Top 100 Chinese Last Names or Surnames With Meanings (2023)

Top 100 Chinese Last Names or Surnames With Meanings (1)

As per the 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 character 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 they are indeed among the most beautiful.

100 Chinese Surnames or Family Names

Find out a long list of unusual andfamous Chinese last namesalong with the following meanings:

1. Au

Au is a shortest topographic surname, which means ‘water meadow’ or ‘Stream’.

2. Bai

Bai is a common Mongolian surname which means ‘White’.

3. Cai

Cai is one of the common Chinese last names termed as ‘firewood’. During ancient times, there was a Chinese state named Cai.

4. Cao

Cao is an ancient last name which means ‘to grasp something’.

5. Cui

Cui is a popular surname in China, and it means ‘towering’.

6. Cheng

Cheng means ‘law’. Some of Cheng’s other meanings include ‘journey’, ‘honesty’, and ‘procedure’.

7. Chen

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.

8. Chia

This last name is generally used in the Shanxi Province. It is also a surname from Chia. The name denotes a kind of cape.

9. Dong

Dong is a unique surname, which means ‘Supervisor’ or ‘Mentor’.

10. Ding

Ding means ‘a powerful and strong man’. This a popular surname used by the Chinese people across the globe.

11. Du

This surname is derived from a word that means ‘to avoid’ or ‘prevent’.

12. Dai

Dai is a toponymic word, which means ‘to support’.

13. Deng

Deng is an East Asian surname of toponymic origin. It is derived from the Deng Kingdom.

14. Eng

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.

15. Fang

Fang is a famous surname which means ‘something that is square or four-sided’.

16. Feng

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.

17. Fei

A simple surname originated from the word ‘fairy’.

18. Fu

It is an ancient Chinese surname deprived of imperial origin. It means ‘a guide or teacher’.

(Video) 100 Chinese Surnames | The 100 Most Common Chinese Last Names

19. Fan

Fan is a short and simple surname that means ‘a bee’ or ‘an example’.

20. Gao

Gao is an East-Asian Chinese surname which means ‘someone or something tall and high’.

21. Gu

Gu is derived from a Chinese word which means ‘to care for’.

22. Guo

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.

23. Guan

Guan is a popular Chinese surname derived from a state that existed during Zhou dynasty (1122 BC). It means ‘mountain pass or guarded path’.

24. Gong

The meaning of Gong is ‘to give’. It is derived from an East-Asian Chinese word.

25. Han

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.

26. He

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’.

27. Hong

Hong is a modern surname, which means ‘rainbow’.

28. Hou

Hou is a special word derived from the word ‘marquis’.

29. Hu

The surname Hu means ‘whiskers’ or ‘wild’, and was adopted during the Xia dynasty.

30. Huang

Huang is a rare surname used by the Chinese people; it means ‘Yellow’.

31. Ing

Ing is a famous surname derived from the Wu dynasty.

32. Ip

Ip is one of the unique surnames which is derived from the word that means ‘leaf’.

33. Jen

Jen is a distinctive surname derived from Huang Dynasty, and it refers to ‘water lily’.

34. Jiang

Jiang surname is derived from the word that means ‘wild rice’.

35. Jia

Jia, a surname of toponymic origin, is derived from Jia, an ancient Chinese kingdom that is actually situated in the Shanxi province of China.

36. Jin

Jin is a precious surname which means ‘Gold’.

37. Jew

Jew is an ethnic surname derived from the Chou dynasty.

38. Kang

A modern surname which means ‘well-being’ or ‘a healthy person’.

39. Ke

Ke means ‘an Axe handle’.

(Video) Top 10 Chinese Surnames + Origins/Facts

40. King

King is a surname derived from Romanian origin, and the word means ‘the ruler’.

41. Kong

The Kong word is originated from the famous Chinese politician and Philosopher family name of ‘Confucius’.

42. Lee

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.”

43. Li

Li is a variant of Lee. Apart from the meanings that apply to Lee, this name also refers to ‘multitude’.

44. Lai

Lai is a famous surname which means ‘trusting someone or relying on something’.

45. Lei

The meaning of the word Lei is ‘thunder’.

46. Liang

Liang is an East Asian surname originated from a toponymic origin. The surname Liang means ‘bridge or pillar’.

47. Liu

This name was taken from Han Dynasty rulers; it means ‘to kill’ or ‘to destroy’.

48. Lin

Lin word was originated from the late Shang dynasty. It has been a common surname which means ‘tall trees or a forest’.

49. Long

Long was the name of a treasurer who lived in King Shun’s reign. The surname Long refers to ‘a dragon’.

50. Luo

Luo is a surname which is derived from a word that means ‘bird-trapping net’.

51. Lu

Lu is one of the basic surnames among the Chinese population; it means ‘a hut’ or ‘a cottage’.

52. Ma

The other Chinese word for ‘a horse’ is Ma.

53. Mao

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’.

54. Meng

Meng represents the position of a senior member in a family. It means ‘someone who is eminent’ or ‘the first’.

55. Mo

Mo surname is derived from a word meaning ‘do not’.

56. Ngo

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’.

58. Pan

Pan surname is derived from a river that flows into the River Han.

59. Peng

Pengsurnames refertopersonswhowerethedescendantsofPengZu during the Shang dynasty.

60. Qin

This family name was derived from the first dynasty of imperial China ‘Qin’.

(Video) 100 Most Common Surnames in China

61. Qiu

Qiu surnames refer to the word which means ‘hills’.

62. Rao

The last name originated in the area near present-dayLinfen county in the Shanxiprovinces.

63. Ruan

Ruan originated from a traditional Chinese musical instrument.

64. Shen

A famous Chinese surname which means ‘to sink’.

65. Shao

Shao surname is originated from the Zhou dynasty which means ‘Pottery’.

66. Shi

The family name Shi comes from a word that means ‘to establish’ or ‘to reproduce’.

67. Shing

Shing is a modern Chinese surname which means ‘prosperous’.

68. Song

Song was the dynasty that ruled in China in ancient times. From then on, the surname has become a popular family name.

69. Su

Su is an ancient surname that originated during the King Fu Xi’s dynasty.

70. Sun

Sun is a famous family name which refers to ‘a grandchild’ or ‘a descendant’.

71. Tan

Tan means ‘to talk’, and this family name originated from a traditional Chinese state named Tan.

72. Tang

Tang surname was derived from Tang dynasty, and has a toponymic origin.

73. Tao

This is a respected surname that refers to a word which means ‘to be pleased’.

74. Tian

Tian means ‘talking’, and it is derived from Tan, an ancient town located in the Shandong province of China.

75. Wan

Wan is an interesting surname which means ‘ten thousand’.

76. Wang

Wang means ‘a King’ or ‘a Prince’; it has become the most popular last name for Chinese.

77. Wei

Wei means ‘soft leather’.

78. Wen

Wen is a family name which refers to ‘words’ or ‘scripts’.

79. Wu

Wu is a toponymic originated word derived during the Western Zhou dynasty.

80. Xia

Xia surname is derived from Xia dynasty, and it refers to ‘summer’.

81. Xiao

Xiao is derived from the Xiao Kingdom, and it means ‘quiet’.

(Video) Top Rare Chinese Surnames With Meanings And History

82. Xie

Xie means ‘to apologise or thank someone’.

83. Xin

Xin originates from the Xiang dynasty.

84. Xiong

Xiong means ‘Bear’. It is a common surname in China.

85. Xu

Xu means ‘slow’ or ‘calm’, and it originated during the Qing dynasty.

86. Xue

Xue is a well-known surname; it means “Wormwood,” which is a therapeutic herb used to alleviate digestion problems.

87. Yan

Yan surname means ‘strict’ or ‘tight’.

88. Yang

Yang is a popular surname in Mainland China, and it means ‘Willow’ or ‘Aspen’.

89. Yao

Yao surname means that ‘the person is elegant’.

90. Yu

A Chinese surname which refers to ‘rainfall’.

91. Yuan

Yuan surname originated from a family in Chen, and it means ‘a long dress or a robe’.

92. Zeng

Zeng surname was originated from Zeng, a state in China. It refers to ‘the relation between a great grandfather and his great grandson’.

93. Zhang

Zhang surname refers to the ‘stretching of the bowstring’.

94. Zhao

Zhao means ‘an ancient city’ and Zhao surnames are quite popular in the Mandarin-speaking regions of China.

95. Zheng

This surname has a toponymic origin, and refers to the Zheng state, which is presently known as Henan Province.

96. Zhong

Zhong comes from Zhongli state situated in the river Huai, and the word refers to ‘bell’.

97. Zhou

This last name has a toponymic origin, and it means ‘a week’ or ‘circumference’.

98. Zhu

The name comes from the Zhou dynasty. It also refers to ‘crimson’.

99. Zhuang

Zhuang is an occupational surname which refers as a ‘place of business’, ‘a banker’ or ‘a farmstead’.

100. Zou

A popular surname derived from the Zhou dynasty.

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.

FAQs

What are the 100 surnames in China? ›

The 100 Most Common Chinese Family Names
  • 李 Lǐ
  • 王 Wáng.
  • 张 Zhāng.
  • 刘 Liú
  • 陈 Chén.
  • 杨 Yáng.
  • 赵 Zhào.
  • 黄 Huáng.

What is the most powerful surname in China? ›

Surname list
RankCharacterCantonese
2019Trad.HK
1Wong
2Lee Li
3Cheung
60 more rows

What is the rarest surname in China? ›

What is this? The rarest Chinese last name to make to this list of 'top 100' seems to be '通过 Tōngguò' meaning 'by' if you go by the usage statistic. Going by the oldest one in use according to the ancient Chinese last names record, it would be 贶 Kuàng meaning 'bestow'.

Is Xiao a surname? ›

Xiao (/ʃaʊ/; Chinese: 蕭) is a Chinese surname. In the Wade-Giles system of romanization, it is rendered as Hsiao, which is commonly used in Taiwan.

What is the oldest Chinese surname? ›

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. 100 common surnames, accounting for about 85% of China's total population.

Is King a Chinese last name? ›

King is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, "King" 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.

Is Xin a surname? ›

Xin (Wade–Giles: Hsin) is the romanization of several Chinese surnames including Xīn 辛, Xīn 新 and Xìn 信, etc. Xīn 辛 is the most common one among these names, it is 379th surname in Hundred Family Surnames.

What is the most Chinese name? ›

Top Chinese Names
RankBoy NamesGirl Names
1沐宸 (Mùchén): 22,958若汐 (Ruòxī): 18,293
2浩宇 (Hàoyǔ): 15,722一诺 (Yīnuò): 16,884
3沐辰 (Mùchén): 15,660艺涵 (Yìhán): 15,388
4茗泽 (Míngzé): 13,175依诺 (Yīnuò): 15,208
6 more rows

Is LA a Chinese last name? ›

La is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, "La" 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.

What is the most popular surname in China? ›

The three most common surnames in Mainland China are Li, Wang and Zhang, which make up 7.9%, 7.4% and 7.1% respectively. Together they number close to 300 million and are easily the most common surnames in the world.

Do all Chinese names have meanings? ›

For example, English spelling of the Chinese first name Ming has many different associated Chinese characters, all of which have different meanings. Therefore, when the name is written in Chinese, a person called Ming can have a completely different name from another person who is also called Ming.

What does the surname Xiao mean in Chinese? ›

Xiao is a gender-neutral name of Chinese origin and has several meanings, but the most notable translations are “dawn”, “little”, and “reverent of the elderly.” Xiao's connotation with the morning will make natural early-risers fall in love with this precious moniker.

What God is Xiao? ›

Xiao is an illuminated beast who has lived for over two thousand years. In his youth, he was enslaved by an ancient god who learned his weakness and forced to perform cruel, violent acts on the god's behalf, including devouring the dreams of his victims.

What does the name Zhongli mean? ›

high interest huge profit to value money highly.

Is Liu a first or last name? ›

Liu is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, "Liu" 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.

Is law a Chinese last name? ›

Law is a surname, of English, Scottish, Cantonese, or Chinese origin. In Scotland, the surname means dweller at the low; as in a hill.

Is Xi a common last name? ›

It is 332nd in the Hundred Family Surnames poem. However it is not among the 400 most common surnames, occupying 0.01% of the Han population.

Is Chu a Chinese last name? ›

Chu is the pinyin romanization of several different Chinese family names, which including 楚 Chǔ, 儲/储 Chǔ, 褚 Chǔ, 觸/触 Chù, etc. In the Wade-Giles romanization system, Chu is also a transliteration for 朱 (Zhu in Hanyu Pinyin), also can refer to several Chinese family names.

What does Li mean Chinese? ›

Li (surname 李)
Language(s)Chinese
Origin
Language(s)Old Chinese
MeaningPlum, plum tree
Other names
4 more rows

Is song a Chinese last name? ›

Song is the pinyin transliteration of the Chinese family name 宋. It is transliterated as Sung in Wade-Giles, and Soong is also a common transliteration. In addition to being a common surname, it is also the name of a Chinese dynasty, the Song dynasty, written with the same character.

Why do Chinese have 3 names? ›

It's a long-established tradition

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.

What do Chinese people call China? ›

Chinese names for China, aside from Zhongguo, include Zhōnghuá (中華/中华, "central beauty"), Huáxià (華夏/华夏, "beautiful grandness"), Shénzhōu (神州, "divine state") and Jiǔzhōu (九州, "nine states").

How do Chinese name their babies? ›

Chinese families usually give their new baby a name made up of two syllables from the Chinese alphabet, each with individual meanings. Because there are thousands of characters in the Chinese alphabet, it's rare to find two people with the same first name. Some characters are used more often than others, though.

What kind of last name is sin? ›

Sin or Shin is a Korean family name. It is cognate to the Chinese family names Shēn (申) and Xin (辛). According to the 2000 census in South Korea, there were 911,556 people with the surname Sin.

Is Xin a boy or girl's name? ›

The name Xin is girl's name of Chinese origin meaning "beautiful, elegant".

What does the name Yin mean? ›

Meaning & History

From Chinese 银 (yín) meaning "silver, money", 音 (yīn) meaning "sound, tone" or 荫 (yīn) meaning "shade, shelter, protect", as well as other Chinese characters pronounced similarly.

What Chinese name means lucky? ›

Jiayi. Jiayi is a Chinese girl name meaning “lucky one.”

At what age Chinese get married? ›

Statistics show both genders are delaying marriage. From 1990 to 2016, the average age for first marriages rose from 22 to 25 for Chinese women, and from 24 to 27 for Chinese men, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The figures in big cities are even higher.

What is low surname in Chinese? ›

Low is a Chinese surname that can be spelled in 6 different ways in Chinese: 罗 / 羅 [Luo / Low] Meaning: gauze, to collect, to gather, to catch, to sift. Regions : United States, Singapore.

What does Lok mean in Chinese? ›

The name Lok is primarily a male name of Chinese origin that means Joy.

What is the most common last name in Taiwan? ›

Most Common Last Names In Taiwan
RankSurnameIncidence
1Chen2,573,491
2Lin1,838,099
3Huang1,347,075
4Zhang1,277,556
119 more rows

What is the oldest surname? ›

Until the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), people seemed to use matrilineal surnames, but afterward, they had switched to using patrilineal ones. The oldest surname known to have been recorded anywhere in Europe, though, was in County Galway, Ireland, in the year 916. It was the name “O Cleirigh” (O'Clery).

What last name means powerful? ›

Kratos. This surname means “powerful” and has origins in Greek.

Is King a Chinese last name? ›

King is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, "King" 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.

Are Chinese last names 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.

What is a Chinese first name? ›

Chinese given names are almost always made up of one or - usually - two characters and are written after the surname. Therefore, Wei (伟) of the Zhang (张) family is called "Zhang Wei" and not "Wei Zhang".

Is Xin a surname? ›

Xin (Wade–Giles: Hsin) is the romanization of several Chinese surnames including Xīn 辛, Xīn 新 and Xìn 信, etc. Xīn 辛 is the most common one among these names, it is 379th surname in Hundred Family Surnames.

What is the most Chinese name? ›

Top Chinese Names
RankBoy NamesGirl Names
1沐宸 (Mùchén): 22,958若汐 (Ruòxī): 18,293
2浩宇 (Hàoyǔ): 15,722一诺 (Yīnuò): 16,884
3沐辰 (Mùchén): 15,660艺涵 (Yìhán): 15,388
4茗泽 (Míngzé): 13,175依诺 (Yīnuò): 15,208
6 more rows

Why do Chinese have 3 names? ›

It's a long-established tradition

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.

Is Kim a Chinese last name? ›

Kim is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, "Kim" 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.

What is the most popular surname in China? ›

The three most common surnames in Mainland China are Li, Wang and Zhang, which make up 7.9%, 7.4% and 7.1% respectively. Together they number close to 300 million and are easily the most common surnames in the world.

Why do Chinese have 2 names? ›

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.

What if Chinese name is Marvel? ›

We successfully created the Chinese name 漫威 [màn wēi] for MARVEL, where the character 漫 is used in 漫画 [màn huà], meaning comics (also caricature, cartoon) in Chinese and 威 meaning power, strength, might and prestige.

What do Chinese people call China? ›

Chinese names for China, aside from Zhongguo, include Zhōnghuá (中華/中华, "central beauty"), Huáxià (華夏/华夏, "beautiful grandness"), Shénzhōu (神州, "divine state") and Jiǔzhōu (九州, "nine states").

What Chinese name means lucky? ›

Jiayi. Jiayi is a Chinese girl name meaning “lucky one.”

What Chinese name means strong? ›

1. 强(qiáng) – strength.

Is Moon a Chinese name? ›

Moon, also spelled Mun, is a Korean family name, a single-syllable Korean given name, and an element in some two-syllable Korean given names.

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