50 Korean Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular Korean baby names

A baby smiling into the camera

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Korean names 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.

The same syllable can have different meanings depending on how it is written. For example, the syllable beom could be represented with characters meaning "tiger," "model," or "everyone." A combination of certain syllables can add additional nuance that's greater than the sum of its parts.

Korean culture, music, art, and food are unique, and so are Korean 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 grace 
  • 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 daughter, joyous 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: Gracious justice
  • 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 fewer than five girls a year in the country. 

Eun-ae

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

Eun-kyung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Respectful kindness
  • 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, merciful omen
  • 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, Korean-American journalist 
  • Peak Popularity: There is currently no popularity ranking for the name Gyeong because fewer 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: Grand summer 
  • 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 years 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 the god of Cheondoism.

Han-na

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: One
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hana 
  • Famous Namesakes: Chang Han-na, 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 Arabic it means bliss; in Japanese it means flower, and in Hawaiian it means craft. 

Ha-yoon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Beautiful summer, natural talent
  • 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: Refined wisdom, beautiful purpose
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jee-ah, Jiah 
  • Famous Namesakes: Jiah Khan, British-American 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 actress
  • 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, beautiful gift 
  • 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 and model
  • Peak Popularity: Sarang isn’t a popular name in the United States.

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 the United States, fewer than five babies born per year are given this name. 

Soo-ah

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Beautiful waters
  • 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: Sook isn’t a popular name in the United States. 

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 in America.

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 older 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, everyone flourishes
  • 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: Permitted path
  • 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: Hope for mankind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keon-woo, Kun-woo, Eun-woo
  • Famous Namesakes: Paik Kun-Woo, 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: Great summer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ha-jun
  • Famous Namesakes: Chang Ha-Joon, 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, a great moment
  • 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: Fortune and intellect
  • 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, noble house
  • 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 was the second most popular name for boys in South Korea during 2011. The name is less popular 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, Grenadian 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: Honored family, respect 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kyeong-won, Kyong-won
  • Famous Namesakes: Kwon Kyung-won, South Korean 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: Bright stone, brave and clever
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: None
  • Famous Namesakes: Woo Min-ho, South Korean film director; Jang Min-ho, South Korean singer; Choi Min-ho, South Korean rapper and 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
  • 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: Nam means "south," kyu means "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: Still deserving of high 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: Naturally 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, or to 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.

Sung-min

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Bright and clever
  • 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, fewer than five people were given the name Sung-min in the United States. 

Tae-hyun

  • Origin: Korean 
  • Meaning: Greatest virtue
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tae-hyeon 
  • Famous Namesakes: Kim Tae-hyun, South Korean weightlifter; Cha Tae-hyun, South Korean actor
  • 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, protected house 
  • 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 and 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: Tender friendship, Courageous friend 
  • 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.
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3 Sources
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  1. Cultural Atlas. South Korean Culture.

  2. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

  3. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names: beyond the top 1000 names.