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Male and Female Korean names
September 29, 2017
Dr. Satish Satyarthi

Male and Female Korean namesOne of the common problems Korean language learners face is – how to determine the gender of a Korean name. How to tell if a person is male or female if you just have the name of the person.

There are no scientific rules to determine the male and female names in Korean but definitely there are certain rules of thumb or hints that can help you know the gender.

Most Korean names consist of Hanja characters. Korean government has a list of approx 2800 Hanja characters that can be used legally for names.

Generally there the Hanja characters used in a male name show masculinity, strength and power while the characters in female name show beauty, kindness, virtue etc. For example the character 용 (yong – dragon) or 철 (Cheol – iron) are used in male names while characters like 미 (mi – beauty) and 지 (ji – wisdom) are commonly used in female names.

Recently there has been a trend to have pure Korean names instead of using hanja. So it’s very common to come across names like  하늘 (Haneul – Heaven or Sky), 아름 (Areum – Beauty), 이슬 (Iseul – Dew) and  슬기 (Seulgi – Wisdom). Sometimes names have a mix of a hanja character and a pure Korean word.

So if you know the some commonly used Hanja characters in Korean male and female names, you can guess the gender of a name pretty accurately.

In this post we are giving a list of 50 most common Hanja characters that appear in male and female names.

The first column shows the original Hanja character, the second column its meaning. You have to look at the third column as it shows the characters or sounds that you will see in Korean names.

Note that there are some names that are commonly used for both men and women..

Below I have also given a list 10 most common male and female names in Korea.

Most Common Characters in Korean Male Names

한자 (Hanja) 뜻 (Meaning) 음 (Sound)
이룰 Seong
어질 Hyeon
동녘 Dong
준걸 Jun
서로 Sang
있을 Jae
빛날 Hyeon/Hyon
지혜 Ji
빼어날 Su
옥돌 Min
이을 Seung
빛날 Hee/Hui
빛날 Hyeok
도울 U/Woo
솥귀 Hyeon/Hyon
강이름 Su
빛날 Hwan
주석 Seok
으뜸 Won
윤택할 Yun
바를 Jeong
호경 Ho
영화 Yeong
백성 Min
하늘 Min
재상 Jae
쇠북 Jong
뿌리 Geun
보배 Jin
진정할 Jin
어질 In
민첩할 Min
빛날 Hyeon/Hyon
온화할 Min
빛날 Chan
심을 Sik/Shik
착할 Seon
밝을 Myeong
꽃부리 Yeong


Most Common Characters in Korean Female Names

한자 (Hanja) 뜻 (Meaning) 음 (Sound)
은혜 Eun
아름다울 Mi
지혜 Ji
꽃부리 Yeong
어질 Hyeun/Hyun
곧을 Jeong
빼어날 Su
은혜 Hye
착할 Seon
맑을 Suk
빛날 Hee
보배 Jin
많을 Da
계집 Hee/Hui
구슬 Ju
지혜 Hye
예쁠 A
아리따울 Na
진실로 Yun
윤택할 Yun
빛날 Hyeon/Hyon
고울 Yeon
옥돌 Min
서울 Gyeong
어질 In
맑을 A
순할 Sun
바랄 Hee/Hui
비출 Jo
예쁠 Yeon
은혜 Hye
온화할 Min
영화 Yeong
사랑 Ae
바를 Jeong
두루 Ju
기쁠 Hee/Hui
맑을 In
온화할 Eun
상서로울 Seo
아름다운 Dol


10 Most Common Korean Female Names

(Source – Wikipedia)

순위 2005년 2008년 2009년 2013년
1 서연 서연 서연 서연
2 민서 민서 민서 서윤
3 서현 지민 서현 지우
4 수빈 서현 지우 서현
5 유진 서윤 서윤 민서
6 민지 예은 지민 윤서
7 서영 하은 수빈 채원
8 지원 지우 하은 하윤
9 수민 수빈 예은 지아
10 예원 윤서 윤서 은서

10 Most Common Korean Male Names

(Source – Wikipedia)

순위 2005년 2008년 2009년 2013년
1 민준 민준 민준 민준
2 현우 지훈 지후 서준
3 동현 현우 지훈 주원
4 준혁 준서 준서 예준
5 민재 우진 현우 시우
6 도현 건우 예준 준서
7 지훈 예준 건우 도윤
8 준영 현준 현준 현우
9 현준 도현 민재 건우
10 승민 동현 우진 지훈

Top 20 Most Family Names (Surnames) in South Korea

1. 김 (金; Kim, Gim)
2. 이 (李; Lee, Yi, I, Yee)
3. 박 (朴; Park, Pak, Bak)
4. 최 (崔; Choi, Choe)
5. 정 (鄭; Jeong, Chung)
6. 강 (姜; Kang, Gang)
7. 조 (曹; Cho, Jo, Joe)
8. 윤 (尹; Yoon, Youn, Yun)
9. 장 (張; Jang, Chang)
10. 신 (申; Shin, Sin)

11. 한 (韓; Han, Hahn)
12. 서 (徐; Seo,Suh)
13. 권 (權; Kwon)
14. 손 (孫; Son, Sohn)
15. 황 (黃; Hwang, Whang)
16. 송 (宋; Song,Soung)
17. 안 (安; Ahn, An)
18. 임 (林; Lim, Rim, Im)
19. 유 (柳; Yoo, Yu)
20. 홍 (洪; Hong)

  • Helping Korean language learners is truly an ardent task as the Korean Language itself has been in the midst of deteriorating for decades. Learners will encounter the strange phenomenon of having to relearn many English words as Koreans take pride in absorbing English words to replace their rich vocabularies. Koreans absorb English words but simply mangle their pronunciation and usage since the much lauded Korean alphabet – Hangul – lacks a significant number of vowels and consents necessary for good pronunciation of English and that adds to Koreans ignoring the import of syllables. In effect, modern Korean has morphed into a third, gibberish language that even many Koreans themselves do not comprehend, but insist on using while pretending they understand.

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