• GracefulCassieShapley

    My theory behind kpop names is a dictionary, some “creative” people, and probably some alcohol mixed in there as well. 

    Anyways, I agree. There are a few names that make you think “hey that’s pretty cool.” More often, you will either get names that are either a) really cheesy and so badly want to be cool b) some really bizarre engrish names or c) WTF acronyms. *Shudders* I start cringing the moment entertainments come up with these weird or actually fine names, but then ruin it with the silliest meanings. Ex: Blady (the combination of black and lady, this defines that they will be able to pull of a sexy look but they have the charms of a lady…..something like that.) 

    Exhibit B: MBLAQ. I actually thought that was a pretty cool name…..until the introduced the ‘meaning’ behind it. Music Boys Live Absolute Quality. Seriously?  

    Or something like B2ST (boys to reach for top). Yeah, I prefer Beast, thank you very much. 

    and H.O.T (High five of teenagers)…..really SM….really. 

    Exhibit C: 4minute? Wait aren’t there five members? Cube, I love your entertainment and all, but would it kill you to add the “S” at the end? 

    Yeah, the list goes on. Now here are the names that I have found to be okay or kind of cool. 

    Okay: F(x), Wondergirls, Big Bang, 2.AM/2.PM, T-ara, Girls Generation (kind of cheesy, but kind of cute), TRAX (Without the acronym),  and Supernova. 

    Good: 2NE1, Epik High, Clazzi, Oneway, Secret, Afterschool, and DBSK/JYJ.  

    Other bad names: Teen Top (clearly wasn’t thought of in the long run…), A pink (why not just call it Pink?), SHINee, Super Junior. M.I.L.K, HAM, Crispi Crunch, Twi-light, MyName, etc.  


    • Anonymous

      But BEAST also stands for boys of the east standing tall or something. LOL not any better.

      • GracefulCassieShapley

        really? oh well then .___. 

  • Anonymous

    I like group names that are simple and straightforward like 2am/2pm, Kara, Miss A, etc.

    The worst group names are either the ridiculously long acronyms like BEAST, MBLAQ, and U-KISS or the acronym/abbreviation combos like Fin.K.L. or Baby V.O.X. Re.V.

  • Anonymous

    MBLAQ itself sounds cool but once you hear what it stands for it’s just LOL.

  • Lea

    I’m curious as to what people in Korea think about these names though. In Korea, English and western culture is like a trendy novelty. So while to an English speaker, these names seem cheesy and overly contrived but to a Korean teenager maybe them seem cool. Then again i think bap means rice in korean so i’m not exactly sure where they were going with that.

  • Anonymous

    When I first bumped into a SHINee’s MV I initially thought the name was pronounced like in the Japanese way (‘Sheen-eh’, maybe because it was my first encounters with K-pop after my J-fever and my mind was still reading Japanese), and I thought it sounded pretty cool. But when I was told the supposed way to pronounce it, I almost spit my coffee on the keyboard. 

    Other corny/dumb group names that comes to my mind right now, not sure they have already been mentioned: 4MEN, Five Girls (talk about being lazy), Untouchable, 5dolls, Baby VOX (Baby Voices of Xpression – I’m not kidding). There was once a girl group named M.I.L.K, which I have no idea what it stood for, and I don’t think I want to know -.- And SS501 has to be worst acronym to use as a group name, it takes too long to spell all its letters and numbers.
    But I have to disagree with you: I seriously dislike ‘Brown Eyed Girls’. I just don’t like the idea of using a woman’s body part to describe a music group. It’s kinda like naming them Black Haired Girls or Long Legged Girls. Ugh. 

    There are very few group names I actually like. ‘Wonder Girls’ suits the retro style of the group, as in, they invoked the timeless glamour of vintage music and fashion. Infinite and After School are also pleasant choices; JYJ is an elegant way of using the members’ initials to make a sonant yet simplistic group name. And I also like the fact that 2ne1 is pronounced “To Anyone” instead of “Twenty One”, which suits better the group instead of its original meaning. Although I was not particularly fond of the name ‘Big Bang’ initially, I now think it fits perfectly their ‘explosive’, emotional pop/hip-hop style and it sounds kinda cool hearing GD preluding the songs with ‘Big Bang’. f(x)’s name concept is interesting too, and Girls’ Generation, although I don’t really like the name, it fits SNSD’s position in South Korea’s music scene really well.

    The group names I find the most interesting and original in K-pop are, definitely, 2PM / 2AM. I just find it amusing the night (quietude, emotion) / day (energy, virility) contrast in the conceptualization of these bands using clock hours.

    Oh, and Mighty Mouth. Lol.

    • May

      shin-ee! its sounds better

  • guest

    With all the bad acronyms  it makes me wonder if they came up with the name first then the meaning for it later.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/perfumeah perfumeah

    Am I the only one who doesn’t have a problem with the name MBLAQ? The “Music Boys Live” part sounds kind of cute to me, in an engrish-y way.
    BEAST I also like just because it characterizes the boys’ general tall, muscular physique.
    SNSD is a pretty cool name (and like TVXQ, fun to pronounce) but I prefer the translation “Era of the Maidens” over “Girls’ Generaion.” Sounds better somehow.
    Supreme Team also makes nice use of alteration, and is ambitious in a slightly arrogant way that suits a hip-hop duo. 
    Names I dislike include Teen Top (and their youtube channel name- teenzontop….) SHINee and F.cuz for being so easy to mispronounce, and B1A4 and SS501 for not even being pronounceable word acronyms.

    • http://twitter.com/stroplok stroplok

      i agree with everything you said.. I also find MBLAQs name reaaly fun and cute rather than wierd and cheesy

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JA2S2GXMYGRINYNMZCDKJWHM3U Jess

    BAP reminds me of that movie called BAPS (Black American Princesses) lol. 

    • Chezzynoodles

      That was EXACTLY what I thought…

  • Guest

    I don’t really have a hate on for any particular group’s name, but I dislike the newer groups that came out with food related names. There’s no real reason, I just think it’s weird!

  • Anonymous

    The kid named kimchi is the worse name EVER.

    • Anonymous


  • Guest

    When I first got into k-pop I remember watching the Mirotic MV and liking the song. So then I went and tried to download it, but it kept saying the song was by DBSK and not TVXQ like the MV said. I was very confused, so I ended up doing some googling and found out that DBSK and TVXQ were the same group. After that I became a Cassie. So DBSK’s multiple names were actually intriguing enough to get me interested.

  • b5b

    when first introduced to DBSK/TVXQ/THSK (6 years ago)… it took me forever to find the damn letters on my keyboard just to type out their name -_____- lol!! and it was easier for me to say their name in Chinese (Mandarin) than anything else. i found the literal meaning a little ridiculous.. like how stuck-up are these guys?? ::listens to them sing over the years:: OMG THEY’RE AWESOME.
    but there are A LOT of ridiculous names.
    i thought BAP was stupid. their teaser sucked. then they debuted…. another “omg they’re awesome” started XP but they still have a stupid name -_-
    B2ST was a stupid name too….yet somehow i was sucked into their music…then they changed to BEAST…so i’m all good :) except it’s still an acronym for something… WAE??
    i bet their own company can’t even say what UKISS stands for.
    MBLAQ sounded cool…till i picked the letters apart XP
    i’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce F.Cuz…
    Dalmatian? are they going to sport the dog print their whole music career??
    Twi-light? -____________-
    Teen Top…they won’t be teens forever!!
    HAM…………. -_- and cheese!!
    Super Junior
    H.O.T -____-
    f(x)…unique, but still meh………
    FT Island…..oh where do i begin…
    i’m not sure what Block B stands for..
    i still don’t see what’s so great about 2NE1’s name…

    i could go on, but i have better stuff to do :P

    btw, what does EXO stand for anyway? sm needs to stop teasing. people are getting tired already…esp of Kai’s face…

    • Ganghanyeoja

      Omg I love you. Even though I’m a kissme lol

    • Anonymous

      F.cuz is pronouced focus

    • Maknae Lovers

      Block B stands for BlockBuster

  • khai vu

    Best thing about Infinite is they use the math sign as their logo. Man, that logo looks so good.

    P.S. I wished you would’ve picked a better Infinite picture, haha.

  • DJ Slate

    honestly when i first heard beast/b2st i thought they were capitalizing on the invention of the term “beast-idols” the term that variety gave to 2pm

  • happyslip

    I guess I’m in the minority, because I don’t see any problems with 4minute as a group name. It sounded odd at first but it’s not that grammatically incorrect (you can add a noun or something, ie 4-minute performance lol). The explanation they have is pretty easy to understand too. 

    MBLAQ sounds fine…U-Kiss and SHINee is just…I had a really hard time paying attention to these two groups because of their name alone. It didn’t help that some of U-kiss’ and SHINee’s earlier concepts were just too sparkly for my taste. And then somewhere in kpop land decided to debut a group named Boyfriend. Damn.

    To me, group names are tolerable for the most part, and if you’ve been listening to kpop for quite some time you eventually get used to the cheesiness of it all.

    If anything, I feel more uncomfortable with some fan club names, simply because that’s where you directly associate yourself, if you know what I mean. 

  • Guest

    i think Rainbow sounds really cheesy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001274217212 Janice Mok

      Blame it on their labelmate SS501’s Kyu Jong who gave them their band name. LOL!!

  • hjg

    INFINITE was the first group name that came to mind when it comes to good group names. They have a nice looking logo that accompanies it too. As for the worst, Teen Top is a good example. The first time I heard of them I honestly thought they were like teen versions of T.O.P or something. Like, they were trying to cash in on his name so they used it.

  • Trista

    What’s in a name? While I accept that a name symbolises a lot (and not just in music but in life in general), I feel that in K-Pop in particular a name goes a long way to build an artists’ image.

    In K-Pop the music is secondary. What really matters is the image or concept. As long as a group builds the right image and a solid fanbase to match they don’t necessarily need to strive for quality releases. And the first step in defining this image is the name. On my introduction to K-Pop I was surprised by the number of groups with acronyms for a name and even more surprised to hear the explanations behind each (I thought H.O.T. was a pretty amazing name until I heard what it stood for). While the backstories provided some insight in to why a name was what it was, on first glance a lot of them were nonsensical. And frankly if a name appears silly on first glance no amount of lengthy narrative will help it look more respectable.

    This is very different if you take artists in the West where there is less of an emphasis on the name. Most will come up with a name but there is less effort spent on explaining it and linking it back to grand schemes of world domination. And that for me is what makes the K-Pop obsession with naming more pronounced. 

    Personally I don’t care what you call yourself if you let your music do the talking. But having said all of that, I must accept that K-Pop is what it is and the naming conventions will continue as is. So if it must continue as such it would be better if groups tried to keep things simple. Or if it was inevitable that they had to come up with a name that hinted at their ability to conquer the universe that they did it without using a bunch of random English words.

    And that is why I think JYJ is a good example of a name because it’s simple, symmetrical and embodies who they are with very little fuss (Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu). It works because there is no need for gimmicks.

    Conversely, for DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki, there was a time when I wasn’t so sure about the quality of the name, largely in part because while TVXQ and Tohoshinki sounded fine, Dong Bang Shin Ki inspired all sorts of wordplay amongst my friends! However, I’ve come to acknowledge it as a fine example because the translation ‘Gods Rising from the East’ is entirely befitting of these boys (and I refer to them here as 5, not 2). It was a risky name to work with but they’ve definitely lived up to it so I don’t think we can deny it has worked in their favour.

    Similarly I would say Girls’ Generation has worked to their advantage too. I wasn’t particularly impressed by it at first (as it sounds almost childish) but given their current status as Korea’s national girl group the name fits. But I do worry that in time it will be less relevant as they are all more suited to the young woman category than girls.

    Other names I like include Clazziquai, Aziatix, After School (especially relevant during the debut phase and the older age group the girls represented), Untouchable, Epik High, Block B, Infinite, Big Bang, Beast, One Day (2am/2pm), Wonder Girls etc

    Not so impressed by Super Junior (does it even mean anything?), Blady, F.Cuz, MBLAQ, B.A.P, H.O.T, Fin.K.L., SS501, T-ara,  Boyfriend, Teen Top, U-Kiss………

    • Anonymous

      Super Junior was supposed to be a big group of young boys that would change or rotate over time, but fans didn’t want that so now they’re just stuck with it.

  • Boo

    I remember when Beast came out in the height of 2PM’s “Beast-idol” image and everyone was like “Whut?” over their name because they weren’t beastly at all. LOL.

    I think JYP has good group names too. They sound modern and fresh. 

    Also, Crispi Crunch deserves a special mention.

  • Anonymous

    On naming, I think people hope that a name is  

    1. Descriptive
    2. Memorable
    3. Unique.

    However you can have only two out three, you have to choose, you can’t have all three. 

    This is not my idea, read here for the origin of this idea: http://pl.atyp.us/wordpress/index.php/2010/09/project-naming/ 

  • Lovezain11

    How about g.o.d? I remember laughing so hard when I knew what it stood for. Seriously groove over dose? What kind of name is that? Kpop has had bad names way back since the beginning.

  • Anonymous

    There´re plenty of ridiculous acronyms for a name (I would really appreciate some page where I can find their hidden meaning :-)) But for me the absolutely worst is SS501, because for me it sounds like some wehrmacht special unit. I cannot help it.

  • JJ

    I think all name connecting are dumb since they will eventually age and will not fit that image anymore (e.g. Teen Top, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior [I really laugh at this cuz it can be taken in so many ways], etc). Corniness is another no no factor.

    I think names that can easily be translated in all languages and has a dynamic is good. I like Dong Bang Shin Ki, Big Bang, Epic High. 2NE1 can be tricky since those who know them understand the whole 21st century thin, but back in the days when they are less well know I know some people thought 2NE1 is either broken down to 2-ne-1 or meant the girls are 21 years old.

  • Zeni7

    N.Sonic is a terrible name, sounds way to close to N’Sync….. whoa… N’Sync totally have a K pop name.

    • theoneone

      actually,  its more like kpop groups have western pop sounding names.

  • Guest

    Kudos to Dong Bang Shin Ki for one of the best Kpop names ever. I mean, seeing the hanja words on a banner everytime they perform- epicness.

    • Guest

      yeah~ the best of all..its in korean and surprisingly although long, but works as hell. i got goosebumps hearing the “Dong Bang Shin Kiii” intro in their performances

    • May

      I wish there was more korean names!

  • Guest

    sorry, gotta let this out.

    the worst name i’ve encountered is BOYFRIEND…eh eh eh

    lol wut??

  • whatthefrell

    I am thankful that there was no negativity directed specifically at MBLAQ,
    as I must concede, it cries out for attention, but for some reason,
    it works for them.

    Also, I heard somewhere that
    B2ST is still BEAST, as the number “2” in Korean is pronounced
    similarly to the “E” sound in the English language.
    As I do not speak Korean, unfortunately,
    I don’t really know…
    just thought I would share what I’ve heard.


  • thekors

    My friend was re-telling an info she got from her friend – how there’s 2PM (“LOLWHAT” to her) and then there’s also 2AM, and together, they make “ONE DAY”.

    She was laughing all the way.

  • Guest

    I am very fond/approving of no nonsense names. All those group names with initials, “creative” misspellings, wordplay, etc. doesn’t really work with me. When you think of the classic stars of music history (at least in America) – Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Beatles, etc. – simplicity is best. The names that have been synonymous with a certain genre/famous album of that time period/music revolutionary era is just the artists’ plain names. I like group names that have the smallest chance of being misspelled or twisted in some way (because it’s too hard to remember correctly), but that’s just my opinion. And also any gimmicky name is just plain ew – Best Absolute Perfect?! As much as I felt their debut was pretty cool, that is just… blech…

    SO the names I don’t like include most of the famous groups from the 90s as it seems initials were a big trend back then – Baby VOX, HOT, etc. And a lot of the new groups coming out in the past few years are just terrible (Boyfriend was…eh).

    Some groups that fall in the middle range include 2NE1, even though I adore the girls and I enjoy their music, it’s a bit of a stretch name-wise with all the confusions of – Is it 21? Two-NE-one? To Anyone? Are all the girls 21 (same idea with the Sistar19)? However the styling has grown on me, with the two numbers on the ends and the letters in the middle – spelling out “New Evolution” combined with 21 for the 21st century – so I suppose it’s clever but not TOO clever that it looks awfully gimmicky – and although this may be biased I feel girl groups can get away with cutesy or more poetic names much better than boys can. The Wonder Girls is simple but anything to do with superheroes as a musical group’s name is a bit much. Girl’s Generation and Super Junior I actually like but they are names for the tween crowd, and now that Leeteuk is almost 30 and in the military it feels way off.

    Some names that I DO like include: Big Bang (stylized simply, unassuming, relatively ageless, the concept of the group is extremely easy to understand at first glance – a “Big Bang” in the music industry, duh!), Infinite, 4minute, Beast, Brown Eyed Girls, DBSK/JYJ, 2PM/2AM/One Day and f(x). I actually thought the f(x) idea with the concept of “plug in any music and you get a variety” type deal to be really cool, but unfortunately SM’s music producers don’t live up to that expected quality so it kind of fails. It’s a good thing Big Bang and DBSK achieved the success that they did, or else their names (as much as I adore the groups) would look slightly gimmicky too.

    And if this is not complaining too much, I also find individual stage names to be a bit much also. I don’t know much about f(x) but I don’t see the point in having English names if they’re appealing to the Korean market mostly. And considering SM I doubt they had much choice in their names too – I think once on Strong Heart they named Victoria because she will bring “victory” to the music industry or something? T___T Seungri’s English stagename as Victory works since that’s the meaning of his Korean stagename – although I don’t understand why it is labeled as “V.I” when I don’t believe V.I is the abbreviation for victory. D-Lite (aka “delight” for his sunny personality) for Daesung kind of fits, but I find multiple names to be too much – is he really going to use D-Lite when introducing himself to American fans (when we probably know him as Daesung anyway – why change it?). Same thing with Taeyang and SOL – although I like the “sun” concept better than Daesung’s. I feel only TOP and GD (LOVE G-Dragon as it coincides with his real Korean name almost exactly) are obligated to have stage names since they are rappers. Usually artists outside of the rap field either go by their full original name or a mononym like Beyonce, Adele or Bom (Lady Gaga is a rare and also “weird” exception since it’s her style to do outlandish things). I think CL, Dara and Minzy get a pass individually since their stagenames are very, very close to their birthnames and actually makes it easier for English speakers to remember.

    I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much about individual stagenames, but I feel like a person should stay as true to themselves as possible when choosing a new name while retaining creative freedom (aka G-Dragon, or Bruno Mars, as that was his nickname when he was younger). Even Lady Gaga is kind of strange – I mean, I don’t know much about her, but is that how people address her instead of her real name? As in “Hi, Lady Gaga, how are you doing today? You’re just going gaga on your new album lately!” Bad joke… But I know that for myself, I would hate to be called Victoria if it wasn’t something I related with and just some random name picked out by somebody else. But this is just my two cents, I apologize for another long essay ^__^

  • May

    SHAINI or shiny <3

  • Fernanda McCain

    I would put MBLAQ on the worst names, sure I’m a diehard A+, but their name it’s simple weird and ridiculous, it would be cooler, if it wasn’t an acronym. but the fact that it is an acronym in deed and for something as weird to pronounce and non understandable as Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality 

  • wanthengchua

    I totally agree that Infinite is the best ever created name. It just looks nice when you type it out like this.

    Though there are seriously weird names. I remember a group called AA. Like seriously? Can that even be considered as a group name? What does it even means? To make it even worst, one of their members’ name is Kimchi?!?!? ROFL!

    Names like Beast was difficult. Everytime i search them on google or youtube, they just come out images of real beasts. lol.. Know the group Davichi?  I always misread it as Davinchi, until i realised there isn’t an N in the name.

    Anyway, what’s even funnier is the fanclub names. Gosh, they are more hilarious, and weird?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001274217212 Janice Mok

    I think SS501 is rather unique too. Super Star 5 united as 1 forever. Although it is rather hard for  non-Kpop fans to pronounce the name (IT’S ‘DOUBLE S FIVE-OH-ONE’!! >.<). Plus, it looks fancy, and nice to doodle on your school notebooks…LMFAO!! So is 2NE1. That's a REALLY smart name, and I also like their fanclub name: Blackjack. <3

    Infinite's name is the best though, hands down. 8D