What is in the name, Le Sserafim? avatar
ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki | 雪亮)
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The latest announcement from HYBE and Source Music is the official name of their latest K-pop idol girl group: Le Sserafim (르세라핌). K-pop idol fans, and K-pop fans in general, is divided over the name. Some claim it is not pronouncable while others say it means nothing.

An idol group’s name is very important in the idol industry. It will be their identity, and their image and themes will revolve around their name. In addition, it should be catchy, meaningful, and easily remembered, after all, the objective in the idol industry is to sell an image, with songs and dances only coming second.

Having a name Le Sserafim, is at first, confusing and does not make sense for those not familiar with serafim. What is it? What does it mean? How is it pronounced? Why is it special than any other names they could have chosen?

To understand why Le Sserafim is the most appropriate name for the group, it is important to look at its etymology, the meaning behind it, and what it is about.

Origin of the name Le Sserafim

HYBE and Source Music first teased about their new girl group with their motto IM Fearless on March 25, 2022. On March 28, 2022, they revealed that their motto is an anagram of the group’s name: Le Sserafim.

After the announcement of the group’s name, the talent agencies revealed that Le Sserafim will be composed of six members. A Japanese, a Dutch, a Korean-American, and four Koreans. 1 They are scheduled to debut in May 2022.

But what is their name about?

What is Le Sserafim?

Short answer: The Seraphim!

Here are the reasons why:

Etymology

  1. The group’s name, Le Sserafim, is a play on the French word les sérafim which is the seraphim in English. The group’s motto IM Fearless is an anagram of both the Hangugeo le sserafim and the French les sérafim.

  2. The group’s name is written in Kana as ル セラフィム (Ru Serafimu); Sserafim is セラフィム (serafimu).

  3. Le Sserafim is written in Hangul as 르세라핌. The Sserafim in the group’s name is written as 세라핌 which is romanised as selafim or serafim.

  4. The Hangugeo word 세라핌 (selafim/serafim), the Nihongo word セラフィム (serafimu), the French word sérafim, and the Latin word seraphim, all originated from the Hebrew word שרפים (serafim), the plural form of שרף (saraf).

LE SSERAFIM (르세라핌) OFFICIAL LOGO MOTION

The work shown above is Copyrighted to HYBE LABELS.

Why Le Sserafim?

It is in the name.

What is a serafim?

  1. In Abrahamic faiths a seraphim closely resemble humans but with six wings. They primary guard the throne of God and regularly declare his eternal holiness and goodness. They also purify those who seeks an audience with Him who sits on the throne, that they may not die from His immense holiness and purity.

    • Their first pair of wings is used to cover their face and upper body.
    • The second pair of wings is used to cover their lower body, legs, and feet.
    • The third pair of wings is used to fly.
    • Because of the eternal holiness and pureness of God, and their proximity to His throne, they cover themselves as an act of humility and reverence.
  2. In other angelology circles, a seraphim is the highest order of angelic beings, followed by the more popular order, the cherubim.

    • As they use fire to purify those who seeks an audience with the one who sits on the throne, they are associated with the colour red in literature.

They are Le Sserafim

Because:

  • One seraphim, six wings. Six members, one unit: Le Sserafim (The Seraphim)
  • The members were purified by fire
    • Miyawaki Sakura (宮脇咲良 / みやわきさくら; 미야와키 사쿠라)
      • Former member of HKT48 (vice captain of Team KIV) and IZ*ONE
      • Singer, songwriter, actress, and model
      • Former contestant in Produce 48
    • Kim Chae Won (김채원)
      • Former member of IZ*ONE
      • Singer, songwriter, and dancer
      • Former contestant in Produce 48
    • Heo Yun Jin (허윤진)
      • Trained opera singer
      • Can speak English
      • Former contestant in Produce 48

The group’s theme will revolve around their name Le Sserafim and their motto IM Fearless. As the seraphim is the highest order of angelic beings, these angelic ladies will prove they are the highest ranking girl group globally. Le Sserafim will fly high and reach heights where no other Asian idol girl group ever reached.


・ Cover image: The cover image used in this article is Copyrighted to HYBE LABELS.

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ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮)If this is not the end of oblivion, then I shall live everyday as if my life were to end this very day.

The YOOki (柳紀 ・ 유 기) Chronicles

The YOOki (柳紀 ・ 유 기) Chronicles is ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮) ’s return into casual and personal blogging. The name “YOOki” is a mash-up of the acronym of YourOnly.One and my nickname ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮).

Interestingly, according to Chinese legend, 「柳」 (YOO) is an ancient Chinese surname. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. In Korea, the 「유」 (YOO) lineage traces to the Xia, Han, and Joseon dynasties. Holders of the surname Yu or Yoo had a reputation for charity and diligence.1

It is also the word for “willow” or the “willow tree” which means graceful or slender; and a tree growing near a body of water which provide continuous nourishment and resources for everyone. It can also mean to exist, an oil (anointment(?)), and simply as “U” (you).

The hanzi 「紀」 (ki) character means to record, be disciplined, provide order. While the hangul equivalent, 「기」 (ki; gi), means energy, spirit, a banner, and a period of time; and is also a suffix used to make a gerund or an infinitive.

Can you guess what I mean by 「柳紀」 and 「유 기」 as the Chinese and Korean for “YOOki”?

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