- 김 [金] [Kim] – Gold.
- 이 [李] [Lee] – Plum tree.
- 박 [朴] [Park/Pak] – Magnolia tree.
- 최 [崔] [Choi] – Pinnacle.
- 정* [鄭] [Chung/Jung/Jeong] – “Zheng” (name of a Chinese kingdom.)
- 정* [丁] [Chung/Jung/Jeong] – Large nail (as in hammer and nail.)
- 정* [程] [Chung/Jung/Jeong] – To count
- 강 [姜] [Kang] – Ginger.
- 문*[門] [Moon]- Gate
- 문*[文][Moon] – Writing
- 조* [曺] [Cho] – Group, companion.
- 조* [趙] [Cho] – “Zhao” (name of a Chinese kingdom.)
- 윤* [尹] [Yoon] – To rule.
- 한* [韓] [Han] – Korea.
- 한* [漢] [Han] – “Han” (name of a Chinese kingdom.)
- 임* [任] [Im] – To be in charge.
- 임* [林] [Im/Lim] – Forest
- 황*[黃]- Yellow
The three most common Korean surnames are Kim with , 11,1000,1000 Lee 7,1000,000 and Park 400,000. If you look at the Chinese character you can see that the Korean spelling is identical yet has several different meaning in Chinese. This could explain why it would be so important for Koreans to know which branch or clan of Kim they belong to since it is not allowed for Koreans to marry someone they are related to it means that a man with surname Lee can’t marry a woman with the same. For fear of same clan origin although a recent law change was supposed to ease this and enable marriages between people with same surname. Marrying someone with same surname is supposedly allowed if they can prove they don’t belong to the same clan of Parks. Supposedly.