K-pop girl group Apink were caught off guard last week when they discovered that their pronunciation of the title of their new song Dilemma, released on Feb 14 and the lead song of their 10th anniversary album Horn, reminded some listeners of a popular Cantonese curse phrase.
Two members of the girl group were filmed reacting to the news during a virtual fan meeting. In one video, Bomi is seen expressing shock when a fan translates the term for her.
Another clip shows Namjoo trying to get the fan to say the term before expressing hilarity that she voices a popular Hong Kong curse every time she sings Dilemma's chorus.
The term, as pronounced by Apink during Dilemma's chorus, is said to sound like the curse phrase d** lei ma, which translates as "f*** your mother".
Even before Horn's release, Dilemma was already gaining traction on social media platforms as Cantonese speakers noted the phrase in a highlight teaser reel promoting the album.
Videos of Apink performing Dilemma together with explanations over the curse phrase have surged in popularity over the past two weeks, with some clips racking up hundreds of thousands of views.
Since Dilemma was released, the official music video has been viewed over 16 million times on YouTube.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.