These 3 K-Pop Fandom Words Have Kinda Lost Their Meaning

These 3 K-Pop Fandom Words Have Kinda Lost Their Meaning

Fans think these terms mean completely different things nowadays.

K-Pop fandoms have been taking social media by storm in recent years. With each fandom continuing to grow, they have started to occupy bigger and bigger spaces the more time passes. These tight-knit communities share so many experiences together that oftentimes they have had to create new words or phrases to identify them with.

The reason behind the need for new “words” lies in the fact that many K-Pop fandom experiences are very unique and different from those of western fandoms. However, with the passage of time and the introduction of more and more people to these communities, fans have started to feel like some of these words have begun to lose their original meanings.

K-Pop fans crowd at KCON 2015 | The New York Times

1. “Fancam”

Many fans feel as though the term “fancam” — a word widely used in K-Pop fandoms — has moved far away from its original meaning, and people mostly blame broadcasting companies of music shows for it.

In recent years, fancams have started being uploaded in masses by music show channels on YouTube, with new versions such as “facecam” or “fullcam” also being tested. Fans have expressed that this is changing the original meaning of fancams which at first were simply videos recorded by fans.

| Reddit

Another misuse of the term, according to K-Pop fans, comes from fanmade video compilations of different idols to various songs. This trend has been at an all-time high following TikTok becoming a huge social media platform too. Some creators have used the term “fancam” to refer to their compilations, and K-Pop fans have reiterated many times that the use of the term, in that instance, is wrong.

2. “Dance Practice”

Dance practices are another form of media promotional content that is unique to K-Pop. These videos started out as recordings of idols practicing their new choreographies before a comeback, which would be released on YouTube after the official release happened.

These videos were also allegedly sent to music shows or other events for staging and camera position purposes. However, after groups like SHINee started uploading them on social media, they became a fan favorite easy-to-make promotional content from the artists’ labels.

Not only were dance practices perfect to see the real dancing skills of different idols, but they also became the best way for fans themselves to learn the choreographies of their favorite K-Pop songs. With this rise in popularity, labels started putting more effort into making dance practice as professional looking as possible, aiming to get as much praise as possible for their artists.

This move, though, has made fans miss the original dance practice format — with many saying they felt more authentic and “real.”

| Reddit

3. “Ace”

While “fancam” and “dance practice” are terms that started changing due to the influence of big players in the industry such as music labels and broadcasting companies, the meaning of “ace” has mostly changed due to K-Pop fans themselves.

| Reddit

“Ace” first was used by companies and Korean media to refer to idols who were exceptionally good at singing, dancing, or rapping. The word ace itself as an adjective is used as a synonym for “very good” or “excellent.” However, in recent years K-Pop fans started using the term to describe idols who are excellent at all three talents an idol can have: singing, dancing, and rapping. This gives ace a new meaning of “all-rounder” rather than being exceptionally good at one thing.

| Reddit

Some date this change back to SHINee Taemin‘s solo debut with his first mini album ACE.

Some fans also feel as though the “all-rounder” meaning of ace is also used loosely by many, with some using the word to refer to idols who are average on all three skills, rather than only those who are excellent at them.