Chinese Surnames

Chinese names are used in China and in Chinese communities throughout the world. Note that depending on the Chinese characters used these names can have many other meanings besides those listed here. See also about Chinese names.
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BAIChinese
From Chinese (bái) meaning "white".
CHANChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of CHEN.
CHENChinese
From Chinese (chén) meaning "exhibit, display, old, ancient" and also referring to the former state of Chen, which existed in what is now Henan province from the 11th to 5th centuries BC.
CHEUNGChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of ZHANG.
CHONGChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of ZHANG.
CHOUChinese
Variant transcription of ZHOU.
CHOWChinese
Variant transcription of ZHOU.
CHUChinese
Variant transcription of ZHU.
DUChinese
From Chinese () meaning "stop, prevent".
FANChinese
From Chinese (fàn) meaning "bee".
GUANChinese
From Chinese (guān) meaning "frontier pass".
GUOChinese
From Chinese (guō) meaning "outer city".
HANChinese, Korean
From Chinese (hán) referring to the ancient state of Han, which existed from the 5th to 3rd centuries BC in what is now Shanxi and Henan provinces.
HOUChinese
From Chinese (hóu) meaning "lord, nobleman".
HSUChinese
Variant transcription of XU.
HUChinese
From Chinese () meaning "beard, whiskers, recklessly, wildly, barbarian".
HUANGChinese
From Chinese (huáng) meaning "yellow".
JIANG (1)Chinese
From Chinese (jiāng) meaning "river, Yangtze".
JIANG (2)Chinese
From Chinese (jiāng) meaning "ginger".
JINChinese
From Chinese (jīn) meaning "gold".
KUANGChinese
From Chinese (kuàng) which refers to the clan of the same name.
KWANChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of GUAN.
KWOKChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of GUO.
LAMChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of LIN.
LAUChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of LIU.
LEE (2)Korean, Chinese
Korean form of LI (1), from Sino-Korean (i). It is also a variant Chinese romanization of LI (1).
LI (1)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "plum, plum tree". This was the surname of Chinese emperors of the Tang dynasty.
LI (2)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "black".
LIAOChinese
From Chinese (liào) which refers to the ancient state of Liao, which was located in present-day Henan province.
LIMTaiwanese
Min Nan romanization of LIN.
LINChinese
From Chinese (lín) meaning "forest".
LIUChinese
From Chinese (liú) meaning "kill, destroy". This was the surname of Chinese emperors of the Han dynasty.
LUChinese
From Chinese () meaning "musical note" and also referring to the former state of Lu, which was situated in what is now Henan province.
MAChinese
From Chinese () meaning "horse".
MAHChinese
Variant transcription of MA.
MANChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of WEN.
NGChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of WU.
PAN (2)Chinese
From Chinese (pān) meaning "water in which rice has been rinsed", and also referring to a river that flows into the Han River.
RUANChinese
From Chinese (ruǎn) which refers to a type of musical instrument, similar to a lute.
SONGChinese, Korean
From Chinese (sòng) referring to the Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279.
SUNChinese
From Chinese (sūn) meaning "grandchild, descendant". A famous bearer of the surname was Sun Tzu, the 6th-century BC author of 'The Art of War'.
SUNGChinese
Variant transcription of SONG.
TANTaiwanese
Min Nan romanization of CHEN.
TANGChinese
From Chinese (táng) referring to the Tang dynasty, which ruled China from 618 to 907.
WANG (1)Chinese
From Chinese (wáng) meaning "king, monarch". This is the most common surname in China.
WENChinese
From Chinese (wén) meaning "literature, culture, writing".
WONG (1)Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of WANG (1).
WONG (2)Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of HUANG.
WUChinese
From Chinese () which refers to the ancient state of Wu, which was located in present-day Jiangsu province.
XUChinese
From Chinese () meaning "slowly, calmly".
XUNChinese
From Chinese (xún) meaning "plant, ancient state".
YANGChinese
From Chinese (yáng) meaning "willow, poplar, aspen".
YEUNGChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of YANG.
YU (1)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "in, on, at". According to legend, King Wu of Zhou bestowed the realm of Yu to his second son, who subsequently adopted this as his surname.
YU (2)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "surplus".
YU (3)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "consent, approve".
YU (4)Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "concerned, anxious" and also referring to the ancient state of Yu, which was situated in what is now Shanxi province.
YUENChinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of RUAN.
ZHANGChinese
From Chinese (zhāng) meaning "stretch, extend". It may have denoted a bowmaker whose job it was to stretch bow wood.
ZHAOChinese
From Chinese (zhào) which refers to an ancient city-state in what is now Shanxi province. According to legend, King Mu rewarded his chariot driver Zaofu with the city, at which time Zaofu adopted this surname. The later historic state of Zhao, which existed from the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, was named after this city.... [more]
ZHENGChinese
From Chinese (zhèng) which refers to the ancient state of Zheng. Zheng existed between the 9th to 4th centuries BC in present-day Henan province. A famous bearer of this surname was the 15th-century explorer Zheng He.
ZHOUChinese
From Chinese (zhōu) which refers to the Zhou dynasty, which held power from 1046 to 771 BC, continuing for a few more centuries as figureheads.
ZHUChinese
From Chinese (zhū) "vermilion red, cinnabar" and also referring to the ancient state of Zhu, which existed in what is now Shandong province. This was the surname of the emperors of the Ming dynasty.
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