The Korean peninsula is divided into North and South Korea, the latter of which has given us K-pop, kimchi, Korean barbecue, and award-winning movies. This beautiful, mountainous country is also known for its elegant and traditional hanbok clothing and delicious bibimbap.
The most popular cat breed in Korea is the Korean Shorthair, or Koshot, with 45.2% of Koreans stating that they own this cat.1 So, with the popularity of cats increasing in Korea and Korean culture growing around the world, giving your cat a Korean name is a unique and beautiful way to honor a unique and beautiful culture.
We compiled an extensive list of everything Korean that you can consider using as a name for your new cat or kitten. Whether you want to honor your own culture or because you find Korean culture inspiring, we hope that you’ll find something here that will suit your kitty.
How to Name Your Cat
Before we get into the names, here are a few tips on how you can come up with a name for your cat. Start with your cat’s appearance —the color and pattern of their coat can lead to a fun name, particularly when translated into Korean.
There’s also your cat’s size and shape. If your cat is lanky, you can look at names that encompass this physical feature.
Consider your favorite musicians, authors, actors, or characters from books, TV shows, or movies. Do you have a favorite K-pop singer? Is there someone else you admire?
Finally, you can use your kitty’s unique quirks and personality as inspiration. This can lead to other categories, like food or video games, that fit your cat’s temperament.
Korean Female Cat Names
Here are names for your female kitty. You can use the meanings of the names as inspiration or just base it on how much you like the name itself.
Korean Male Cat Names
Just like with the female names, you can use the meaning of a name or pick something just because the name is appealing.
Korean Cat Names Based on Colors
These names all translate to color in some way, although some of these names aren’t specific to a color but are items that we associate with a particular color. Either way, you might find a great name for your white or black or ginger cat here or your cat with green or blue eyes.
Names Based on Food and Drinks
Naming your cat after food or a drink is a fun way to celebrate your cat’s character in addition to Korean culture.
Names Based on Food
Names Based on Drinks
Names Based on Famous Korean Men
These are names of popular Korean actors who have starred in movies and K-dramas.
Names Based on Famous Korean Women
Following on the famous males list, we have the famous females.
Use Your Imagination!
Now that you’ve looked at many different Korean names of people and items, you might have a better idea of what you prefer.
You can truly just name your cat anything, but remember that you’ll need to introduce your cat to friends and family and the vet clinic! In the long run, cats don’t care what their names are; they just want to be well taken care of and given the appropriate amount of grooming, food, love, and attention.
Another fun addition to your cat’s name can be adding a title – like Princess Ari or Duke Cho. Have a look at the following honorifics that could be added to your cat’s already unique Korean name:
Of course, you can use these titles in a tongue-in-cheek manner and only when at home instead of a part of your cat’s official name. But perhaps all our cats deserve a title!
A Word on Korean Names
Before you commit to a Korean name for your cat, you should have a good understanding of how Korean names work.
Most Korean names have three syllables. The first part of the name is the family name and the second and third names are the given name.
For example, with the name Kim Soo Hyun, Kim is the family name or last/surname, and Soo Hyun is the given or first/personal name. There’s no such thing as a middle name in Korea, so Soo Hyun is essentially one name.
The first or given name can be written separately, hyphenated, or as one word. So, it can be Soo Hyun, Soo-Hyun, or Soohyun.
When thinking up a name for your cat, remember to consider your cat’s coloring and personality. You can also look at nature or your favorite Korean dish, like kimchi! You’re surrounded by everyday items that could become potential names — trees, lakes, flowers, astronomy, etc.
If the right name isn’t here, we hope that perhaps you’ve been inspired and will find your cat’s name on your own. You can use online sources or even better, a friend who speaks Korean to help translate different words from your language into Korean.
Hopefully, you’ll discover the perfect name for your cat with a bit of digging and research and plenty of inspiration and love.
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Featured Image credit: Popel Arseniy, Shutterstock