Over the years, fans have come up with numerous nicknames for Red Velvet’s beloved leader Irene. Here are 9 of the ones ReVeluvs use for her most along with what they really mean.
One of Irene’s most common nicknames among fans is Baechu. In fact, even her own members sometimes call her Baechu.
“Baechu” is actually the Korean word for cabbage; it became Irene’s nickname because it sounds similar to the beginning of her real name, Bae Joo Hyun.
2. Best Woman of This Generation
The nickname “Best Woman of this Generation” came from the Red Velvet members themselves, but it quickly caught on with fans.
Red Velvet came up with the nickname several years ago after a group dinner with their staff. While everyone was discussing how to split the meal’s bill, Irene silently paid for the whole thing, making her the best woman around in their eyes.
At her birthday party last year, Irene told fans she prefers the nickname Baetokki to Baechu, as children used the cabbage connotations of Baechu to tease her as a child. Baetokki is also the name for Irene’s individual fandom.
Baetokki is a combination of Irene’s family name, Bae, and “tokki”, the Korean word for “bunny”. Fans often compare Irene to a bunny rabbit because of her wide eyes, easily startled nature, and unwavering cuteness.
Irene has a lot of nicknames that begin with her surname. Another of the most popular is Baephrodite.
The meaning of this one is pretty easy to guess—it’s a combination of Bae and Aphrodite. Since Irene’s visuals are out of this world, she’s often likened to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty.
5. Goddess of Peace
And that’s not her only goddess related nickname. Fans also call her the Goddess of Peace.
That’s because the Greek goddess of peace was also named Irene (sometimes spelled Eirene). Irene was given the stage name as a trainee because of her tranquil demeanor.
Back to the Bae-nicknames—another fan favorite is Baeby.
Despite Irene being the eldest member of Red Velvet and one of the few female idols of her generation to have reached 30 years old, she has a very youthful appearance and personality. Hence, the nickname Baeby: Bae combined with “baby”.
When she was just a rookie, Irene told fans she wanted to be called by the nickname Hyun-ah.
Hyun comes from Irene’s first name, Joo Hyun, and -ah is an endearing suffix Koreans often add to names. Irene said she likes the nickname because that’s what her mother calls her.
Ever noticed how Irene is often called Irin by television and radio hosts? The cute nickname quickly caught on with fans too. While it may seem like a mispronunciation, there is a reason behind it.
In Korea, many nicknames are formed using the ending characters of a person’s name. In Korean, Irene is three syllables: 아이린, or ah-i-rin. As such, many people have taken to shortening Irene to Irin.
9. Original Visual
Last but not least, Irene’s latest addition to the nickname roster is “Original Visual”.
This comes from one of her iconic lines in Red Velvet’s “Psycho”—“I’m original visual, this is who we are”. As one of the most popular visuals around, the nickname certainly fits her.