Korean names usually follow a pretty typical system of three characters with about 5 last names making up 50% of the population and nothing too crazy for the first. However, like any culture, there are parents who want to give their child a unique name, one that will make them stand out and bring them success!
These 6 male idols’ parents truly understood the assignment!
1. ATEEZ’s San (Choi San)
Korean names are typically made of 3 characters: one for the last name and two for the first name. It’s very uncommon for Koreans to be named with only one character! Even out of the “common” single-character Korean names, San is uncommon. The Korean spelling of his name means “high mountain,” but the hanja spelling of his name means “high umbrella.”
2. ONEUS’s Hwanwoong (Yeo Hwan Woong)
Hwanwoong was actually named after a Korean myth that was sometimes romanized as Hwanung. Hwanung was a central figure in the myth of the creation of the first kingdom of Korea, Gojoseon. He was said to have created laws and moral codes and taught humanity various arts, medicine, and agriculture. As such, it is an old and uncommon name but has plenty of amazing meanings.
3. Former AA’s Kimchi (Yoo Ye Hyang Gi)
Similar to San, Kimchi’s real name is odd for the opposite reason; it’s 4 characters long! First names with three characters are arguably even more uncommon than one character. In fact, it’s challenging to find anyone else with the name online (if there are any).
4. NCT’s Jeno (Lee Je No)
While Jeno sounds like a perfectly Korean name to foreigners, Koreans actually think it sounds like a foreign name! Koreans think his name sounds Western and thought it was a stage name as many idols use them to make their real names easier for foreigners to pronounce. However! His name actually comes from the Chinese characters meaning “strong king.”
5. THE BOYZ’ Juhaknyeon (Ju Hak Nyeon)
Juhaknyeon is an odd case as his name is supposed to be broken down as Ju meaning “around,” Hak meaning “crane,” and Nyeon meaning “year.” However, Koreans have pointed out that his name is a bit strange as Ju is the word for “week” and haknyeon is the word for “school year.” Again, it isn’t easy to find anyone else with this name.
6. Kang Daniel (Kang Eui Geon)
Although he has now legally changed his name to Kang Daniel, the name he was born with was Kang Eui Geon! Although he is fully Korean, he decided to change it because his friends and family actually had a difficult time saying it! Even his own father couldn’t say it properly (this could be due to their Busan accents). While it’s not the strangest name, it’s one that even Koreans have difficulty with!