Family name origins & meanings
- Korean : there is one Chinese character for the Son surname. Some sources mention as many as 118 clans for the Son family, but only seven can be documented. According to legend, the Son clan’s founding ancestor was named Kuryema and was one of the six pre-Shilla elders who made Pak Hyŏkkŏse the first king of Shilla. The first documented ancestor, however, was called Sun. Sun is said to have lived a poverty-stricken existence in the Shilla period. His son was a voracious eater and ate Sun’s old mother’s food as well as his own. Sun, feeling that he could always get another son but that his mother was irreplaceable, decided to go into the mountains to bury his son. When he dug into the ground, however, he found a bell. He hung the bell on a nearby tree and rang it. So loud and clear was the cry of the bell that the king heard it in the palace below and came to investigate. The king was amazed at the bell and gave Sun a house and food. Later, a Buddhist temple was built on that spot. The founding ancestor of the Iljik (or Andong) Son clan originally bore the surname Sun, but during the reign of Koryŏ king Hyŏnjong (1009–1031), Sun was changed to Son.
- English : from Middle English sone ‘son’, hence a distinguishing epithet for a son who shared the same personal name as his father.
- Jewish (Ashkenazic) : variant of Sohn, or Sonn.