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Apink’s ‘Dilemma’: Legendary K-pop girl group’s comeback song sounds like a Cantonese swear

apink dilemma
  • K-pop girl group Apink’s long-awaited comeback song “Dilemma” has amused Cantonese speakers because of the song name and lyrics’ phonetic similarity to a popular swear.

  • A fan told two members of the group at a recent virtual fan meeting and recorded their shocked reactions.

  • Considered part of the second generation of K-pop idols to come out of Hallyu, or the South Korean wave, Apink has kept their fans waiting for a full-length album since 2016.

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Legendary K-pop girl group Apink is turning heads – including their own — as a result of how similar the name and lyrics of their comeback song “Dilemma” sounds to a Cantonese swear.

On Feb. 14, the veteran group, under IST Entertainment, released their fourth Korean studio album “Horn,” which was marketed as a special album to celebrate it having been over 10 years since their 2011 debut.

Considered part of the second generation of K-pop idols to come out of Hallyu, or the South Korean wave, Apink fans have long awaited a full-length album since 2016.

Thousands of Cantonese speakers soon caught wind of the song and noticed that the chorus, which repeats the English word “dilemma,” sounded oddly similar to “diu lei lau mau,” which translates to “f*ck your mother.”

@redaytime You can’t unheard it now 😂 #apink #kpop #canto #dilemma #subtlecantonesetraits #subtlecanto #subtleasiantraits ♬ original sound – Day


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A post shared by 100毛 (@100mosthk)

In a Feb. 18 virtual fan meeting, an Apink fan who goes by the Twitter handle @meungvan explained this similarity to members Bomi and Namjoo, who sing a majority of the chorus, and posted their surprised reactions to Twitter.

@meungvan also suggested that it was because of this similarity to the swear that the song is “very popular” in Hong Kong.

Featured Image via @meungvan (left), Apink (에이핑크) (right)

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