TOP
Finally, the list would not have been complete without mentioning TEEN TOP! The problem with this name was two-fold. 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 their name, and if they envisioned them to last into their twenties and thirties.
To everyone’s delight, TEEN TOP is still going strong, having made a comeback in 2019 with “Run Away”.
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.