Want to know the best common Korean names in South Korea? Let’s find out here!
A Quick History Of Korean Names In South Korea
Many of the popular Korean names from the past, especially in South Korea, came from their ancestors, most prominent people from the past and/or sometimes, it is mostly coming from their Korean family names. Another thing is, that their Korean culture, religion, tradition, and beliefs also influenced them in choosing a name for a baby boy or a baby girl. But as time went by, South Korea’s baby names were mainly influenced by the current status and standard of the country.
We all know that the Korean alphabet and writings are very similar to Chinese characters. Also, various Chinese characters have similar meanings in the Korean writing system or the Hangul alphabet. For that reason, some of the popular Korean names have the same common translation in Chinese. Therefore, people in South Korea often relate their Korean names to the symbolic meaning in Chinese culture and tradition.
In addition to the information above, most Korean names have this format: they are written with two to three elements or two syllables. The first word with one syllable or the first syllable of their name is the ‘family name,’ while the second syllable or word is their ‘first name’ or ‘given name.’ Since they have a common writing style like the format writing, their names are also alike.
Modern Names In South Korea
Many Koreans today used Korean American versions of names, particularly in South Korean entertainment. However, like the Hollywood stars and American artists, some Korean artists or K-pop singers preferred to use American names to recognize or have a popular name easily. For example, Korean artists’ female names were Irene and Wendy of Red Velvet and Jennie and Rose of BlackPink. From Korean boy band group, J-Hope and Rap Monster of BTS were also influenced by this version of the English name.
Some of the reasons why Korean artists use the English language or alphabet for their names are because Family names and Given names in South Korea are very common to each other and alike. For instance, the most common family name in South Korea is ‘Kim’ (김), and 10.6 million Koreans mostly use it. The other is ‘Lee’ by the famous Korean actor named ‘Lee Min Ho.’ Another thing is the given name like Do Hyun and Seo Jun. Although some Koreans changed their names’ห spelling, it is still very impossible to have a unique Korean name in South Korea.
15+ Common Korean Names
Below are the common names for a baby boy or a baby girl in South Korea. Remember that the common names in the country are gender-neutral. Therefore, it can be used by both genders. Also, various boy names and girl names have two to three syllables with separate meanings.
The following name is written in Romanized version with common translations and meaning:
- Nam Kyu – this popular name in Korea means ‘southern.’ Some Korean have this common name that lives in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.
- Min Jun – this name came from the first syllable, meaning ‘excellence’, and the second syllable, meaning ‘talented.’
- Jun Seo – this popular Korean name also means ‘talented’, and the last syllable means ‘like a rock.’
- Tae Hyun– this Korean name means ‘great’ and ‘honor.’
- Joo Won – this common but unique Korean name means ‘origin’ or ‘beautiful woman.’
- Sung Min – or Seong Min is a popular boy name in Korean. The meaning of this name is ‘clever’ or ‘sharp.’
- Ji Ho – This name is commonly used by female Korean that means ‘wisdom,’ ‘knowledge,’ and ‘fierce.’
- Do Yun – This is a unique name that came from the Sino-Korean translation. ‘Do’ means ‘path,’ and ‘Yun’ means ‘allow.’
- Chin Hwa – If you know the meaning of this name, I guess you will give this to your baby. But kidding aside, these two elements means ‘the most wealthy.’ Now you know what I mean.
- Chin Mae – this Korean name means ‘truth.’
- Jun Seo – this unique name also came from a Sino-Korean translation. ‘Jun’ means talented’ or ‘handsome’ combined with the word ‘Seo,’ meaning ‘felicitous omen’ or ‘auspicious.’
- Ye Jun – this Korean name has the same meaning as Jun Seo. This name also means ‘talented’ and ‘handsome.’
- Chung Hee – This Korean name means ‘righteous.’
- Ha Joon – this common Korean name means ‘summer,’ ‘great,’ or ‘talented.’
- Hyun Ki – the first syllable ‘Hyun’ means ‘dark’ and ‘mysterious’, and the last syllable means ‘vigorous’ or ‘strong.’
- Mi Sun – this Korean name is a gender-neutral name meaning ‘goodness.’
- Dae Hyun – this Korean name is a masculine name commonly used for boys. This name means ‘greatness’ and ‘worthy’.
Significance Of Korean Names
Now that you know some of the commonly used Korean names in the country, I will now give some impressions about their significance.
It is not only related to Chinese culture but also their near countries like Japan. For example, some of the given names were similar to Japanese names and meanings. It is because the culture and beliefs of these three countries are somewhat very similar to each other. As you can observe, their clothing style, religion, and tradition are somewhat alike. By this, I can say that their language usage, specifically in choosing Korean names, is not far apart from how the Chinese and Japanese chose and used it.
On the other hand, the Koreans are very picky in terms of giving names to their baby boy or baby girl. Like Japanese and Chinese people, they believe that ‘a name will determine one’s life and destiny.’ Several Koreans nowadays choose given names of the country’s first leader or even their current leader. Others may be inspired by a k pop singer or Korean actor. But all in all, choosing Korean names in South Korea holistically represents their history, culture, beliefs, and values.
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