website free tracking Are Korean names gendered? - Namhan South Korea

Are Korean names gendered?


Korean names are unique, with a surname followed by a given name. However, unlike many Western names, Korean names do not have a middle name. One of the questions that arise when it comes to Korean names is whether they are gendered or not. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail.

What are Gendered Names?

Before delving into whether Korean names are gendered, it is essential to understand what gendered names mean. Gendered names are those that indicate the gender of the person bearing the name. In many cultures, names are given based on the gender of the baby.

Korean Naming System

The Korean naming system follows a unique pattern where the surname comes first, followed by a given name. The given name is usually one or two characters long and chosen based on various factors like meaning, sound, etc.

No Gender Indicators

Unlike many other cultures where names indicate gender, Korean names do not have any gender indicators. This means that a person’s name does not indicate their gender.

Unisex Names

While Korean names do not have gender indicators, some names are more commonly associated with one gender than the other. However, these names are still considered unisex and can be used for both boys and girls.

Changing Names after Marriage

In Korea, it is common for women to change their surnames after marriage to their husband’s surname. However, their given name remains the same. This practice is changing in modern times with more women choosing to keep their surnames.

Foreign Names in Korea

With globalization, it is becoming more common for Koreans to have foreign names. These foreign names may have gender indicators based on the culture they come from.

Gender in Korean Society

While Korean names do not have gender indicators, gender plays a significant role in Korean society. There are strict gender roles and expectations for men and women, which can affect their daily lives.

Korean Pronouns

In the Korean language, there are different pronouns used based on the speaker’s gender. For example, men would use ‘Naneun’ to refer to themselves, while women would use ‘Naneunhae.’

Naming Conventions in Other Cultures

It is interesting to note that naming conventions vary widely across cultures. While some cultures have gendered names, others don’t. Understanding these differences can help us appreciate and respect other cultures better.


In conclusion, Korean names do not have gender indicators. While some names may be more commonly associated with one gender than the other, they are still considered unisex. Gender plays a significant role in Korean society, but it is not reflected in their naming conventions.


– Kim, H.-S. (2012). Naming practices in Korea. Names: A Journal of Onomastics, 60(4), 211–221.
– Lee, J., & Lee, S. (2016). Korean Culture: Its Development and Characteristics. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(1-2), 54–64.
– Park, J., & Cho, S. (2017). The Naming Patterns of Dual Identity Korean Americans: A Case Study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 36(3), 338–354.

About the Author

[Insert author bio here]

How do you know if a Korean name is masculine or feminine?

In this culture, female names often contain the words “mi” or “ah,” which both convey the idea of beauty. Meanwhile, male names lean towards “dong” or “gyeom,” which suggest strength. Typically, girl names sound more delicate and feminine, while boy names sound more robust. Shin Seung Hoon, a popular ballad singer, has a strong and “masculine” name.

Is Tae a male or female name?

Tae, sometimes spelled Tai or Thae, is an uncommon Korean surname, a one-syllable male given name in Korean, and a component found in many two-syllable Korean given names.

What makes a Korean name masculine?

Korean names typically contain Hanja characters, and the government has approved approximately 2800 of these characters for legal use in names. Hanja characters used in male names often represent traits such as strength and power, while those in female names are typically associated with qualities such as beauty and kindness.

Are Korean names genderless?

In Korean culture, many baby names are gender-neutral but can be adjusted with various characters or terms to create either a masculine or feminine version. An example of this is the name Min, which can be used for both genders. However, it becomes the male name Min-ho or female names Min-ji or Min-seo with different modifications.

Do Korean girls change their name after marriage?

In Korea, it is customary for women to keep their surnames after getting married because it is seen as an inheritance from their parents and ancestors that should not be altered.

Is Jin a female name in Korean?

Jin is a popular name for boys in Korean culture and it means “jewel” or “truth”.

In addition to the lack of gender indicators in Korean names, it is also interesting to note that Korean parents often choose names for their children based on their meanings. For example, the name “Ji-min” can mean “wisdom and quickness”, while the name “Soo-min” can mean “gentle and clever”. The meaning behind a name is considered important in Korean culture, and parents will often spend a lot of time researching and choosing the perfect name for their child.

It is also worth noting that while Korean names do not have middle names, some Koreans do adopt a Western-style middle name when living or working in English-speaking countries. This is done to make it easier for non-Koreans to address them in a way that they are familiar with.

Another interesting aspect of Korean naming conventions is the use of honorifics when addressing someone. In Korea, it is common to use different honorifics when speaking to someone who is older or higher in social status than you. This includes using different titles and endings to their names. For example, someone may address an older person as “Ahjumma” or “Ahjussi” instead of using their given name.

Overall, while Korean names may not have gender indicators, they do hold significant meaning and importance in Korean culture. From choosing a name based on its meaning to using honorifics when addressing someone, names play a crucial role in how Koreans interact with each other.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top