Korean First Names
Korean First Names
Korean names are unique when compared to many other cultures. If you have Korean heritage or a Korean given name, then it is likely it is on the list. Many names vary based on the combination of characters used. Take a look below to find out more information about the history and naming traditions.
Origin of Korean Names
Many Korean given names are chosen based on generation. This is a tradition that came from China. North Korea and South Korea differ greatly when it comes to names. North Koreans no longer use hanja when writing names, while South Koreans do. There is a restricted list in South Korea where the hanja must be used from.
Korean Naming Practices
When choosing a name for a child, many choose a two-syllable name. Typically, the first is a generational name while the second is unique. Surnames always come before the given name, and children inherit their father’s surname at birth. After marriage, the woman does not take on her new husband’s last name but keeps her own.
More recently, parents are choosing one-syllable names. These are usually derived from Korean words. A law was introduced in 1993 that stated given names must be five syllables or shorter, so as long as it fits the guidelines and is from approved hanja, there are endless options.
Top 10 Most Common Korean Boy Names
- Dong-Hyun - This Sino-Korean name means “east” (Dong) and “virtuous” (Hyun).
- Ha-Joon - The meaning of this name varies based on the hanja used. It can mean “summer,” “great,” or “talented.”
- Seo-Joon - This Sino-Korean name can either mean “auspicious” or “easy” (Seo) and “talented” or “handsome” (Joon). Its meaning is based on the hanja.
- Shi-Woo - This is a common South Korean name that means “begin” (Shi) and “protection” (Woo).
- Min-Joon - This masculine Korean name means “clever and talented.”
- Yae-Joon - This name is Korean for “talented (Yae) and “handsome” (Joon).
- Joo-Won - From Sino-Korean, this name means “circumference” (Joo) and “first” (Won).
- Yoo-Joon - This name means “friend” or “courage” (Yoo) and “handsome” (Joon) in Korean.
- Ji-Ho - The meaning of this name varies based on the hanja used. It can mean “wisdom,” “knowledge,” or “fierce.”
- Joon-Woo - This Korean boy’s name means “handsome” (Joon) and “protection” (Woo).
More Popular Korean Boy Names
- Baek-Hyun - This name means “older brother” (Baek) and “virtuous” (Hyun).
- Beom-Seok - This masculine name of Korean origin means “model” or “pattern” (Beom) and “like a rock” (Seok).
- Chang-Ho - “Chang” is a variant of the Chinese name “Zhang” and it is the name of a province in China. “Ho” means “humanity” or “goodness.”
- Dae-Hyun - The meaning of this Korean name is “great” and “honor.”
- Dae-Jung - The meaning of this name varies based on the hanja characters used. Its most notable meaning is “great” and “middle.”
- Duck-Hwan - This Korean boy’s name means “integrity returns.”
- Jeong-Hoon - Coming from the Sino-Korean, this name means “proper” and “rank.”
- Jimin - This name means “my wisdom will be higher than the sky” in Korean.
- Nam-Kyu - The meaning of this name differs based on the hanja used. One of the most common meanings is “south” and “standard.”
- Seo-Jun - This name means “auspicious” and “handsome” in Korean.
- Si-Woo - This is a less common alternate spelling for “Shi-Woo” and it has the same meaning which is “begin” and “protection.”
- Sung-Jin - From Sino-Korean, “Sung” can mean “succeeded” or “star” and “Jin” can mean “marketplace” or “excite.”
- U-Jin - This masculine name of Korean origin means “genuine blessing.”
- Ye-Jun - This name means “talented” and “handsome” in Korean.
- Yong-Gi - This Korean boy’s name means “glory” and “rise.”
Top 10 Most Common Korean Girl Names
- Ha-Yoon - This popular Korean girl’s name means “talented” and “allow.”
- Seo-Yoon - This name means “prosperous omen” and “soft” in Korean.
- Seo-Yeon - Similar to the name above, this name means “prosperous omen” and “graceful” in Korean.
- Ha-Eun - This girl’s name means “great” and “silver.”
- Ji-Ah - This Korean girl's name means “refined wisdom” and “beautiful purpose.”
- Ji-Yoo - Depending on the hanja combination, this name can have several meanings. The most common is “wisdom” and “abundant.”
- Ji-Woo - This is a popular feminine name in Korea and it means “wisdom” and “universe.”
- Ha-Rin - There are several meanings for this name, the most commonly used is “eternal beauty.”
- Seo-Ah - This name means “auspicious” and “beautiful.”
- Soo-Ah - This name means “beautiful waters” in Korean.”
More Popular Korean Girl Names
- Bong-Cha - This Korean girl’s name means “superior daughter.”
- Bora - This is a unique one-character Korean name that means “purple.”
- Cho - This name is derived from a Korean royal family name. It means “beautiful.”
- Chun-Ja - This name is mainly seen in South Korea and the most common meaning is “spring child.”
- Gyeong-Suk - This name is from Sino-Korean and it means “capital city” and “virtuous.”
- Hana - In Korean, this name translates to “the number one.”
- Hee-Won - This girl’s name means “the source of blessing” in Korean.
- Hei-Ran - This name means “grace” and “orchid.”
- Jeong - This single syllable Korean name means “quiet and gentle.”
- Joo-Mi - This name means “red” and “around.”
- Myung-Hee - This baby girl’s name means “brightness” and “pleasure.”
- Seong - This first name is derived from a family name and it means “succeed.”
- Soo - This Korean name means “excellence” or “long life.”
- Sook - This is another uncommon one-syllable name and it means “pure” or “light” in Korean.”
- Yeong - Depending on the hanja used, this name can mean “flower,” “brave,” and more.
- Yun-Mi - This girl’s name means “abundant beauty.”
Unisex Korean Names
- Chul - This gender-neutral name means “firm.”
- Haneul - This is an indigenous one-syllable given name that means “sky.”
- Hye - This unisex Korean name means “knowledgable.”
- Hyeon - This is derived from a family name and it means “worthy.”
- Jae - This unisex name means “talent.”
- Kim - This is derived from the most common Korean surname and it means “gold.”
- Kyong - This is a unisex name that is more used for boys. It means “brightness.”
- Seung - This comes from a Korean surname and it means “winning.”
- Sung-Min - This is a gender-neutral name more commonly used for boys. It means “cleverly natured.”
- Tae - This unisex name is derived from a rare family name and it means “great.”
Most Popular Korean First Names on FamilyEducation: Daeshim, Cho, Min, Jeong