50 Korean Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular Korean baby names

A baby smiling into the camera

 Alex Barlow / Getty Images

Korean names, many of which are unisex, are very rich and steeped in cultural history. They are typically made up of two parts: a given name (the first name) and a family name (surname). While Korean family names are made up of one syllable, the first names are usually made up of two syllables with very few exceptions.

Historically, many given Korean names are made up of what is called a generational name syllable and an individually distinct syllable. This practice is on the decline with modern Korean first names. 

A given name is made up of hanja, which are Chinese characters. Hanja are not used in North Korea anymore but continue to be used in South Korea. Some modern names are made up of Korean words and syllables instead of hanja.

Korean culture, music, art, and food are unique and so are their names. If you are thinking of giving your baby a Korean name, it's important to first understand the rich history and meaning behind each name.

Popular Korean Baby Names For Girls

Let's take a look at some popular Korean baby names for girls.

Ae-cha

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Loving daughter 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aecha
  • Peak Popularity: The name Ae-cha is very popular in Korea, but is considered a unique name in the United States. Ae-cha is not a top 1,000 name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The meaning of Ae-cha is made up of two words. Ae means love and cha means daughter.

Aera

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Love
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ae-ra
  • Famous Namesakes: Shin Ae-ra, South Korean actress 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Aera was most popular in the United States in 2017; however, only five babies were given the name that year.

Fun Fact: Aera is also a popular boy’s name in India, where it means lion.

A-yeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Refined, graceful 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ah-young, A-yong, A-young 
  • Famous Namesakes: Min A-yeong, South Korean gymnast; Cho Ja-young, South Korean singer and actress; Shin A-young, South Korean television personality 
  • Peak Popularity: A-yeong isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Bong-cha

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Superior and daughter, the ultimate girl 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bongcha, Bong
  • Peak Popularity: Bong-cha is not a very popular name in the United States.

Chun-hee

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Justice and grace
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chun-hei
  • Famous Namesakes: Jong Chun-hui, North Korean weightlifter; Ri Chun-hee, North Korean news anchor 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Chun-hee isn’t very popular in the United States.

Fun Fact: The name Chun-hee can also be given to boys.

Chung-ha

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Righteous girl, noble daughter 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chungcha 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Chung-ha, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Chung-ha isn’t a very popular name in the United States. The name is given to less than five girls a year in the country. 

Eun-ae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Grace with love 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eunae
  • Famous Namesakes: Lee Eunae, South Korean judge; Jo Eun-ae, South Korean rapper 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Eunae isn’t very popular in the United States.

Eun-kyung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Kindness, mercy, respect 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eun-kyeong, Un-kyong, Un-gyong 
  • Famous Namesakes: Chung Eun-kyung, South Korean field hockey player; Lim Eun-kyung, South Korean actress 
  • Peak Popularity: While it’s a popular female name in South Korea, Eun-kyung isn’t a very popular name in the United States. 

Eun-seo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Charity, mercy, kindness 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eun-suh, Eun-so, Un-seo
  • Famous Namesakes: Son Eun-seo, South Korean actress; Kim Eun-seo, South Korean actress 
  • Peak Popularity: Eun-seo is a popular name for girls in South Korea but not used often in the United States.

Fun Fact: The meaning of Eun-seo sometimes differs depending on the hanja used to write each syllable. 

Gyeong

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Respect, honor 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kyung, Kyoung, Kyong 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kyung Lah, South Korean journalist 
  • Peak Popularity: There is currently no popularity ranking for the name Gyeong because less than five people are given the name in the United States yearly.

Fun Fact: Gyeong usually occurs with other characters in several Korean names. It can also mean view or scenery. 

Ha-eun

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Summer, great, grand 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ha-un 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Ha-eun, South Korean actress; Yang Ha-eun, South Korean table tennis player 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Ha-eun was given to 37 babies between the year 1880 to 2019. In 2003, eight babies were given the name. This is the highest record of its use. 

Fun Fact: Ha, which is the first syllable in the name Ha-eun, could also come from Hana-nim which is the Korean name for God.

Han-na

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: One
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hana 
  • Famous Namesakes: Han-na Chang, South Korean cellist; Kang Han-na, South Korean actress 
  • Peak Popularity: Hana is a fairly popular name in the United States. It became a top 1,000 girl's name in 1993 and has stayed there since. In the year 2002, at the peak of its popularity, a total of 411 girls were given the name.

Fun Fact: Hana has several origins across the world. In Kurdish it means hope; in Japanese it means flower, and in Hawaiian it means craft. 

Ha-yoon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: ‘Ha’ means summer or talented, ‘Yoon’ means allow 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ha-yun
  • Famous Namesakes: Song Ha-yoon, South Korean actress
  • Peak Popularity: Ha-yoon is a popular name for girls in South Korea but uncommon in the United States. 

Fun Fact: Ha-yoon is a unisex name which means it can also be given to boys. However, it’s more commonly given to girls. 

Ji-ah

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Wisdom, purpose, graceful 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jee-ah, Jiah 
  • Famous Namesakes: Ji-ah Khan, actress, model and singer; Lee Ji-ah, South Korean actress
  • Peak Popularity: The highest record of its use was in 2019. Seventeen girls were given the name in the United States that year.

Fun Fact: The name Jiah is also a name given to boys in Australia.

Ji-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: ‘Ji’ means will, purpose, or ambition; ‘Woo’ means house or universe
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jee-woo, Chi-woo
  • Famous Namesakes: Choi Ji-woo, South Korean actress; Park Ji-woo, South Korean speed skater
  • Peak Popularity: Ji-woo was the eighth most popular name for girls in South Korea in 2008, but is not common in the United States.

Fun Fact: Ji-woo is a unisex name, which means it’s also given to boys.

Ji-yoon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Purpose, good luck, and posterity 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jee-yoon. Ji-yun, Ji-youn 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Ji-yoon, South Korean basketball player; Park Ji-yoon, South Korean pop singer 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Ji-yoon isn’t very popular in the United States. 

Min-ji

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Intelligent, clever 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Min-jee 
  • Famous Namesakes: Seo Min-ji, South Korean actress; Lee Min-ji, South Korean model 
  • Peak Popularity: The most popular year for the name Min-ji was in 1999. Eight girls were given the name that year. 

Fun Fact: In 1990, Min-ji was the fourth most popular name for girls in South Korea. 

Mi-sun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Beauty and goodness 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mee-sun, Mi-seon
  • Famous Namesakes: Jeon Mi-seon, South Korean actress; Park Mi-sun, South Korean comedian 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Mi-sun isn’t very popular in the United States. 

Fun Fact: The name Mi-sun can also be given to boys, although it’s predominantly a female name. 

Min-seo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Calm and clever 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Min-suh
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Min-seo, South Korean actress; Kim Min-seo, South Korean badminton player 
  • Peak Popularity: Min-seo isn’t a popular name in the United States but in 2008 it was the second most popular name given to girls in South Korea. 

Nabi

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Butterfly 
  • Peak Popularity: Nabi isn’t a popular name in the United States. In 2008, only five babies were given the name. 

Fun Fact: Nabi is also a popular nickname given to cats in South Korea. It’s also the meaning for prophet in Arabic. 

Sarang

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Love, affection
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Saryang 
  • Famous Namesakes: Park Sa-rang, South Korean actress; Kim Sa-rang, South Korean actress
  • Peak Popularity: In 2003, the name Sarang was given to seven babies in the United States. This is the highest record of its use. 

Fun Fact: Sarang is a unique Korean name. Unlike most Korean first names that are made up of two Sino-Korean roots, Sarang is only made of one. 

Seo-yun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Soft, prosperous omen 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Seo-yoon, Suh-yoon, Suh-yun, Seo-yeon
  • Famous Namesakes: Ji Seo-yun, South Korean actress 
  • Peak Popularity: In 2015, Seo-yun was the most popular name for girls in South Korea. In the United States, it’s not quite as popular. 

Soo-ah

  • Origin: Korena
  • Meaning: ‘Soo’ means water, shore, or bank. ‘Ah’ means beautiful, elegant, or graceful 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Su-a, Su-ah 
  • Famous Namesakes: Su-a Lee, South Korean cellist; Park Soo-ah, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Soo-ah isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Sook

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Pure 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Suk
  • Famous Namesakes: Mun Suk, South Korean cyclist; Kim Sook, South Korean comedian
  • Peak Popularity: In 1963, six babies were given the name Sook in the United States. This is the highest record of its use. 

Fun Fact: Sook is one of the few single-syllable names given to girls in South Korea. 

Yu-jin

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Abundant, possess, valuable 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Yoo-jin 
  • Famous Namesakes: Lim Yu-jin, South Korean volleyball player; Ahn Yu-jin, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: In 2018, 10 babies were given the name Yu-jin; this is the highest record of its use.

Fun Fact: Yu-jin can also be a name given to boys in South Korea. 

Yun-seo

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: ‘Yun’ means govern or allow; ‘Seo’ means series
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Yun-suh, Yoon-seo, Yoon-suh 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Yoon-seo, South Korean actress
  • Peak Popularity: Yun-seo isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Popular Korean Baby Names for Boys 

Here's a list of some of the most popular Korean names for boys.

Baek-hyeon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Virtuous brother 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Baek-hyun
  • Famous Namesakes: Byun Baek-hyun, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Baek-hyeon isn’t a popular name in the United States. 

Beom-seok 

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Pattern of a rock 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bum-suk, Pom-sok
  • Famous Namesakes: Lee Beom-seok, first Prime Minister of South Korea; Oh Beom-seok, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: Beom-seok isn’t a popular name in the United States. 

Chin-hwa

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: The most wealthy 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chinhwa
  • Peak Popularity: Chin-hwa isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Do-hyun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Elegant, virtuous 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Do-hyeon, Do-yun 
  • Famous Namesakes: Yoon Do-hyun, South Korean rock singer; Lee Do-hyun, South Korean actor 
  • Peak Popularity: Do-hyun isn’t a popular name in the United States. 

Fun Fact: Hyun is also a popular surname in South Korea. 

Gun-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Mankind, optimistic 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keon-woo, Kun-woo, Eun-woo
  • Famous Namesakes: Kun-Woo Paik, South Korean pianist; Lee Gun-woo, South Korean singer; Kim Kun-woo, South Korean athlete 
  • Peak Popularity: Gun-woo is a popular boy name in South Korea. It is less common in the United States.

Ha-joon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Summer, great, talented, handsome 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ha-jun
  • Famous Namesakes: Ha-Joon Chang, South Korean economist; Seo Ha-joon, South Korean actor 
  • Peak Popularity: Ha-joon is a popular name for boys in South Korea. However, the name isn’t very popular in the United States. 

Han-gyeol 

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Uniformity 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Han-gyul 
  • Famous Namesakes: Seo Han-Gyeol, South Korean actor
  • Peak Popularity: Han-gyeol is a very unique name and so far there are no records to show that it has been given to a baby in the United States.

Hyun-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Manifest, divine intervention 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hyeon-woo, Hyon-woo, Hyeon-u 
  • Famous Namesakes: Lee Hyun-woo, South Korean actor; Ha Hyun-woo, South Korean singer and songwriter; Ji Hyun-woo, South Korean actor 
  • Peak Popularity: Hyun-woo is a very popular name in South Korea. It's less common in the United States.

Ji-ho

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Wisdom, knowledge, fierce 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chi-ho, Jie-ho 
  • Famous Namesakes: Oh Ji-ho, South Korean actor; Choi Ji-ho, South Korean actor; Shim Ji-ho, South Korean actor 
  • Peak Popularity: Ji-ho is a popular boys name in South Korea. It uncommon in the United States.

Fun Fact: Ji-ho is a unisex name which means it can also be given to girls. However, it’s predominantly a boy’s name. 

Jong-woo

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Upright friend
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jeong-woo, Jeong-u, Jung-woo
  • Famous Namesakes: Choi Jung-woo, South Korean actor; Lim Jung-woo, South Korea field hockey player
  • Peak Popularity: Jong-woo isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Joo-won

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: First around 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ju-won, Joo-weon
  • Famous Namesakes: Jang Ju-won, South Korean jade carver; Go Joo-won, South Korean actor
  • Peak Popularity: Joo-won is a popular name in South Korea, but less so in the United States.

Fun Fact: Joo-won is a unisex name which means that it can also be given to girls.

Jun-seo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Handsome and auspicious 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joon-seo, Joon-suh, Jun-suh
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Jun-seo, South Korean singer and rapper
  • Peak Popularity: Jun-seo is a common name in South Korea. However, the name isn’t very popular in the United States.

Kwan

  • Origin: Korean, Chinese
  • Meaning: Strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kwann, Kwahn, Kwon 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kwan Baptiste, soccer player 
  • Peak Popularity: Kwan isn’t a popular name in the United States. In 1975, 21 babies were given the name Kwan.

Fun Fact: Kwan is also a common surname in China and South Korea.

Kyung-won

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Honor, respect 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kyeong-won, Kyong-won
  • Famous Namesakes: Kwon Kyung-won, South Koren footballer; Yoon Kyung-won, Korean ice hockey player 
  • Peak Popularity: Kyung-won isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Min-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Brightness and goodness 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: None
  • Famous Namesakes: Woo Min-ho, South Korean film director; Jang Min-ho, South Korean singer; Choi Min-ho, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Min-ho is fairly common in South Korea but is less popular in the United States.

Min-joon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Clever and talented
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Min-jun
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Min-joon, South Korean actor and DJ; Kim Min-jun, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Min-joon is a popular name for boys in South Korea. It is uncommon in the United States.

Fun Fact: Some people speculate that the name Min-joon is popular in South Korea because of the fictional character of the same name in the South Korean television series "My Love from the Star." 

Nam-kyu

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: South, standard
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nam-gyu 
  • Famous Namesakes: Yoo Nam-kyu, South Korean table tennis player
  • Peak Popularity: Nam-kyu isn’t a popular name for boys in the United States. It’s estimated that less than five babies are given the name every year.

Sang-hoon

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Benevolent and rank
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sang-hun, Sung-hoon 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Sung-hoon, South Korean film director; Jung Sang-hoon, South Korean actor; Jeon Sang-hoon, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: Sang-hoon isn’t a popular name in the United States.

Seo-joon

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Comfortable and talented 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Seo-jun, Suh-joon, Suh-jun, Seo-joon
  • Famous Namesakes: Park Seo-joon, South Korean actor; Kim Seo-jun, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: Seo-joon isn’t a popular name in the United States but it’s a very popular name in South Korea.

Shi-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: ‘Shi’ means excellent and good; ‘Woo’ means universe, world, and broaden
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Si-woo, See-woo
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Si-woo, South Korean golfer; Lee Si-woo, South Korean volleyball player; Song Si-woo, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: Shi-woo isn’t a popular name in the United States. In 2015, a total of six babies were given the variant Si-woo in the United States.

Fun Fact: Shi-woo was among the top five most popular names for boys in South Korea in 2011, 2013, and 2017. 

Sung-min

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Quick, clever, sharp-natured 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Seung-min, Seong-min 
  • Famous Namesakes: Lee Sung-min, South Korean actor; Choi Sung-min, singer; Ryu Seung-min, South Korean table tennis player 
  • Peak Popularity: Sung-min isn’t a popular name in the United States. Between 1880 and 2019, less than five people were given the name Sung-min in the United States. 

Tae-hyun

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Great, honor 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tae-hyeon 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Tae-hyun, South Korean weightlifter; Cha Tae-hyun, South Korean actor; Jeon Soo-hyun, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: In 2008, five babies were given the name Tae-hyun in the United States at the peak of its popularity. 

Won-shik

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Head of the family 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Won-sik 
  • Famous Namesakes: Chung Won-shik, South Korean politician; Kim Won-sik, South Korean footballer 
  • Peak Popularity: Won-shik isn't a popular name in the United States.

Woo-jin 

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Treasure of the family 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: U-jin 
  • Famous Namesakes: Jo Woo-jin, South Korean actor; Yeon Woo-jin, South Korean actor 
  • Peak Popularity: Between 1980 and 2019, only seven baby boys were given the name Woo-jin in the United States.

Ye-jun 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Talented, handsome 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ye-joon 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Ye-jun, South Korean singer; Shim Ye-jun, South Korean singer 
  • Peak Popularity: Ye-jun is a popular name in South Korea. It is uncommon in the United States.

Yoo-joon 

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Tenderness and friend or courage 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Yu-joon, Yu-jun 
  • Famous Namesakes: Lee Yoo-joon, South Korean footballer
  • Peak Popularity: Yoo-joon isn’t a popular name in the United States.
Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names. Updated 2021.

  2. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names: beyond the top 1000 names. Updated 2021.