Korean names are usually three syllables that can be written in HanJa or HanGul characters.   The family name comes first and is normally one HanGul syllable or HanJa character.  The given name is listed last and is generally two HanGul syllables or HanJa characters.

There are rare exceptions to the most common pattern of three syllable names (one syllable family name with a two syllable given name).  Some family names are two syllables, and some given names are just one syllable.    There is also a small but growing trend of pure Korean given names that don’t have HanJa representations.

Children receive the family name of their father.  When a woman gets married in Korea, she does not change her name.  She keeps her family name, which is recorded in her husband’s family registry.  Her children are given her husband’s family name.

Table 2.1 Examples of Korean Names







Lee MyungHwa

Family: Lee

Given: MyeongHwa

Meaning: bright-




Pak GiHyeon

Family: Pak

Given: GiHyeon

Meaning: jade-clear


Kim HaNeol

Family: Kim

Given: HaNeol

Meaning: heaven

The pure Korean given name “HaNeol” has no HanJa representation, so it is
only written with HanGul Korean letters.


Family Names

Given Names


102 thoughts on “Names

  1. Hi 😀

    I would like to know what’s my name in Korean? (Hajar Ridouane) I have friends from Korea but they find my name in English Hard to pronounce or to understand, can you help me to pick a Korean name?

    Thank you

  2. Can you help me? Jebal! 🙂
    My name is Precious Joy 🙂 , I want a Korean name!!! jinjja. ^+^
    I only know that PRECIOUS in Hangul would be (프레시여스)
    (peu-re-si-yo-seu). and JOY (조이). But I don’t know if it’s correct to combine like this, (프레시여스 조이 )??? cause i know it’s absolutely too long. ^^ KeKeKe XD
    Would you please help me out?, Or can you just give me an exact Hangul/Korean Word that has a meaning for PRECIOUS JOY? Jeongmal, gamsahabnida!!! ^_^

    BTOB Fan Here! :))))

  3. Hello,

    I was just wondering if you can maybe post a list of Family names and their meanings? I’m trying to create my Korean name and all I’ve been able to come up with is, Ji-Hye (지혜) I know it means wisdom, so I want to find a really nice family name that goes perfectly with my given name.

    – Geneva (지혜)

  4. Hi, I’m Bella and I’m 12. I can’t seem to find a Korean name that means “shell” or has an ocean/sea theme. I’m a Pisces and I couldn’t help but notice that “Bei” (with the downwards marking) in Chinese meant “shell” (although I’m not too sure on that). Can you help me?

  5. Hello. I am looking my father, his name is Yun Gi Sheong from South Korea, The last time that we met is last 2008. I missed him so much. I am a Filipino, my mothers name is Analie Nebril (past away last 2009 also). Please help me to find my father. Thank you.

  6. I would like to know my name in korean and it’s meaning if that’s possible 🙂
    Haven’t found anything regarding bea

    • Shin Sung Hee = 신성희
      Family name Shin = 신 (in HanJa/chinese characters it is 柴, 申, 辛, or 愼)
      Given name is 성희 and can have many possible HanJa for each syllable each with a different meaning. One popular version HanJa version of 성희 is 盛希 which could be translated as “holding hope”.

  7. Hello, I have a question…

    My boyfriend is Korean and his family name is Park (박). My names Ally and we met at a Bootcamp in the military and recently his sister gave me the name Huyn Jae. She writes it as 박현재 – Park Huyn Jae. What’s the meaning? I’m really curious as to what my Korean name means.

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