The Other Meaning Of “ARMY” That BTS Fans Might Not Know About

With BTS‘s growing popularity worldwide, their fandom, too, has become one of the most notable collectives globally, known by the name of “ARMY.” Much like BTS’s decade-long journey, the name of their fandom also has an interesting history.

BTS in the “Butter” music video | @HYBELABELS/YouTube

The group announced their official fandom name on July 9, 2013. But they had to go through multiple options to land on their final choice. In 2021, Jimin mentioned in the ARMY Corner Store video that one of the contenders for BTS’s fandom name was “Cherry.”

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RM then added that the final candidates for the fandom name were ARMY and “Bell.” Since in Korean, “bell” is called “bangwool,” it was considered a creative name that could connect the fans with BTS’s Korean name, “Bangtan Sonyeondan.”

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But the final choice of ARMY proved itself to be a legendary decision in the future. The name comes with two interpretations that both connect the fandom to BTS’s core values and concept. Firstly, “ARMY” goes with the concept of “Bulletproof Boy Scouts,” which is the literal meaning of BTS’s Korean name. Secondly, ARMY is also the acronym for Adorable Representative MC for Youth, which reflects the heart of BTS’s music — representing youth.

Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth 🥰🥰💜💜#SUGA_AgustD_TOUR_in_Jakartapic.twitter.com/OCMEoM5Bqx

— ARMY Connect | ʟᴀʏᴏ(ꪜ)ᴇʀ (@Army_Connect) May 26, 2023

Over time, the name has also acquired a new meaning from fans, which the members also picked up on. In French, “ami” means friend, which Suga pointed out to be fitting for the group’s relationship with their fans.

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But there is another meaning of ARMY that not many fans are aware of yet. It was the group’s leader RM who offered this interpretation a few years ago.

After BTS’s 2020 Map Of The Soul tour had to be canceled because of COVID-19, the group made their much-anticipated comeback on stage in 2022 with Permission to Dance on Stage concerts. They performed at the Seoul Olympic Stadium in three consecutive shows from March 9 to March 11. The in-person tickets were limited due to strict COVID-19 protocol, and the audience members were also prohibited from shouting during the concert. The only way for the audience to respond to the performance was through the use of clappers.

BTS at the “Permission To Dance Seoul” concert | @bts_bighit/Twitter

During this concert series, all the BTS members expressed how much they missed hearing ARMYs shout and cheer along with them. On the third day of the concert, RM said that the word ARMY is an abbreviation of the phrase “areumdaun miseong,” which means “beautiful voices” in Korean, adding that he couldn’t wait to hear the voices of ARMYs again!

When Joon looked at the voiceless clapper ARMYs and told them that ARMY (아미) stands for 아름다운 미성 (areumdaun miseong) which means “beautiful voices” 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/N5IaCFslqb

— Moonchild⁷| ʟᴀʏᴏ(ꪜ)ᴇʀ (@MoonieJoonieee) March 22, 2022

“ARMY is the short of beautiful voice” – 220313 kim namjoon pic.twitter.com/dOmnFyyicD

— rai • ia (@serenxpity) March 13, 2022

Could there be a more versatile nickname?

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