This question had to have come from an American. In America, our families are from all over the planet originally. Americans never think about the fact that we are a melting pot. Often, in just one person, you can find in their background numerous countries represented. My dad was German, Cherokee, and Irish. My Mom was Cherokee and English, and maybe another Indian tribe and even a black ancestor way back according to genetic testing my cousins did. In fact, she though she was Indian and not black, but the tests my cousins took said we are Scandinavian and black. It all gets very confusing in America. Everyone wants to know where their family was originally from, and where our last names came from.
As for me, my maiden name was Parks, and I was always under the impression it was German, but I have been told Parks is not a German name by experts on Germany. I have had other people tell me that it is an American Indian name, but my cousins want to negate the American Indian. However, my dad did find a Parks on the Indian role. My married name is Everson. When my oldest son was researching his name in college, he learned that it was a translation of a Scottish name: McIver. However, his grandmother couldn’t speak to her grandmother who only spoke german. Americans are a disaster when it comes to knowing where we came from because we are a melting pot. Our names are all different. We have names from all over the world in America, and they are American, and have been for several generations to the point that many don’t know when their families first came to America. This is not how Korea is at all.
Korea is a very homogeneous society. They are all Korean, no other nationality in their backgrounds unless it be a bit of Japanese or Chinese. They all feel secure in knowing their families are Korean and have always been Korean unless they know about a Chinese or a Japanese in the family, but they are also Orientals.
There are some basic family names that are Korean and no more. Those names have always been Korean. When the wife gets married, she keeps her father’s name and doesn’t take her husbands name. The families are traced through their last names. The children take the family name of their fathers. They are usually only one syllable, names like: Kim, Jo, Lee, Kang, Choi, Pak (often spelled Park), Om or Um, Jang, etc. There are not that many family names, and some of these are the most common.
After the family name, the parents give the children two more syllables, and the syllables are considered their first and middle names. If you learn their given names, often you can learn a Korean word: “Sarang” is a girl’s name, and it means “Love.” “Somang” is also a girl’s name. It means “Hope.” “Yongguan” is a boy’s name that means “Grace.” “Anshik” is a boy’s name that means “Sabbath.” “Hamin” is a boy’s name meaning “God’s person.” “Hanul” is a girl’s name meaning “Sky.”
There must be three syllables in their names. First, they are given their father’s family name, and then two more syllables. They may be all one word, or they may be separate words, but they receive two syllables from their parents. It is just the way Korean names work.
If you go to Japan, there are similarities between their names too that we don’t see in English. In English, most of us have no idea what our names mean. In Japanese, all their names have Japanese meanings. If you hear the syllable “ko” on the end of someone’s name, the are usually a girl, and it means “child.” You find it in names like “Mariko,” “Keiko,” “Rutsuko,” “Aiko,” “Akiko,” etc. Often, boy’s names are a rendition of the girls names without the “ko.” Their names must have meanings or they can’t have a kanji for their names, and all Japanese have a kanji. It is part of the homogeneous feeling of being Japanese.
If you go to a place like England, they are not as homogeneous as many would like to think. The original people come from Picts, Saxons, Gaelic, and Roman. All of those tribes named their people differently. When my son discovered that the name Everson came from McIver, it means there were Gaelic people in his background who lived in Scotland. “Mc” means “son of,” so the original guy with that name was the son of “Iver.”
If you go to a place like Romania, they are more homogeneous because they came from Dacians and Romans. They have common family names that are similar like Popescu, Iliescu, Ceausescu, Dimitrescu, etc. You can see the similarities between these family names. They have other kinds too, but this is just one example. If you live in a country or are around a lot of people from a particular country, you will learn to recognize the regular names of homogeneous societies.
However, America and England both are neither very homogenous really. The people on the big island of Great Britain have been there a long time, but their roots were not all the same. The Koreans have been Koreans since the beginning of time. The Japanese are a mixture of Chinese and the original islanders who were in Japan, and they meshed into a homogenous group. The Romanians are a mixture of ancient Dacians, the first people in Europe, and Roman soldiers, and their society has become homogeneous. The Romans influenced many societies, and many Romanian names are very similar to Spanish names and Italian names. America is a huge melting pot, and you can find names from every country on the planet in America considered American names, so very few of our names are similar. However, as homogenous as the Koreans are, of course their names are similar. Koreans are one of the purest races on the planet, and they have been Korean since time began, so their names will be similar.