Fertility

The Top 100 Popular Korean Baby Boy Names & Their Meanings

Updated on 12 August 2021 • 9 minute read
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Overview

South Korean names have become popular even in foreign countries due to the rise of K-pop stars and TV shows.

The so-called “Korean wave” originated from South Korea. But it even reached the US and some European countries.

For example, the song “Gangnam Style” by PSY remains in the top 10 most viewed YouTube videos of all time. As of February 2021, it ranks on the eighth spot with 3.97 billion views. (1)

Korean baby names like Cho, Bae, Lee, Kim, Eunhee, and Min-jin have become familiar to many foreigners. 

If you’re among the Hallyu (Korean wave) or K-pop fans who want to pick a South Korean name for your baby boy, you can choose from our top 100 choices of the most popular names below.

 

Popular Korean Baby Names for Boys

Many Korean names are written with dashes (-), but they retain the meaning even if written without the punctuation mark.

Some names are spelled similarly but have different meanings, yet others have different spellings but mean the same thing.

You’ll find many interesting meanings to Korean baby names for boys from our list of top 100 names below:

 

Bae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Inspiration or inspired
  • Variations/Synonyms: Bai or Pae
  • Description: It’s a primarily masculine name but can be used as “baby” (an endearment) for all genders.

 

Baekhyeon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: A virtuous older brother
  • Variations/Synonyms: Baekhyun
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “baek” (older brother) and “hyeon” (worthy and virtuous).

 

Beom-seok

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Pattern of a rock
  • Variations/Synonyms: Bum-suk and Pom-sok
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “beom” (pattern, rule, or model) with “seok” (like a rock).

 

Bong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: A mythical bird
  • Variations/Synonyms: Pong
  • Description: It can also mean “to serve” or “to offer.”

 

Byeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bundle, grasp or hold, and or authority
  • Variations/Synonyms: Byung
  • Description: It can also mean “bright, luminous, and glorious.”

 

Byung-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great, bright, and glorious
  • Variations/Synonyms: Byeong-ho
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “byung” (bright, luminous, and glorious) with  “ho” (summer, sky, and heaven).

 

Chan-yeol

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bright, illuminating, and vivid
  • Variations/Synonyms: Chanyeol
  • Description: It comes from hangul (native Korean alphabet), “Alchan Yeolmae” (fruitful).

 

Chang 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bright and clear
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jang, Zhang, and Chiang
  • Description: It can also mean “good and proper.”
  • The name is known to be a common surname and a popular given name.

 

Chin-hwa 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: The most prosperous or most wealthy
  • Variations/Synonyms: Chinhwa
  • Description: It’s a primarily masculine name.

 

Choi

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Pinnacle or mountain
  • Variations/Synonyms: Choe
  • Description: It can also mean “a governor who oversees the mountain and the land.”

 

Chul 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Firm
  • Variations/Synonyms: Chol and Cheol 
  • Description: It’s a Korean boy name that also means “craving.”

 

Dae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Greatness or honor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Dai, Tae, and Day
  • Description: It’s a primarily male name that’s sometimes used for females.

 

Dae-hyun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great and honor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Daehyeon
  • Description: It can also mean “shiny and glittery.”

 

Dae-jung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great, vast, and high
  • Variations/Synonyms: Daejeong
  • Description: It can also mean “great, righteous, and honest.”

 

DaeSeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Big, great, and completed or succeeded
  • Variations/Synonyms: Daesung
  • Description: It comes from the Sino-Korean terms “dae” (big and great) and “seong” (succeeded or finished).

 

Dal

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Moon
  • Variations/Synonyms: Wol
  • Description: It also means “month.”

 

Do-hyun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Virtuous and elegant
  • Variations/Synonyms:  Dohyun, Dohyeon, and Do-hyeon
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “do” (elegant and refined) with “hyeon” (virtuous, worthy, and good).

 

Dong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: East
  • Variations/Synonyms: Dongjjog
  • Description: It’s from the hangul “dongjjog” (east).

 

Dong-geun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Eastern roots and foundation
  • Variations/Synonyms: Dong-gyun
  • Description: It’s a name that some parents pick to honor their Asian roots.

 

Eun 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Abundance of kindness and mercy
  • Variations/Synonyms: Un
  • Description: It could mean “charity” or “silver” using other hanja.

 

Ga-eul

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Autumn or fall
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ka-eul or Gaeul
  • Description: It’s from the Hangul term (indigenous Korean alphabet), “gaeul” (autumn).

 

Ga-ram

  • Origin: Old Chinese and Korean
  • Meaning: River
  • Variations/Synonyms: Garam
  • Description: It’s from the Old Chinese or native Korean word “garam” (river).

 

Gun-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Optimistic
  • Variations/Synonyms: Keon-woo, Gunwoo, Kun-woo, and Eunwoo
  • Description: It’s also from the combination of “gun” (sky) and “woo” (house).

 

Gyeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Respect and honor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Gyung
  • Description: It’s a gender-neutral Korean name.

 

Ha-joon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great, handsome, and talented
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ha-jun
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “ha” (great or grand) and “joon” (talented and handsome).

 

Ha-ru

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Sunny or springtime
  • Variations/Synonyms: Haru
  • Description: In Korean, this name can also mean “day.”

 

Hae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Sun
  • Variations/Synonyms: Taeyang
  • Description: It’s a nice name for a baby boy born on a hot summer day.

 

Haneul 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Sky or heaven
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ha-neul and Ha-nul
  • Description: It’s a unisex name.

 

Hee

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bright and shining
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hui and Hi
  • Description: It’s a unisex name that can also mean “to be happy.”

 

Him-chan

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Vigorous or strong praise
  • Variations/Synonyms: Himchan
  • Description: It comes from the combination of “him” (strong) and “chan” (praise or applaud).

 

Ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Abundant or heroic
  • Variations/Synonyms: Heo
  • Description: This name can also mean “tiger.”

 

Hoon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Meritorious deed or teaching
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hun
  • Description: It’s a good pick for a child with ambition.

 

Hwan 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Brilliant and lustrous
  • Variations/Synonyms: Huan
  • Description: It’s usually considered as a boys’ name.

 

Hye

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Wisdom
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hai
  • Description: It can also mean “precious or rare.”

 

Hyeon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Virtuous, able, and worthy
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyon and Hyun
  • Description: It’s from the Sino-Korean word “Hyeon” (worth or virtuous).
  • The name can also mean “dark and mysterious.”

 

Hyuk

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Red or radiant
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyeok
  • Description: It’s a strong name that’s only used for boys.

 

Hyuk-ki

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Radiant, vigorous, and strong
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyeok-ki
  • Description: It can also mean “wise and astute.”

 

Hyun-ki

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Wise and energy
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyeon-ki
  • Description: It can also mean “dark and mysterious.”

 

Hyun-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Divine intervention
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyon-woo, Hyeonwoo, and Hyeon-u 
  • Description: This name is from the combination of “hyun” (bright) and “woo” (house).

 

Hyung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Older brother
  • Variations/Synonyms: Hyeong
  • Description: “Hyung” is also an honorific term used by a younger (male only) sibling to call his older brother. 

 

Il-sung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Sun and succeed
  • Variations/Synonyms: Il-seong
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “il” (sun or day) and “seong” (completed, finished, and succeeded).

 

Jae 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Riches and talents
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jai
  • Description: It’s a gender-neutral name from jae” (wealth or riches).
  • The name also means “talent and ability.”

 

Jaesung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Sincere, honest, and exist
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jaeseong
  • Description: It comes from the combination of “jae” (exist or rule) and “seong” (sincere, honest, and true).

 

Jeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Gentle or quiet
  • Variations/Synonyms: Chung, Jung, and Chong
  • Description: It’s from the Sino-Korean word “jeong” (gentle or quiet)
  • It can also mean “virtuous and loyal.”

 

Jeong-hui

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Gentle, proper, and splendid
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jung-hui
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “jeong” (right, proper, quiet, and still) with “hui” (beauty, splendid, and glorious).

 

Jeong-hun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Proper and meritorious deed
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jung-hyeon
  • Description: It comes from the combination of “jeong” (right, proper, and correct) with “hun” (meritorious deed).

 

Ji

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Wisdom
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jee
  • Description: It’s a gender-neutral Korean name that’s also a commission surname.

 

Ji-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Knowledge and wisdom
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jie-ho and Chi-ho 
  • Description: It’s a predominantly masculine name that means “brave and fierce” or “tiger.” 

 

Ji-Min

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Clever ambition
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jee-min and Jimin
  • Description: It comes from the combination of “ji” (purpose or ambition) and “Min” (wisdom or intellect).
  • The name can also mean “gentle and affable” or “a stone that resembles jade.”

 

Ji-su

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Beautiful and luxuriant
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ji-soo, Jee-su, and Jee-soo
  • Description: It can also mean “to know” or “to arrive.”

 

Jong-in

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Quiet and kind
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jeong-in, Chung-in, and Chong-in
  • Description: This name can also mean “righteousness.”

 

Jongwoo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Upright friend
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jong-wu, Jeong-u, Jeongwoo, and Jung-woo
  • Description: This is a predominantly masculine name.

 

Joon 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Handsome, obey, and standard
  • Variations/Synonyms: Chun, Jun, and June
  • Description: It’s a unisex name but is predominantly picked for boys.

 

Jun-myeon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Handsome and famous king
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jeon-myung
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “jun” (king and handsome) and “myeon” (famous and sea).

 

Jun-seo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Auspicious (someone likely to succeed) and handsome
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jun-suh, Joon-seo, and Joon-suh
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “jun” (talented and handsome) with “seo” (auspicious).

 

Jung-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great and correct
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jeong-hu
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “jeong” (right, proper, and correct) with “ho” (good and excellent).

 

Jung-kook

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: King or ruler of the nation
  • Variations/Synonyms: Jeong-guk
  • Description: It can also mean “great country.”

 

Kang-dae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Mighty and strong
  • Variations/Synonyms: Kang-dee and Kang-pae
  • Description: It can also mean “powerful and great.”

 

Kim

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Iron or gold
  • Variations/Synonyms: Gim
  • Description: It’s popular as a given name but is also the most common surname in South Korea.

 

Korain

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Luminous and glorious
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ko-rain
  • Description: It’s a predominantly masculine given name in Korea.

 

Kwan

  • Origin: Chinese and Korean
  • Meaning: Strong
  • Variations/Synonyms: Guan and Kwon 
  • Description: It’s a predominantly masculine name.

 

Kwang 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Wild (but in a good way)
  • Variations/Synonyms: Gwang
  • Description: It’s a masculine given name that can also mean “deer.”

 

Kyu

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Model and spirituality
  • Variations/Synonyms: Kyoo
  • Description: It can also mean “star.”

 

Kyung 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Respect and honor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Kyoung, Kyeong, Kyong, and Gyeong
  • Description: It’s a unisex name that also means “brightness.”

 

Lee

  • Origin: Korean and Chinese
  • Meaning: Plum
  • Variations/Synonyms: Li, Ri, Yi, or Rhee
  • Description: It’s from the Chinese name “Li” (plum).

 

Mal-chin

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Persists until the end
  • Variations/Synonyms: Malchin and Mal-kin
  • Description: It can also mean “horse” and “gold or money.”

 

Mi-reu

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Dragon
  • Variations/Synonyms: Mireu, Mi-ryo, and Mee-ryo
  • Description: It can be a brave name for your baby boy.

 

Min

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Jade, heaven, and trickling water
  • Variations/Synonyms: Rin
  • Description: This name can also mean “clever.”

 

Min-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Goodness and brightness 
  • Variations/Synonyms: Minho
  • Description: This name comes from the combination of “min” (fast, clever, quick, and smart) with “ho” (brave and heroic).

 

Min-jun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Handsome and clever
  • Variations/Synonyms: Min-joon
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “min” (quick, clever, and sharp) with “jun” (talented and handsome).

 

Min-seok

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: A jade-like stone
  • Variations/Synonyms: Min-suk
  • Description: It can also mean “to confer or bestow.”

 

Min-su

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Beautiful, gentle, and outstanding people
  • Variations/Synonyms: Min-seo and Min-syo
  • Description: The name comes from the combination of “min” (people or citizens) or (gentle and generous) with “su” (luxuriant, beautiful, elegant, and outstanding).

 

Myung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Brilliance
  • Variations/Synonyms: Myong, Myeong, and Myoung
  • Description: The given name is related to the Chinese surname “Ming.”

 

Nam

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: South
  • Variations/Synonyms: Neam
  • Description: It’s a nice pick for a baby born in the south.

 

Nam-gil

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: My way
  • Variations/Synonyms: Namgil
  • Description: It’s a primarily masculine given name.

 

Sang-hun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Meritorious deed or job well done
  • Variations/Synonyms: Sang-hoon
  • Description: It can also mean “rank.”

 

Sang-ook 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: One who’s always well and healthy
  • Variations/Synonyms: Sang-uk
  • Description: It’s a predominantly masculine given name.

 

Seo-jun 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Auspicious and talented
  • Variations/Synonyms: Su-jun, Seo-jeon, and Su-jeon
  • Description: The name comes from the combination of “seo” (auspicious or comfortable and easy) with “jun” (talented and handsome).

 

Seok

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Stone, ancient, and strong
  • Variations/Synonyms: Sook and Suk
  • Description: It’s from the Sino-Korean word “seok” (stone).

 

Seung

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Succeed or accomplish
  • Variations/Synonyms: Seong and Sung
  • Description: It’s from the Sino-Korean word “seung” (victory or inherit).

 

Shi-woo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Excellent universe or world 
  • Variations/Synonyms: See-woo, Si-woo, and Shi-Wu
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “shi” (excellent) with “woo” (universe or world).

 

Soo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Water
  • Variations/Synonyms: Su
  • Description: It’s a common Korean surname that’s also used as a given name.

 

Suk-chin

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Unshakable rock
  • Variations/Synonyms: Seuk-chin and Seok-chin
  • Description: It can also mean “a person with unshakable virtue or character.”

 

Sung-ho

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Successor or greatness
  • Variations/Synonyms: Seong-ho, Seong-heo, and Sung-heo
  • Description: It also comes from the combination of “seong” (completed, finished, succeeded, or abundant and flourishing) with “ho” (bright and daybreak).

 

Sung-min

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Quick, sharp-natured, and clever
  • Variations/Synonyms: Seong-min and Seung-min
  • Description: It’s from the combination of “seong” (completed or succeeded) and “min” (quick, clever, and sharp).

 

Taehyun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Great honor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Taehyeon
  • Description: It comes from the combination of “tae” (highest or greatest) and “hyeon” (virtuous or good).

 

Won-shik

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: The head of the family
  • Variations/Synonyms: Wonshik and Won-sik
  • Description: This is a primarily masculine Korean name.

 

Woo-jin 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: The family’s treasure 
  • Variations/Synonyms: U-jin
  • Description: It can also mean “excellence of truth.”

 

Wook

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Rising sun or dawn
  • Variations/Synonyms: Weok and Wuk
  • Description: It’s a primarily masculine name from the hanja for “wook” (rising sun). 

 

Ye-jun

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Handsome and talented
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ye-joon 
  • Description: It’s from the combination of Sino-Korean words “ye” (art, talent, and craft) with “jun” (talented and handsome).

 

Yeon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Like nature
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yon, Yun, and Yoon 
  • Description: This comes from the Sino-Korean word “yeon” (beautiful and graceful).

 

Yeong

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Kindness and mercy forever
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yong, Young, and Yung
  • Description: This name can also mean “brave hero.”

 

Yong 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Dragon
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ryong
  • Description: It’s from the Sino-Korean word, “yong” (dragon).

 

Yong-rae

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Coming or returning hero
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yeong-rae
  • Description: It’s a brave name for a baby boy.

 

Yong-saeng

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Live forever
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yong-seng, Young-seng, and Young-saeng
  • Description: It can also be a name for girls.

 

Yoo

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Friend, qualified, courageous, help, and tenderness
  • Variations/Synonyms: Ryu, Yu, and Yuu
  • Description: It’s a unisex name.

 

Yoon

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Governor
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yeon, Yiun, Yune, and Youn
  • Description: It can also mean “handsome.”

 

Young-jae 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Prosperity and respect
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yeongjae
  • Description: It can also mean “eternity.”

 

Yu-jun 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Friend, courage, and handsome
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yeo-jun and Yoo-jun
  • Description: It’s a primary masculine given name.

 

Yul 

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Past the horizon
  • Variations/Synonyms: Yool
  • Description: It can be a nice pick for an adventurous kid.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.statista.com/statistics/249396/top-youtube-videos-views/

 

 

 

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