Korean name

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For names of the country, see Names of Korea. Korean name_sentence_0

For Wikipedia's policy on how to style Korean names, see Wikipedia:Naming Conventions (Korean). Korean name_sentence_1

Korean name_table_infobox_0

HangulKorean name_header_cell_0_0_0 /Korean name_cell_0_0_1
HanjaKorean name_header_cell_0_1_0 이름 /Korean name_cell_0_1_1
Revised RomanizationKorean name_header_cell_0_2_0 ireum /

seongmyeongKorean name_cell_0_2_1

McCune–ReischauerKorean name_header_cell_0_3_0 irŭm / sŏngmyŏngKorean name_cell_0_3_1

A Korean name consists of a family name followed by a given name, as used by the Korean people in both South Korea and North Korea. Korean name_sentence_2

In the Korean language, ireum or seongmyeong usually refers to the family name (seong) and given name (ireum in a narrow sense) together. Korean name_sentence_3

Traditional Korean family names typically consist of only one syllable. Korean name_sentence_4

There is no middle name in the English language sense. Korean name_sentence_5

Many Koreans have their given names made of a generational name syllable and an individually distinct syllable, though this practice is declining in the younger generations. Korean name_sentence_6

The generational name syllable is shared by siblings in North Korea, and by all members of the same generation of an extended family in South Korea. Korean name_sentence_7

Married men and women keep their full personal names, and children inherit the father's family name unless otherwise settled when registering the marriage. Korean name_sentence_8

The family names are subdivided into bon-gwan (clans), i.e. extended families which originate in the lineage system used in previous historical periods. Korean name_sentence_9

Each clan is identified by a specific place, and traces its origin to a common patrilineal ancestor. Korean name_sentence_10

Early names based on the Korean language were recorded in the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE – 668 CE), but with the growing adoption of the Chinese writing system, these were gradually replaced by names based on Chinese characters (hanja). Korean name_sentence_11

During periods of Mongol influence, the ruling class supplemented their Korean names with Mongolian names. Korean name_sentence_12

Because of the many changes in Korean romanization practices over the years, modern Koreans, when using languages written in Latin script, romanize their names in various ways, most often approximating the pronunciation in English orthography. Korean name_sentence_13

Some keep the original order of names, while others reverse the names to match the usual Western pattern. Korean name_sentence_14

According to the population and housing census of 2000 conducted by the South Korean government, there are a total of 286 surnames and 4,179 clans. Korean name_sentence_15

Family names Korean name_section_0

See also: List of Korean surnames Korean name_sentence_16

Korean name_table_general_1

The five most common family namesKorean name_table_caption_1
HangulKorean name_header_cell_1_0_0 HanjaKorean name_header_cell_1_0_1 RevisedKorean name_header_cell_1_0_2 MRKorean name_header_cell_1_0_3 Common spellingsKorean name_header_cell_1_0_4
Korean name_cell_1_1_0 Korean name_cell_1_1_1 GimKorean name_cell_1_1_2 KimKorean name_cell_1_1_3 Kim, GimKorean name_cell_1_1_4
리 (N)

이 (S)Korean name_cell_1_2_0

Korean name_cell_1_2_1 IKorean name_cell_1_2_2 Ri (N)

Yi (S)Korean name_cell_1_2_3

Lee, Rhee, YiKorean name_cell_1_2_4
Korean name_cell_1_3_0 Korean name_cell_1_3_1 BakKorean name_cell_1_3_2 PakKorean name_cell_1_3_3 Park, Pak, BakKorean name_cell_1_3_4
Korean name_cell_1_4_0 Korean name_cell_1_4_1 ChoeKorean name_cell_1_4_2 Ch'oeKorean name_cell_1_4_3 Choi, Choe, ChueKorean name_cell_1_4_4
Korean name_cell_1_5_0 Korean name_cell_1_5_1 JeongKorean name_cell_1_5_2 ChŏngKorean name_cell_1_5_3 Chung, Jeong, Cheong, JungKorean name_cell_1_5_4

Fewer than 300 (approximately 280) Korean family names were in use in 2000, and the three most common (Kim, Lee, and Park) account for nearly half of the population. Korean name_sentence_17

For various reasons, there is a growth in the number of Korean surnames. Korean name_sentence_18

Each family name is divided into one or more clans (bon-gwan), identifying the clan's city of origin. Korean name_sentence_19

For example, the most populous clan is Gimhae Kim; that is, the Kim clan from the city of Gimhae. Korean name_sentence_20

Clans are further subdivided into various pa, or branches stemming from a more recent common ancestor, so that a full identification of a person's family name would be clan-surname-branch. Korean name_sentence_21

For example, "Gyeongju Yissi" also romanized as "Gyeongju Leessi" (Gyeongju Lee clan, or Lee clan of Gyeongju) and "Yeonan-Yissi" (Lee clan of Yeonan) are, technically speaking, completely different surnames, even though both are, in most places, simply referred to as "Yi" or "Lee". Korean name_sentence_22

This also means people from the same clan are considered to be of same blood, such that marriage of a man and a woman of same surname and bon-gwan is considered a strong taboo, regardless of how distant the actual lineages may be, even to the present day. Korean name_sentence_23

Traditionally, Korean women keep their family names after their marriage, but their children take the father's surname. Korean name_sentence_24

In the premodern, patriarchal Korean society, people were extremely conscious of familial values and their own family identities. Korean name_sentence_25

Korean women keep their surnames after marriage based on traditional reasoning that it is inherited from their parents and ancestors, and cannot be changed. Korean name_sentence_26

According to traditions, each clan publishes a comprehensive genealogy (jokbo) every 30 years. Korean name_sentence_27

Around a dozen two-syllable surnames are used, all of which rank after the 100 most common surnames. Korean name_sentence_28

The five most common family names, which together make up over half of the Korean population, are used by over 20 million people in South Korea. Korean name_sentence_29

After the 2015 census, it was revealed that foreign-origin family names were becoming more common in South Korea, due to naturalised citizens transcribing their surnames in hangul. Korean name_sentence_30

Between 2000 and 2015, more than 4,800 new surnames were registered. Korean name_sentence_31

During the census, a total of 5,582 distinct surnames were collected, 73% of which do not have corresponding hanja characters. Korean name_sentence_32

It was also revealed that despite the surge in the number of surnames, the ratio of top 10 surnames had not changed. Korean name_sentence_33

44.6% of South Koreans are still named Kim, Lee or Park, while the rest of the top 10 are made up of Choi, Jeong, Kang, Jo, Yoon, Jang and Lim. Korean name_sentence_34

Given names Korean name_section_1

See also: List of Korean given names Korean name_sentence_35

Traditionally, given names are partly determined by generation names, a custom originating in China. Korean name_sentence_36

One of the two characters in a given name is unique to the individual, while the other is shared by all people in a family generation. Korean name_sentence_37

In both North and South Korea, generational names are usually no longer shared by cousins, but are still commonly shared by brothers and sisters. Korean name_sentence_38

Given names are typically composed of hanja, or Chinese characters. Korean name_sentence_39

In North Korea, the hanja are no longer used to write the names, but the meanings are still understood; thus, for example, the syllable cheol (철, 鐵) is used in boys' names and means "iron". Korean name_sentence_40

Korean name_table_infobox_2

HangulKorean name_header_cell_2_0_0 Korean name_cell_2_0_1
HanjaKorean name_header_cell_2_1_0 Korean name_cell_2_1_1
Revised RomanizationKorean name_header_cell_2_2_0 Inmyeongyong chuga hanjapyoKorean name_cell_2_2_1
McCune–ReischauerKorean name_header_cell_2_3_0 Inmyŏngyong ch'uga hanchap'yoKorean name_cell_2_3_1

In South Korea, section 37 of the Family Registry Law requires that the hanja in personal names be taken from a restricted list. Korean name_sentence_41

Unapproved hanja must be represented by hangul in the family registry. Korean name_sentence_42

In March 1991, the Supreme Court of South Korea published the Table of Hanja for Personal Name Use, which allowed a total of 2,854 hanja in new South Korean given names (as well as 61 alternative forms). Korean name_sentence_43

The list was expanded in 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015. Korean name_sentence_44

Thus, 8,142 hanja are now permitted in South Korean names (including the set of basic hanja), in addition to a small number of alternative forms. Korean name_sentence_45

The use of an official list is similar to Japan's use of the jinmeiyō kanji (although the characters do not entirely coincide). Korean name_sentence_46

While the traditional practice is still largely followed, since the late 1970s, some parents have given their children names that are native Korean words, usually of two syllables. Korean name_sentence_47

Popular given names of this sort include Haneul (; "Heaven" or "Sky"), Areum (; "Beauty"), Iseul (; "Dew") and Seulgi (; "Wisdom"). Korean name_sentence_48

Between 2008 and 2015, the proportion of such names among South Korean newborns rose from 3.5% to 7.7%. Korean name_sentence_49

The most popular such names in 2015 were Han-gyeol (한결; "Consistent, Unchanging") for boys and Sarang (; "Love") for girls. Korean name_sentence_50

Despite this trend away from traditional practice, people's names are still recorded in both hangul and hanja (if available) on official documents, in family genealogies, and so on. Korean name_sentence_51

Originally, there was no legal limitation on the length of names in South Korea. Korean name_sentence_52

As a result, some people registered extremely long given names composed of native Korean words, such as the 16-syllable Haneulbyeollimgureumhaennimbodasarangseureouri (; roughly, "More beloved than the stars in the sky and the sun in the clouds"). Korean name_sentence_53

However, beginning in 1993, new regulations required that the given name be five syllables or shorter. Korean name_sentence_54

Usage Korean name_section_2

Forms of address Korean name_section_3

See also: Korean honorifics Korean name_sentence_55

The usage of names is governed by strict norms in traditional Korean society. Korean name_sentence_56

It is generally considered rude to address people by their given names in Korean culture. Korean name_sentence_57

This is particularly the case when dealing with adults or one's elders. Korean name_sentence_58

It is acceptable to call someone by his or her given name if he or she is the same age as the speaker. Korean name_sentence_59

However, it is considered rude to use someone's given name if that person's age is a year older than the speaker. Korean name_sentence_60

This is often a source of pragmatic difficulty for learners of Korean as a foreign language, and for Korean learners of Western languages. Korean name_sentence_61

A variety of replacements are used for the actual name of the person. Korean name_sentence_62

It is acceptable among adults of similar status to address the other by their full name, with the suffix ssi (氏, 씨) added. Korean name_sentence_63

However, it is inappropriate to address someone by the surname alone, even with such a suffix. Korean name_sentence_64

Whenever the person has an official rank, it is typical to address him or her by the name of that rank (such as "Manager"), often with the honorific nim (님) added. Korean name_sentence_65

In such cases, the full name of the person may be appended, although this can also imply the speaker is of higher status. Korean name_sentence_66

Among children and close friends, it is common to use a person's birth name. Korean name_sentence_67

Traditional nicknames Korean name_section_4

Among the common people, who have suffered from high child mortality, children were often given an amyeong (childhood name), to wish them long lives by avoiding notice from the messenger of death. Korean name_sentence_68

These sometimes-insulting nicknames are used sparingly for children today. Korean name_sentence_69

After marriage, women usually lost their amyeong, and were called by a taekho, referring to their town of origin. Korean name_sentence_70

In addition, teknonymy, or referring to parents by their children's names, is a common practice. Korean name_sentence_71

It is most commonly used in referring to a mother by the name of her eldest child, as in "Cheolsu's mom" (철수 엄마). Korean name_sentence_72

However, it can be extended to either parent and any child, depending upon the context. Korean name_sentence_73

Gender Korean name_section_5

Korean given names' correlation to gender is complex, and by comparison to European languages less consistent. Korean name_sentence_74

Certain Sino-Korean syllables carry masculine connotations, others feminine, and others unisex. Korean name_sentence_75

These connotations may vary depending on whether the character is used as the first or second character in the given name. Korean name_sentence_76

A dollimja generational marker, once confined to male descendants but now sometimes used for women as well, may further complicate gender identification. Korean name_sentence_77

Native Korean given names show similar variation. Korean name_sentence_78

A further complication in Korean text is that the singular pronoun used to identify individuals has no gender. Korean name_sentence_79

This means that automated translation often misidentifies or fails to identify individuals' gender in Korean text and thus presents stilted or incorrect English output. Korean name_sentence_80

(Conversely, English source text is similarly missing information about social status and age critical to smooth Korean-language rendering.) Korean name_sentence_81

Children traditionally take their father's family name. Korean name_sentence_82

Under South Korean Civil Law effective 1 January 2008, though, children may be legally given the last name of either parent or even that of a step-parent. Korean name_sentence_83

History Korean name_section_6

The use of names has evolved over time. Korean name_sentence_84

The first recording of Korean names appeared as early as in the early Three Kingdoms period. Korean name_sentence_85

The adoption of Chinese characters contributed to Korean names. Korean name_sentence_86

A complex system, including courtesy names and pen names, as well as posthumous names and childhood names, arose out of Confucian tradition. Korean name_sentence_87

The courtesy name system in particular arose from the Classic of Rites, a core text of the Confucian canon. Korean name_sentence_88

During the Three Kingdoms period, native given names were sometimes composed of three syllables like Misaheun (미사흔) and Sadaham (사다함), which were later transcribed into hanja (未斯欣, 斯多含). Korean name_sentence_89

The use of family names was limited to kings in the beginning, but gradually spread to aristocrats and eventually to most of the population. Korean name_sentence_90

Some recorded family names are apparently native Korean words, such as toponyms. Korean name_sentence_91

At that time, some characters of Korean names might have been read not by their Sino-Korean pronunciation, but by their native reading. Korean name_sentence_92

For example, the native Korean name of Yeon Gaesomun (연개소문; 淵蓋蘇文), the first Grand Prime Minister of Goguryeo, can linguistically be reconstructed as "Eol Kasum" (/*älkasum/). Korean name_sentence_93

Early Silla names are also believed to represent Old Korean vocabulary; for example, Bak Hyeokgeose, the name of the founder of Silla, was pronounced something like "Bulgeonuri" (弗矩內), which can be translated as "bright world". Korean name_sentence_94

In older traditions, if the name of a baby is not chosen by the third trimester, the responsibility of choosing the name fell to the oldest son of the family. Korean name_sentence_95

Often, this was the preferred method as the name chosen was seen as good luck. Korean name_sentence_96

According to the chronicle Samguk Sagi, family names were bestowed by kings upon their supporters. Korean name_sentence_97

For example, in 33 CE, King Yuri gave the six headmen of Saro (later Silla) the names Lee (이), Bae (배), Choi (최), Jeong (정), Son (손) and Seol (설). Korean name_sentence_98

However, this account is not generally credited by modern historians, who hold that Confucian-style surnames as above were more likely to have come into general use in the fifth and subsequent centuries, as the Three Kingdoms increasingly adopted the Chinese model. Korean name_sentence_99

Only a handful of figures from the Three Kingdoms period are recorded as having borne a courtesy name, such as Seol Chong. Korean name_sentence_100

The custom only became widespread in the Goryeo period, as Confucianism took hold among the literati. Korean name_sentence_101

In 1055, Goryeo established a new law limiting access to the civil service examination to those with family names. Korean name_sentence_102

For men of the aristocratic yangban class, a complex system of alternate names emerged by the Joseon period. Korean name_sentence_103

On the other hand, commoners typically only had a first name. Korean name_sentence_104

Surnames were originally a privilege reserved for the yangban class, but members of the middle and common classes of Joseon society frequently paid to acquire a surname from a yangban and be included into a clan; this practice became rampant by the 18th century, leading to a significant growth in the yangban class but conversely diluting and weakening its social dominance. Korean name_sentence_105

For instance, in the region of Daegu, the yangban who had comprised 9.2% of Daegu's demographics in 1690 rose to 18.7% in 1729, 37.5% in 1783, and 70.3% in 1858. Korean name_sentence_106

It was not until the Gabo Reform of 1894 that members of the outcast class were allowed to adopt a surname. Korean name_sentence_107

According to a census called the minjeokbu (民籍簿) completed in 1910, more than half of the Korean population did not have a surname at the time. Korean name_sentence_108

For a brief period after the Mongol invasion of Korea during the Goryeo dynasty, Korean kings and aristocrats had both Mongolian and Sino-Korean names. Korean name_sentence_109

The scions of the ruling class were sent to the Yuan court for schooling. Korean name_sentence_110

For example, King Gongmin had both the Mongolian name Bayan Temür (伯顏帖木兒) and the Sino-Korean name Wang Gi (王祺) (later renamed Wang Jeon (王顓)). Korean name_sentence_111

Main article: Sōshi-kaimei Korean name_sentence_112

During the period of Japanese colonial rule of Korea (1910–1945), Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese-language names. Korean name_sentence_113

Koreans also voluntarily adopted Japanese family names. Korean name_sentence_114

Even today, it is common for Korean nationals living in Japan to use Japanese family names unofficially. Korean name_sentence_115

This practice is called Tsumei (通名). Korean name_sentence_116

In 1939, as part of Governor-General Jiro Minami's policy of cultural assimilation (同化政策; dōka seisaku), Ordinance No. Korean name_sentence_117

20 (commonly called the "Name Order", or Sōshi-kaimei (創氏改名) in Japanese) was issued, and became law in April 1940. Korean name_sentence_118

Although the Japanese Governor-General officially prohibited compulsion, low-level officials effectively forced Koreans to adopt Japanese-style family and given names. Korean name_sentence_119

By 1944, about 84% of the population had registered Japanese family names. Korean name_sentence_120

Sōshi (Japanese) means the creation of a Japanese family name (shi, Korean ssi), distinct from a Korean family name or seong (Japanese sei). Korean name_sentence_121

Japanese family names represent the families they belong to and can be changed by marriage and other procedures, while Korean family names represent paternal linkages and are unchangeable. Korean name_sentence_122

Japanese policy dictated that Koreans either could register a completely new Japanese family name unrelated to their Korean surname, or have their Korean family name, in Japanese form, automatically become their Japanese name if no surname was submitted before the deadline. Korean name_sentence_123

After the liberation of Korea from Japanese rule, the Name Restoration Order (조선 성명 복구령; 朝鮮姓名復舊令) was issued on October 23, 1946, by the United States military administration south of the 38th parallel north, enabling Koreans to restore their original Korean names if they wished. Korean name_sentence_124

Japanese conventions of creating given names, such as using "子" (Japanese ko and Korean ja) in feminine names, is seldom seen in present-day Korea, both North and South. Korean name_sentence_125

In the North, a campaign to eradicate such Japanese-based names was launched in the 1970s. Korean name_sentence_126

In the South, and presumably in the North as well, these names are regarded as old and unsophisticated. Korean name_sentence_127

Romanization and pronunciation Korean name_section_7

In English-speaking nations, the three most common family names are often written and pronounced as "Kim" (김), "Lee" (South) or "Rhee" (North) (이, 리), and "Park" (박). Korean name_sentence_128

The initial sound in "Kim" shares features with both the English 'k' (in initial position, an aspirated voiceless velar stop) and "hard g" (an unaspirated voiced velar stop). Korean name_sentence_129

When pronounced initially, Kim starts with an unaspirated voiceless velar stop sound; it is voiceless like /k/, but also unaspirated like /ɡ/. Korean name_sentence_130

As aspiration is a distinctive feature in Korean but voicing is not, "Gim" is more likely to be understood correctly. Korean name_sentence_131

However, "Kim" is used as romanized name in both North and South Korea. Korean name_sentence_132

The family name "Lee" is romanized as 리 (ri) in North Korea and as 이 (i) in South Korea. Korean name_sentence_133

In the former case, the initial sound is a liquid consonant. Korean name_sentence_134

There is no distinction between the alveolar liquids /l/ and /r/, which is why "Lee" and "Rhee" are both common spellings. Korean name_sentence_135

In South Korea, the pronunciation of the name is simply the English vowel sound for a "long e", as in 'see'. Korean name_sentence_136

This pronunciation is also often spelled as "Yi"; the Northern pronunciation is commonly romanized "Ri". Korean name_sentence_137

In Korean, the name that is usually romanized as "Park" actually has no 'r' sound. Korean name_sentence_138

Its initial sound is an unaspirated voiced bilabial stop, like English 'b' at the beginning of words. Korean name_sentence_139

The vowel is [a, similar to the 'a' in father and the 'a' in heart, so the name is also often transcribed "Pak, "Bak" and "Bahk." Korean name_sentence_140

Many Korean names were romanized incorrectly from their actual pronunciation. Korean name_sentence_141

For instance, Kim, Lee and Park are pronounced closer to Gim, Yi and Bak in Korea. Korean name_sentence_142

In order to correct this problem, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports has developed the Revised Romanization of Korean to replace the older McCune–Reischauer system in the year 2000 and now the official spelling of these three names has been changed to Gim, I and Bak. Korean name_sentence_143

South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is encouraging those who "newly" register their passports to follow the Revised Romanization of Korean if possible, but it is not mandatory and people are allowed to register their English name freely given that it's their first registration. Korean name_sentence_144

In English Korean name_section_8

In English publications, usually Korean names are written in the original order, with the family name first and the given name last. Korean name_sentence_145

This is the case in Western newspapers. Korean name_sentence_146

Koreans living and working in Western countries have their names in the Western order, with the given name first and the family name last. Korean name_sentence_147

The usual presentation of Korean names in English is similar to those of Chinese names and differs from those of Japanese names, which, in English publications, are usually written in a reversed order with the family name last. Korean name_sentence_148

See also Korean name_section_9

Korean name_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean name.