Woo (Korean name)

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Revised Romanization U
McCune–Reischauer U

Woo, also spelled Wu or U, is a Korean family name, a single-syllable Korean given name, and an element in some two-syllable Korean given names.

Family name[edit]

As a family name, Woo may be written with either of two hanja ( and ). Each has one bon-gwan: for the former, Danyang, Chungcheongbuk-do, and for the latter, Mokcheon-eup (목천읍), Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do, both in what is today South Korea.[1] The 2000 South Korean census found 180,141 people with these family names.[2] In a study by the National Institute of the Korean Language based on 2007 application data for South Korean passports, it was found that 97.0% of people with this surname spelled it in Latin letters as Woo in their passports, while only 1.6% spelled it as Wu. Rarer alternative spellings (the remaining 1.4%) included U and Wo.[3]

People with these family names include:

Hyo-Won Woo (also Hyowon Woo, Hangul: 우효원; hanja: 禹孝元, born 1974) is a South Korean composer

Given name[edit]

There are 41 hanja with the reading "woo" on the South Korean government's official list of hanja which may be registered for use in given names; they are listed in the table at right.[4]

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, some names containing this element were popular for newborns in South Korea, including:[5][6][7][8]

Other names containing this element include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "한국성씨일람" [List of Korean surnames]. Kyungpook National University. 2003-12-11. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  2. ^ "성씨인구분포데이터 (Surname population and distribution data)". South Korea: National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ 성씨 로마자 표기 방안: 마련을 위한 토론회 [Plan for romanisation of surnames: a preparatory discussion]. National Institute of the Korean Language. 25 June 2009. p. 60. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  4. ^ "인명용 한자표" [Table of hanja for use in personal names] (PDF). South Korea: Supreme Court. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  5. ^ "한국인이 가장 줗아하는 이름은 무엇일까?". babyname.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  6. ^ 이진희 [Yi Jin-hui] (2009-01-28). "너도 민준이니… 어! 또 서연이야". Hankook Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  7. ^ "남자 → '민준' 여자 → '서연' 가장 많아". Law Times. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  8. ^ 2011년 인기 이름 리포트 (in Korean). Johnson's Baby Center. Retrieved 2013-10-22.