Korean Names

The full Korean name consists of a surname (seong) and a given name (ireum). This order does not always hold true in western publications. Also, western transcriptions will usually break up the given name and either write the syllables separately or hyphenate them. For example the spelling Kim Dae Jung or Kim Dae-jung is more frequent than Kim Daejung.

Traditional Korean given names are similar to Chinese given names in that they are usually composed of two Hanja (Chinese characters, though the characters are pronounced differently in Korean). Occasionally, given names are a composed of a single character. Some modern parents give names based on native Korean elements with no corresponding Hanja.

Korean surnames are usually based on a single Hanja character, though there are some very rare two-character surnames. The four most common surnames (Kim, Lee, Park and Choi) account for about half the population.

On this site

List of Korean names and meanings