Korean Names Part 2

Korean names remained one of the more popular posts in this blog. Many readers continue to asked through emails regarding the meaning of Korean clebrities. This time round, more people are asking names of actors as compared to my previous posts, which more are interested with idols. Seems like the popularity of actors(배우/탈렌트) are rising internationally.

As mentioned in my previous post, Korean names comprise of the surname/family name or seong(성/姓) in Korean, usually one character. Exceptions include Seonwoo (선우/鮮于), Namgoong (남궁/南宮) etc. Most given names are Hanja based. Hence, to understand Korean names, we ought to know what is the true meaning of the Hanja (Chinese characters) that are being formed. More commonly, names are two syllables. There are also individuals with only one-syllable given name, such as the case of Jo Kwon (조권). Rarely, there are also Koreans with native Korean names such as Sarang (사랑; Love), Byul (별; Star), Haneul (하늘; Sky),such as the case of Actress Jang Nara. Nara (나라) means Land in native Korean. There are even Koreans using English names, such as the case of  Actor Choi Daniel (최다니엘), Choi being his surname and Da-Ni-El being his given name. Let us see some of the examples of the meaning of Korean names which some of my readers had enquired.

Song Hye-gyo and Zo In-Sung (That Winter The Wind Blows/그겨울, 바람이 분다)


Song Hye-Kyo (송혜교)

송 (宋): surname originally name of an ancient Chinese Kingdom

혜 (惠): favour; kindness

교 (敎): teach

Zo In-Sung (조인성)

조 (趙): surname originally name of an ancient Chinese Kingdom

인 (寅): respect/third in order

성 (成): to form

Park Se-young and Lee Jong-suk (School 2013/ 학교2013)

Lee Jong Suk Park Se Young

Lee Jong Suk, Park Se Young (Source: KBS)

Park Se-young (박세영)

박 (朴): common surname which means a kind of tree

세 (世): earth

영 (榮): honor

Lee Jong-suk (이종석)

이 (李): common surname which means plum

종 (鐘): bell

석 (奭): big and wholesome

Song Joong-ki (Nice Guy/세상 어디에도 없는 착한남자)


Song Joong-ki (Source: Newsen)

Song Joong-ki (송중기)

송 (宋): surname originally name of an ancient Chinese Kingdom

중 (仲): the second in order

기 (基): foundation

Kim Soo-hyun and Lee Hyun-woo (Secretly, Greatly/ 은밀하게 위대하게)

ksh lhw

Kim Soo-hyun & Lee Hyun-woo

Lee Hyun-woo (이현우)

이 (李): common surname which means plum

현 (玹): precious gem

우 (雨): rain

Kim Soo-hyun (김수현)

김 (金): most common surname which means gold

수 (秀): excellent; outstanding; remarkable; exceptional

현 (賢): benevolent, (formal) benign

See also:
Korean Names – Idols

4 thoughts on “Korean Names Part 2

  1. Pingback: Actor Song Joong-ki to be enlist on the 27th August | Seoul Awesome: Your K-blog

  2. Oh, how cool! How and where can you learn the Hanja meaning? And does the Hangul characters have any meaning to them?

    • U can check the hanja meaning on naver dictionary. Hanja are chinese characters that are used by chinese, japanese and koreans. Hangul characters are alphabets therefore individually do not have meanings nonetheless hangul made korean language much simpler.

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