Ever been confused by K-Pop lightstick names? Most groups follow a simple formula: the group or fandom name combined with “bong”, short for “eungwonbong” (the Korean word for lightstick). Some group’s lightsticks, however, have unusual names you just can’t figure out at first glance—here are 8 you’ve probably always wondered about.
1. Red Velvet
Red Velvet’s lightstick name is “Kimmanbong”.
“Kimman” is an abbreviation of “kimchi mandu”—kimchi dumpling in English. When the lightstick was revealed, many fans thought the design looked like a dumpling—hence the name. Since Kim Man Bong sounds like a real Korean name, the Red Velvet members often refer to the lightstick as “Kim Man Bong-sshi”—Mr. Kim Man Bong.
BLACKPINK’s lightstick name is “Bbyongbong”.
Member Jisoo was actually the one who named the lightstick, and “Bbyongbong” wasn’t just chosen for its cute rhyme. The lightstick is designed to replicate a toy hammer, and “Bbyong” is Korean onomatopoeia for a “pop” sound—just like the sound of a hammer toy.
NCT’s lightstick name is “Meumwonbong”.
As mentioned, the Korean word for lightstick, “eungwonbong”. The first part of the word, “eung”, begins and ends with the circular character “ㅇ”. Since NCT’s lightstick is known for its square (or cube) shape, they changed the letter “ㅇ” for the square character, “ㅁ”—which translates to “m” in English. Thus, “eung” became “meum”.
NU’EST’s lightstick name is “Banditbong”.
“Bandit” comes from “banditbul”, the Korean word for “firefly”. The name originated from member Ren’s storybook, where he called NU’EST’s fans (known as L.O.Λ.E) “pink fireflies”. The vivid pink bulb of the lightstick looks just like a firefly in the darkness, so the name fits perfectly.
5. Golden Child
Golden Child’s lightstick name is “Runebong”.
In Korean, the first letter of Golden Child is “골” (pronounced “gol”). When the character is turned upside down, it looks like “룬” (pronounced “rune”). Since Golden Child’s bowling pin shaped lightstick is turned upside down to cheer, they decided to name it “Runbong”.
MAMAMOO’s lightstick name is “Moobong”.
At first glance, the lightstick name seems obvious given that MAMAMOO’s fans are known as MooMoos. However, there’s also a second hidden meaning that many non-fans don’t know. “Moo” is the Korean word for radish, which is also what the lightstick is shaped like.
INFINITE’s lightstick name is “Yeobong”.
In Korean, “yeobo” is a term of endearment, just like “honey” or “darling” in English. The Korean character “ㅇ” (transliterated as “ng”) is often added to the end of words as a slang way of making them sound cuter—hence the name, “Yeobong”.
8. Ong Seong Wu
Ong Seong Wu’s lightstick name is “Bo-ong”.
Alongside being a cute, elongated way to say “bong” (from “eungwonbong”, or lightstick), the name was chosen because it includes Seong Wu’s surname.