In this Article
- 100 Popular Surnames or Family Names
- 10 Most Common Chinese Last Names
As per tradition, Chinese family names precede a person’s given name. Chinese last names are usually passed on from father to child, but it is also possible that they have not originated the same way. In certain cases, last names include women’s names or characters of a woman. Thus, it is also believed that earlier, the mothers’ names were passed down. The names mentioned below are some of the popular Chinese last names, which are indeed among the most beautiful.
100 Popular Surnames or Family Names
Find out a long list of unusual andfamous Chinese last namesalong with the following meanings:
Au is a shortest topographic surname, which means ‘water meadow’ or ‘Stream’.
Bai is a common Mongolian surname which means ‘White’.
Cai is one of the common Chinese last names termed as ‘firewood’. During ancient times, there was a Chinese state named Cai.
Cao is an ancient last name which means ‘to grasp something’.
Cui is a popular surname in China, and it means ‘towering’.
Cheng means ‘law’. Some of Cheng’s other meanings include ‘journey’, ‘honesty’, and ‘procedure’.
Chen means ‘to exhibit’, ‘ancient’ or ‘old’. This is a widely used surname in Xiamen city, which is situated in the South-eastern coast of China.
This last name is generally used in the Shanxi Province. It is also a surname from Chia. The name denotes a kind of cape.
Dong is a unique surname, which means ‘Supervisor’ or ‘Mentor’.
Ding means ‘a powerful and strong man’. This a popular surname used by the Chinese people across the globe.
This surname is derived from a word that means ‘to avoid’ or ‘prevent’.
Dai is a toponymic word, which means ‘to support’.
Deng is an East Asian surname of toponymic origin. It is derived from the Deng Kingdom.
Eng name is derived from the history of the ancient state of Wu, which is now the province of Jiangsu. It refers to someone who dwells near a meadow.
Fang is a famous surname which means ‘something that is square or four-sided’.
Feng is a commonly used Chinese surname that originated from a town called Feng, which, during the Zhou Dynasty (around 10th century BC), was located in the state of Wei.
A simple surname originated from the word ‘fairy’.
It is an ancient Chinese surname deprived of imperial origin. It means ‘a guide or teacher’.
Fan is a short and simple surname that means ‘a bee’ or ‘an example’.
Gao is an East-Asian Chinese surname which means ‘someone or something tall and high’.
Gu is derived from a Chinese word which means ‘to care for’.
A surname which means ‘wall surrounding the city’. The name has a toponymic origin, and it came from a kingdom that existed during the ancient Xia dynasty.
Guan is a popular Chinese surname derived from a state that existed during Zhou dynasty (1122 BC). It means ‘mountain pass or guarded path’.
The meaning of Gong is ‘to give’. It is derived from an East-Asian Chinese word.
The surname has a toponymic origin, and it refers to the ancient Kingdom of Han, which is located in the Henan and Shanxi provinces in China.
He is a word that originated from the Jiang clan of Yandi and the Ji clan of the Zhou Dynasty. This surname means ‘an astrologer’.
Hong is a modern surname, which means ‘rainbow’.
Hou is a special word derived from the word ‘marquis’.
The surname Hu means ‘whiskers’ or ‘wild’, and was adopted during the Xia dynasty.
Huang is a rare surname used by the Chinese people; it means ‘Yellow’.
Ing is a famous surname derived from the Wu dynasty.
Ip is one of the unique surnames which is derived from the word that means ‘leaf’.
Jen is a distinctive surname derived from Huang Dynasty, and it refers to ‘water lily’.
Jiang surname is derived from the word that means ‘wild rice’.
Jia, a surname of toponymic origin, is derived from Jia, an ancient Chinese kingdom that is actually situated in the Shanxi province of China.
Jin is a precious surname which means ‘Gold’.
Jew is an ethnic surname derived from the Chou dynasty.
A modern surname which means ‘well-being’ or ‘a healthy person’.
Ke means ‘an Axe handle’.
King is a surname derived from Romanian origin, and the word means ‘the ruler’.
The Kong word is originated from the famous Chinese politician and Philosopher family name of ‘Confucius’.
The surname Lee is the most prominent names in China. It means ‘a cause or a logic’. The surname even refers to “a plum tree.”
Li is a variant of Lee. Apart from the meanings that apply to Lee, this name also refers to ‘multitude’.
Lai is a famous surname which means ‘trusting someone or relying on something’.
The meaning of the word Lei is ‘thunder’.
Liang is an East Asian surname originated from a toponymic origin. The surname Liang means ‘bridge or pillar’.
This name was taken from Han Dynasty rulers; it means ‘to kill’ or ‘to destroy’.
Lin word was originated from the late Shang dynasty. It has been a common surname which means ‘tall trees or a forest’.
Long was the name of a treasurer who lived in King Shun’s reign. The surname Long refers to ‘a dragon’.
Luo is a surname which is derived from a word that means ‘bird-trapping net’.
Lu is one of the basic surnames among the Chinese population; it means ‘a hut’ or ‘a cottage’.
The other Chinese word for ‘a horse’ is Ma.
This name has a toponymic origin; it is derived from an ancient Chinese region that developed under the Zhou Dynasty, and is currently located in the province of Henan. Mao refers to ‘feathers’ or ‘fur’.
Meng represents the position of a senior member in a family. It means ‘someone who is eminent’ or ‘the first’.
Mo surname is derived from a word meaning ‘do not’.
The Ngo surname refers to a word which means ‘unexplained’.
57. Ou Yang
Ou-Yang is a remarkable example of a two-character Chinese surname, a word meaning ‘the bright (south) side of the Ou Mountains’.
Pan surname is derived from a river that flows into the River Han.
Pengsurnames refertopersonswhowerethedescendantsofPengZu during the Shang dynasty.
This family name was derived from the first dynasty of imperial China ‘Qin’.
Qiu surnames refer to the word which means ‘hills’.
The last name originated in the area near present-dayLinfen county in the Shanxiprovinces.
Ruan originated from a traditional Chinese musical instrument.
A famous Chinese surname which means ‘to sink’.
Shao surname is originated from the Zhou dynasty which means ‘Pottery’.
The family name Shi comes from a word that means ‘to establish’ or ‘to reproduce’.
Shing is a modern Chinese surname which means ‘prosperous’.
Song was the dynasty that ruled in China in ancient times. From then on, the surname has become a popular family name.
Su is an ancient surname that originated during the King Fu Xi’s dynasty.
Sun is a famous family name which refers to ‘a grandchild’ or ‘a descendant’.
Tan means ‘to talk’, and this family name originated from a traditional Chinese state named Tan.
Tang surname was derived from Tang dynasty, and has a toponymic origin.
This is a respected surname that refers to a word which means ‘to be pleased’.
Tian means ‘talking’, and it is derived from Tan, an ancient town located in the Shandong province of China.
Wan is an interesting surname which means ‘ten thousand’.
Wang means ‘a King’ or ‘a Prince’; it has become the most popular last name for Chinese.
Wei means ‘soft leather’.
Wen is a family name which refers to ‘words’ or ‘scripts’.
Wu is a toponymic originated word derived during the Western Zhou dynasty.
Xia surname is derived from Xia dynasty, and it refers to ‘summer’.
Xiao is derived from the Xiao Kingdom, and it means ‘quiet’.
Xie means ‘to apologise or thank someone’.
Xin originates from the Xiang dynasty.
Xiong means ‘Bear’. It is a common surname in China.
Xu means ‘slow’ or ‘calm’, and it originated during the Qing dynasty.
Xue is a well-known surname; it means “Wormwood,” which is a therapeutic herb used to alleviate digestion problems.
Yan surname means ‘strict’ or ‘tight’.
Yang is a popular surname in Mainland China, and it means ‘Willow’ or ‘Aspen’.
Yao surname means that ‘the person is elegant’.
A Chinese surname which refers to ‘rainfall’.
Yuan surname originated from a family in Chen, and it means ‘a long dress or a robe’.
Zeng surname was originated from Zeng, a state in China. It refers to ‘the relation between a great grandfather and his great grandson’.
Zhang surname refers to the ‘stretching of the bowstring’.
Zhao means ‘an ancient city’ and Zhao surnames are quite popular in the Mandarin-speaking regions of China.
This surname has a toponymic origin, and refers to the Zheng state, which is presently known as Henan Province.
Zhong comes from Zhongli state situated in the river Huai, and the word refers to ‘bell’.
This last name has a toponymic origin, and it means ‘a week’ or ‘circumference’.
The name comes from the Zhou dynasty. It also refers to ‘crimson’.
Zhuang is an occupational surname which refers as a ‘place of business’, ‘a banker’ or ‘a farmstead’.
A popular surname derived from the Zhou dynasty.
10 Most Common Chinese Last Names
Here are some unique last names which are fairly popular in China. Rare Chinese surnames are also mentioned, which can be used as last names in China. Below is a list of the 10 most popular Chinese last names.
Bau is a last name commonly found in the Chinese community. It means ‘to wrap’ or ‘to hold’
Cun, as a Chinese surname, can have several meanings, but the aptest one is ‘to exist’ or ‘to preserve’.
Fabu, as a Chinese last name, translates to ‘to release’ and ‘to distribute’.
Gongsun, as a Chinese last name, is quite unique. It is a compound of two Chinese characters; “gong”, which means ‘duke’ or ‘public’ and “sun”, which means ‘grandson’ or ‘descendants’.
Guanchang is a beautiful Chinese last name which translates to ‘official prosperity’. It is relatively more unique. I
6. Huang Cantonese
Huang Cantonese is a common Chinese surname, commonly used in Cantonese-speaking regions, as the name might suggest. In Chinese, ‘Huang’ depicts a yellow hue, which is often used as a surname to indicate a family with a yellow or golden ancestor, such as a ruler or leader. It is one of the oldest Chinese surnames.
Jiandan is also a fairly popular but unique Chinese surname. ‘Jian’ means simple or uncomplicated, and ‘dan’ means single or only.
Qiche is a commonly used last name in China and translates to a car or automobile in Chinese. An incredibly affectionate nickname, ‘Qiche’ is now an increasingly popular surname.
You, as a fairly popular Chinese last name, means ‘to swim’ or ‘to travel’. It houses elements of water and movement and is relatively unique as a Chinese surname.
Zan, in the Chinese language, means ‘to praise’ or ‘to approve’. It symbolises a person who is good at praising or expressing approval, thus creating a great last name in Chinese.
Last names are used in general to recognise family members distinctly from the given name of each member. Many Chinese surnames are common and famous Chinese surnames that have a toponymic origin, while others may derive from house names, family names, or even professions.
What are the 100 surnames in China? ›
- 李 Lǐ
- 王 Wáng.
- 张 Zhāng.
- 刘 Liú
- 陈 Chén.
- 杨 Yáng.
- 赵 Zhào.
- 黄 Huáng.
There are more than 7,000 Chinese surnames still in use. According to ancient documents, the earliest surname in China was "Feng", and the earliest surnames were "Fuxi", "Shennong", "Nuwa's" and so on. The most commonly used ones in China are "Li", "Wang", "Zhang", "Liu", "Chen", "Yang" and so on.What is the rarest Chinese name? ›
1. Gui. Gui is the rarest Chinese surname on this list. It is an ancient surname ranked as the 3159th common surname used in present-day China.What is a typical Chinese last name? ›
A report in 2019 gives the most common Chinese surnames as Wang and Li, each shared by over 100 million people in China. The remaining top ten most common Chinese surnames are Zhang, Liu, Chen, Yang, Huang, Zhao, Wu and Zhou.Why do Chinese have 3 names? ›
Until the mid-1900s in China, a person usually had three names besides his or her surname: ming, zi and hao. Ming is the name given by parents; Zi is the name granted to a person at the beginning of adulthood – men usually at the age of 20 and women at 15.How do Chinese full names work? ›
Chinese naming conventions arrange names as follows: [FAMILY NAME] [given name]. For example, ZHANG Chen (male) and WANG Xiu (female). The family name (or 'surname') is inherited from one's parents and shared with other members of the individual's immediate family .How long is a Chinese name? ›
While the vast majority of Han Chinese names consist of two or three characters, there are some Han Chinese with longer names, up to 15 characters. In addition, transliteration of ethnic languages into Chinese characters often results in long names.Do all Chinese names have 3 characters? ›
In Chinese, names consist usually of two, three, or occasionally four monosyllabic characters. Surnames, or xìng (姓), generally come first and in most cases consist of one character.What are the top 10 Chinese surnames? ›
- Wang (王) Wang is the most common surname in mainland China, which represents 92.8 million people, and is a royal surname meaning 'King'.
- Li (李) ...
- Zhang (张) ...
- Liu (刘) ...
- Chen (陈) ...
- Yang (杨) ...
- Huang (黄) ...
- Zhao (赵)
Gender-Neutral Chinese Baby Names
Huan: This gender-neutral Chinese baby name means “happiness.” Lian: Traditionally a feminine name, this Chinese name can be used for modern boys or girls. Lian means “graceful willow.” Tai: It's a “great extreme” and can be used as a gender-neutral Chinese baby name.
Do Chinese have American names? ›
Many people have a Chinese name and an English name. This is a common custom in China but not as common in other Asian countries like Japan and Korea. Historically, there are many reasons why people in China also have an English name.What are the top 5 Chinese last names? ›
The top five surnames in China – Wang, Li, Zhang, Liu, Chen – are also the top five surnames in the world, each with over 70-100 million worldwide.How many names do Chinese have? ›
Unlike English names, Chinese people write their family name (normally a single letter) first and then their given name (one or two letters). There are over 700 Chinese surnames, but only about 100 are commonly used.What's your Chinese name? ›
你叫什么名字？ Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì? "What is your name" (literally: "You called what name?")Is the number 3 lucky in China? ›
The numbers 3, 6, and 8 are generally considered to be lucky, while 4 is considered unlucky. These traditions are not unique to Chinese culture, with other countries with a history of Han characters also having similar beliefs stemming from these concepts.Do Chinese has middle name? ›
In Chinese, the family name comes first, followed by the given name. There is no equivalent of a middle name in Chinese. About one in seven people in China have a name that is only two syllables, and very few people have names that are four syllables or more.What is the best Chinese name for a girl? ›
- Ài (爱). It's a name that means “love” and “affection” and is fit for a little princess. ...
- Ǎi (蔼). This name is similar to the name Ài. ...
- Chun (春). Another common Chinese girl name you could select is Chun. ...
- Fang (芳). ...
- Fēn (芬). ...
- Hua (花). ...
- Jing (静). ...
- Li (丽).
The first name is only used or called by oneself to show one's self-modesty while the style name is only used or called by others to show others' respect to the person they address. Many people also have a pseudonym (Hao). It's also for others to address, just like the style name, but with more respect.Do Chinese first names come first? ›
Chinese surnames usually come first, followed by the given name. In our earlier example, Chan Tai Man, Chan is the surname while Tai Man is the given name.Is Long a first name in China? ›
Long (surname 龍)
|Stroke order of the Chinese surname Long (龍)|
|Romanization||Mandarin: Long, Lung Cantonese: Lung|
What is full name in Chinese? ›
全称 : full name... : quán chēng | Definition | Mandarin Chinese Pinyin English Dictionary | Yabla Chinese.How to make your Chinese name? ›
- Start with Your Last Name. ...
- Choose the Length of Your Name. ...
- Get Creative and Abstract. ...
- Put the Last Name and First Name Together. ...
- Always Use a Chinese Dictionary. ...
- Come up with a Few Name Ideas and Test them All Out. ...
- 6.5 Additional Step.
Names of China.
|Literal meaning||Middle or Central State|
His ID xiaohu (小虎) means "Little Tiger".Is Kai a Chinese name? ›
In fact, "Kai" is the transliteration of several different Chinese surnames. Its meaning varies depending on how it is spelled in Chinese, and which dialect it is pronounced in.How many Chinese characters do you need to know? ›
Everyday Chinese Characters
It is safe to say that you need to know between 3,000-4,000 characters for functional literacy; 2,500 for almost 97% of everyday writing, and 3,500 for over 99%.
The most popular last name in the world is Wang, meaning "king." About 92.8 million people in mainland China have the royal last name of Wang.What are some male Chinese names? ›
check out this list:
- Mùchén (沐宸). ...
- Hàoyú (浩宇). ...
- Mùchén (沐辰). ...
- Míngzé (茗泽). ...
- Yìchén (奕辰). ...
- Yúzé (宇泽). ...
- Hàorán (浩然). ...
- Yìzé (奕泽).
Zhāng Wěi 张伟, Wáng Wěi 王伟, and Lǐ Nà 李娜 are the three most common full names.Who is the No 1 beautiful girl in China? ›
The Four Beauties — Dao Chan, Yang Guifei, Wang Zhou Jun, and Xi Shi — are the legendary Chinese women known for their extraordinary beauty.
What is a lucky Chinese name for a girl? ›
Jiayi. Jiayi is a Chinese girl name meaning “lucky one.” In Chinese culture, good luck is essential.What Chinese name means Rose? ›
Qiang is a Chinese baby name meaning 'strong' or rose'.Can I choose my own Chinese name? ›
To choose a Chinese name for yourself, first start with your surname. You will most likely want to choose from one of the 100 most common Chinese surnames, which actually make up 87% of the population. Usually you would want to choose a surname that sounds similar to your own last name.Is Xi a common Chinese name? ›
習, 习 (Xí; see Chinese Wikipedia article) This is the most common surname romanized "Xi", making up approximately 0.01% of the population of Mainland China.What is a boy called in Chinese? ›
noun [count] 1. ( male child) 男孩 [nánhái] (个, gè) 2. ( young man) 男青年 [nán qīngnián] (个, gè)What are Chinese born in America called? ›
American-born Chinese (simplified Chinese: 美国出生华裔; traditional Chinese: 美國出生華裔; pinyin: Měiguó chūshēng Huáyì) (sometimes abbreviated as ABC) is a term widely used to refer to Chinese people that were born in the United States and received U.S. citizenship due to birthright citizenship in the United States.What English names are popular in China? ›
For males, "Andrew," "Eric," "Peter" and "Albert" are much more common among Chinese than among Americans. For females, it's "Amy," "Grace," "May" and, yes, "Vivian." By comparing the frequencies, you can see that these names are all over five times more popular among Chinese Americans!What is a good genderless name? ›
Zhāng Wěi 张伟, Wáng Wěi 王伟, and Lǐ Nà 李娜 are the three most common full names. (There were 294,282 registered people named Zhang Wei).What Chinese last names mean king? ›
Wáng (王) Wáng is the most common surname in mainland China and is a royal surname meaning “King.” This surname has origins from multiple royal families from the Qin dynasty to the Tang dynasty. Those with the surname Wang are likely descendants of royalty.
Do Chinese have two last names? ›
Although two-syllable surnames exist, they are not common. The most common xìng in China, shared by nearly 93 million people, is Wang (王) which means 'King'. The next most common xìng, are Li (李), Zhang (张), Liu (刘), Chen (陈), Yang (杨), Huang (黄), Zhao (赵), Wu (吴) and Zhou (周).What's your age in Chinese? ›
We can use “你多大？” to ask age when they are not a child, or when they are not a senior citizen. We can use “你几岁？” to ask age when someone is a child or sometimes a teenager.How are you Mandarin Chinese? ›
Asking 你好吗? (Nǐ hǎo ma?) is the most common way that people usually say “how are you” in Mandarin when they first begin to learn Chinese.How to find your Chinese zodiac? ›
Divide your year of birth by 12 and read about the remainder. If the number of the year can be divided with no remainder, take the remainder as zero. Each remainder corresponds to an animal sign.What is the royal surname in China? ›
Wáng (王) Wáng is the most common surname in mainland China and is a royal surname meaning “King.” This surname has origins from multiple royal families from the Qin dynasty to the Tang dynasty. Those with the surname Wang are likely descendants of royalty.What are upper class Chinese surnames? ›
The top five surnames in China – Wang, Li, Zhang, Liu, Chen – are also the top five surnames in the world, each with over 70-100 million worldwide.What is the most surname in USA? ›
A study published by ancestry.com found that Smith was by far the most common surname in the United States, followed by Johnson, Miller, Jones, Williams, and Anderson. However there is huge variation in the most frequent last names in different states.What is the most powerful surname? ›
1. Abbott. The name Abbott is derived from the Old French word abet, which means “priest.” It also has origins in Greek and Latin, where it means “power.”Do Chinese have middle names? ›
In Chinese, the family name comes first, followed by the given name. There is no equivalent of a middle name in Chinese. About one in seven people in China have a name that is only two syllables, and very few people have names that are four syllables or more.What is a double Chinese last name? ›
Double-barrelled surname (雙姓) occurs sometimes when both families of a marriage wish to pass down their surnames, or when a child wishes to commemorate both the biological and foster parents. This is often distinguished from compound surnames (複姓), which cannot be split into two single-character surnames.
What is the most common Chinese first name? ›
宝贝 – Bǎo bèi
In terms of tone and cultural context, 宝贝 is a bit more cutesy than 亲爱的 qīn'ài de. So if you are looking for an English equivalent, “baby” or “sweetie” might be as close as you can get.