In Google Translate it appears that sometimes both 족보 and 계보 translate to Geneology. I fooled around with it a bit and got Google to give me pedigree for 족보 and lineage for 계보.

In Daum the number 1 and number 2 meanings for both are identical.

1.a genealogy

2.a pedigree

However the number 3 definition has variance:


3.a genealogical tree



And then 계보 goes on coming in again with the very simliar

4.a genealogical record

5.a family tree

And this (one of a dozen) examples:

He is a man of good birth./He comes of good stock.

그는 계보가 좋은 사람이다 (→계보)

There are no examples for 족보. Please give some examples and any explanation surrounding intended usage; for instance, some words are primarily written and others spoken. Is that at play here?

  • 1
    계보 has a primary sense, in which it is synonymous with 족보 (meaning the record of generations, like those for Jesus found in Matthew and Luke), and a secondary or figurative sense, in which it can be any line of succession, influence etc. among artists and thinkers or works of art, movies, technology, etc. In Naver: krdic.naver.com/detail.nhn?docid=34443100, krdic.naver.com/detail.nhn?docid=2419700 족보 is not used in this figurative sense.
    – Catomic
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


Just like the English word "Bible" normally refers to a big book containing Christian scripture, the primary meaning of "족보" is a series of tomes containing the genealogical tree of every paternal members of a particular "family", starting with (for example) some prince of Silla or some general in Goryeo era.

E.g.: https://www.google.com/search?q=%EC%A1%B1%EB%B3%B4&tbm=isch

As Catomic commented above, 계보 has a more general meaning: it can refer to cultural lineage, a train of influential scholars, or such. Randomly quoting from the web:

메리엘은 제2차 세계대전의 영향에서 회복한 노르망디의 풍경을 사진으로 담았는데, 빛의 특성을 강조했다는 점에서 인상파 화가들의 계보를 잇는다고 할 수 있다.

한국 포크발라드 음악사의 계보를 잇는 전통파 포크 싱어송라이터

If you want a word that just means "family tree" (for people, dogs, culture, etc.), you can use 가계도 (which means "family tree diagram").

BTW, (Daum's example) "그는 계보가 좋은 사람이다." sounds really weird to me, as if someone is judging a person by his ancestors. I don't think that's a good example sentence.

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