Name Selecting in Korea
Korea has a rich culture and a unique naming system. Korean names are often based on native Korean languages and they are subject to the changes brought forth by their culture and / or the environment surrounding them. There are several ways to go about selecting a name for a Korean girl, and the meanings often have roots in ancient Korean traditions and beliefs. This article will take a look at the different aspects of naming a Korean girl according to the country’s diverse rich culture.

A Brief History of Korean Naming Culture
Korean naming culture is deeply rooted in the country’s long history. The traditional Korean surname – or clan name – is based on the hierarchical system in the traditional Korean feudalism, which is usually a combination of two or more Chinese characters. During the Silla Dynasty (668–935 CE) and later the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910), a child’s family name was usually decided by the mother’s family, with the father’s surname not playing a role in the naming process. This practice had changed in the mid-twentieth century, with both parents’ surnames playing a role in the namings process.

Korean Girl Names   

Given names, on the other hand, are less formal than surnames and typically represent the wishes of the parents. They are often chosen based on the day, season or time of birth, and their meanings often have roots in ancient Korean traditions and beliefs. In some cases, they are chosen based on the parents’ love of a certain flower, color, or other objects in nature. Below is a list of female Korean names that are popular among parents and have impressive meanings:

Popular Female Korean Names  

• Ahn – a Korean language surname meaning “peace.”
• Eun – meaning “grace” or “mercy.”
• Hana – meaning “flower” or “splendid.”
• Ji – meaning “wisdom” or “to know.”
• Ji-yeon – meaning “beautiful and wise.”
• Mi – a combination of sun and moon, meaning “bright and beautiful.”
• Ja – meaning “love” or “beauty.”
• Ha-na – meaning “flower” or “summer.”
• Kae – meaning “successful” or “victory.”
• Soo – meaning “smile.”
• Yoon – meaning “shining bright.”
• Eun-jae – meaning “kind and beautiful.”
• Hae – a Korean language surname meaning “ocean.”

Other Popular Names by Category  

Animal Inspired Names 

• So-yoon – meaning “dove” or “flying dream.”
• Hee-yun – meaning “swallow” or “little bird.”
• Kyoung – meaning “Bluebird” or “small joy.”
• Jong – meaning “strong” or “dragon.”
• Su-jin – meaning “rabbit” or “fragrance of spring.”

Nature Names 

• Yoon-hee – meaning “bee” or “kindness of nature.”
• Yu-ri – meaning “lily” or “lovely and white.”
• Hae-rin – meaning “ocean and river” or “grace of water.”
• Yoo-jin – meaning “bamboo” or “clear and upright.”
• Hong – a Korean language surname meaning “rose.”

Numerical Names 

• Duk – related to China, meaning “one.”
• Yi – meaning “one.”
• Do – meaning “two.”
• Mi-eun – meaning “beauty,” indicates the third daughter.
• Woo – related to Japan, meaning “one,” “two” or “three”, depending on the type of Chinese character used.

Common Naming Practices 

Apart from the traditional naming system, there are certain common practices when it comes to naming a Korean girl. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Meaningful Combinations

 Korean parents often choose names that have an emotive meaning when pronounced in combination. Some commonly used combinations include “hyang-hee” (bright, fragrant joy) and “ik-soon” (country power).

Two Syllable Names 

Koreans usually prefer two syllable names for their children. This is because it creates a balanced, even sound and is easy to remember.

Gender Specific Names

Parents often choose gender specific Korean names. This is to ensure that a girl is recognised as a girl and not mistaken for a boy.

What You Need to Know about Giving a Korean Name

When giving a Korean name to a baby girl, it is important to bear in mind that the name should not just simply describe physical traits or beauty. Names should also have emotional and spiritual meanings that would shape their lives.

Choosing a Korean name is also culturally important. The name should reflect the characteristics of a Korean girl – the heritage of which she is a part of.

Additionally, the traditional naming system is based on a complex set of rules, such as gender specific naming, naming by year of birth, or naming according to birth attributes. Therefore, it is important to research the name thoroughly before giving it to the baby.

Korea has a long and rich history of naming culture. It has various deep-rooted traditional customs that have existed for centuries. When considering the right name for a Korean girl, parents should take into account the information provided in this article – such as the meaning behind the names, the popular trends and the cultural guidelines. Ultimately, the name should be meaningful and reflective of the values that the parents wish their daughter to grow up with.

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