BTS Almost Had a Very Different Nickname for Their ‘ARMY’ Fan Base

BTS calls their fan base “ARMY,” even giving the supporters a special shoutout during the “Butter” music video. During one YouTube video, though, these artists shared that the nickname for their fans was almost “Bell,” laughing at the idea in the process.

Here’s what we know about this award-winning boy band, BTS and their fan base. 

BTS performs 'Black Swan' during 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'
BTS performs ‘Black Swan’ during ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

BTS fans are known as ‘ARMY’

The K-pop group, BTS, debuted in 2013, eventually becoming one of the biggest boy bands in the world. They released chart-topping songs like “Dynamite,” “Life Goes On,” and “Butter,” even earning a Grammy nomination for the 2021 award ceremony. 

BTS stands for the Korean expression “Bangtan Sonyeondan,” which translates in English to “bulletproof boy scouts.” In line with this translation and its reference to the military, the BTS fan base became known as the ARMY. 

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, ARMY stands for “Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth,” which references military symbology. Some songs even feature references to their band name and fan base nickname, including “We Are Bulletproof: the Eternal.”

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The BTS ARMY was almost named ‘Bell,’ according to the members 

Although the BTS fan base is known worldwide as ARMY, the K-pop group juggled around a few names for their supporters. One of the finals, according to RM, was Bell. The idols reflected on this nickname during their 2021 Festa, celebrating eight years since their debut as a boy band.

“July 9 is the day ‘ARMY’ was made,” Jimin explained, according to a translation on the YouTube video. When he was asked what some of the candidates for the fan base name was, Jimin said, “I think it was Cherry.” 

“One of the possible names was Bell,” RM added, pretending to ring a bell at one point. “Bell and ARMY were the two finals. But think about it, what if Bell was picked? We say like, ‘hello, Bell! Jingle, jingle!’”

“It sounds like a person’s name,” Suga said, laughing. Jin said, “ARMY is perfect for the whole world.”

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The ARMY is known for its philanthropy and support of BTS

They’re one of the most powerful fan bases in the world, donating millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations in support of the K-pop group. That includes BTS’ collaboration with UNICEF for the “Love Myself” campaign. 

Each year, they organize birthday celebrations for the members, complete with billboards and cafe events. ARMYs are also responsible for views on historic music videos, like the 2021 release, “Butter.”

The “Butter” music video is now available on YouTube. Music by BTS, including their recently released album, Map of the Soul: 7, is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and most major platforms.