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"Gwiyomi/ kiyomi"
귀요미 송"
Single by Hari
ReleasedFebruary 18, 2013 (2013-02-18)
FormatDigital Download
GenreK-pop, indie pop
LabelDandi Recordz
Danal Entertainment
Warner Music[1][2][3]
Songwriter(s)Dandi, Trot Master King[4]

The Gwiyomi Song, or Kwiyomi Song (귀요미 송), is a K-pop single by South Korean singer Hari that was released on February 18, 2013. It was inspired by a gesture from South Korean rapper Jung Ilhoon of boy group BtoB. The gesture is called 'Gwiyomi Player', that was popularized by South Korean variety show Weekly Idol through a segment called "The Aegyo Battle" (Battle of Cuteness) following Ilhoon's guest appearance on the show in October 2012. The song went on to be a viral success and an Internet meme after Korean Media outlet Sports Seoul uploaded a clip of Hari performing the gestures and singing the song. This video has since inspired many Asian netizens to upload their own versions onto the internet.


The internet meme originated from South Korean BtoB member Jung Ilhoon who made a series of cute hand movements or simply 'counting numbers in a cute way' called 'Gwiyomi Player' or 'Kwiyomi Player' ('Cutie Player' in English). He made the gestures during episode 24 of BtoB's reality TV show called MTV Diary, which aired in 2012.

The gesture became popular among various Korean entertainers after Ilhoon made an appearance on South Korean variety show Weekly Idol.[5] The show then featured a mini segment dubbed "The Aegyo Battle" (Battle of Cuteness) where various idols performed different variations of the Gwiyomi gesture.

On February 18, 2013, a song called the "Gwiyomi song" was released by South Korean singer Hari. The song was inspired by Jung Ilhoon's 'Gwiyeomi Player'. The song gained the attention of Jung Ilhoon himself, who uploaded a cover video on his music label Cube Entertainment's YouTube channel, performing the gestures while singing the song with his own version of lyrics.[6] Singer Hari was then interviewed by Korean Media outlet Sports Seoul where she demonstrated the gestures while singing her song. The filmed clip was then uploaded online.[7]


According to The Bangkok Post, "Gwiyomi" or "Kiyomi" is Korean slang used to refer to a cute person.[8] The lyrics of the song can be interpreted as "1 + 1 = Cutie, 2 + 2 = Cutie", etc.[8]

Gwiyomi (귀요미) is based on the adjective-noun(Korean lang.) "gwiyeop" (귀엽), this is <Root of Word> of cute (귀엽다, gwieopda) It then changed to gwiyeom (귀염) and to gwiyom. Gwiyeo captures the meaning of cuteness, and "-un" is a form of conjugation to be altered for each intended usage. Ending an adjective with "-mi" (-미) has the effect of personifying the adjective, thereby turning the word into a noun. Thus "gwiyomi" means a cute person.

Viral spread[edit]

South Korea (2012)[edit]

After being featured on South Korean variety show Weekly Idol,[5] other K-pop idols from popular bands such as Miss A, Girls' Generation, Infinite and SISTAR also exhibited the hand gestures and movements of the "Gwiyomi Player".[9]

Following the song's release, Jung Ilhoon showed his appreciation by uploading a cover video on his music label, Cube Entertainment's YouTube channel, performing the gestures while singing the song with his own version of lyrics.[6] After singer Hari was interviewed by Sport Seoul, a clip of herself making the gestures with the song was uploaded online. This video eventually went viral and has since inspired many South Koreans to upload their own version of it on the Internet.[7][10] According to the K-pop website Soompi, many of these videos subsequently went viral on various Korean language websites.

Outside Korea (2013)[edit]

The "Gwiyomi Player" was mostly recreated by teenage girls from Southeast Asia, where the K-pop music genre has a huge and loyal fanbase especially in Thailand and in the Philippines.[11][12] A few Thai actresses including Nuengthida Sophon also performed their own version of Gwiyomi. On March 26, The Bangkok Post described the "Gwiyomi" song as the latest web-viral sensation that has unseated "Gangnam Style" to become the new K-pop craze.[8]

In early April 2013, the China Internet Information Center (a web portal operating under the auspices of the Chinese State Council Information Office) reported that large numbers of Chinese Internet users have uploaded their own version of the "Gwiyomi" song.[13] On April 2, an article by a regional newspaper was republished by Xinhua News Agency (the official news agency of China), hailing "Gwiyomi" as the latest South Korean melody surpassing the popularity of "Gangnam Style".[14]

The Gwiyomi phenomenon began trending in several other countries in the region, including Malaysia,[15] Singapore,[16] Hong Kong[17] and Taiwan.[18] The Japanese girl group x21 had a cover of this song on their album "Love Summer" released in 2014.[19]


  1. ^ GWIYOMI ringtone now available in Malaysia (Warner Music MY)
  2. ^ Gwiyomi Cover Contest 2013 (Warner Music HK)
  3. ^ Hari Philippine Tour (Warner Music PH)
  4. ^ "Gwiyomi Song - Hari". MelOn. LOEN Entertainment. Retrieved December 17, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b "[CUT] Weekly Idol - BTOB Ilhoon's aegyo". onkeyish04 in YouTube. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Ilhoon (정일훈 of BTOB) - 하리 귀요미 송 (남자 버전)". theunitedcube in YouTube. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b "[영상] '귀요미송' 하리, 손발오글 노래와 율동 "죄송해요~"". 10 March 2013. Sports Seoul. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "'Kiyomi' grabs cute Thai girls". The Bangkok Post. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  9. ^ "What is 'Gwiyomi Player'? It is Quite the Thing in Korea". The Seener. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  10. ^ Adrina (2013-03-28). "South Korean's New Dance Craze 'Gwiyomi Player'". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  11. ^ Aicha Enriquez (12 April 2013). "Pinoys jump into the 'Gwiyomi' craze". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  12. ^ John Paul Tanchanco (9 April 2013). "Pinoys join the Gwiyomi Internet video craze". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  13. ^ 凤凰传奇鸟叔曲婉婷 2012十大洗脑神曲盘点 (in Chinese). China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 不但成为网络热搜话题,也吸引了大批网友相继模仿
  14. ^ "江南style"已落伍 新洗脑神曲"可爱颂"爆红". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Infectious and cute Kiyomi rises in Gangnam Style's wake". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 26 April 2013.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Soh, Elizabeth. "Are you cute enough for "Gwiyomi"?". Yahoo! Singapore. Retrieved 8 April 2013. The craze has' caught on here in Singapore after sweeping Thailand by storm, with local bloggers making videos of their own versions of the Gwiyomi song.
  17. ^ "嘟嘴妹《可愛頌》港男熱捧". Hong Kong Daily News. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  18. ^ 超萌《可愛頌》掀瘋潮 露點版巨乳版暴紅 (in Chinese). Apple Daily (Taiwan). Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  19. ^ "「恋する夏!」カップリング曲情報公開!!". X21 News. Retrieved 6 May 2014.

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