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.
 more filters...
BAI Chinese
From Chinese (bái) meaning "white".
CHAI Chinese
From Chinese (chái) meaning "firewood".
CHAN Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of CHEN.
CHEN Chinese
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.
CHEUNG Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of ZHANG.
CHONG Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of ZHANG.
CHOU Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see ZHOU).
CHOW Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see ZHOU).
CHU Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see ZHU).
DU Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "stop, prevent".
FAN Chinese
From Chinese (fàn) meaning "bee".
GUAN Chinese
From Chinese (guān) meaning "frontier pass".
GUO Chinese
From Chinese (guō) meaning "outer city".
HAN Chinese, 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.
HOU Chinese
From Chinese (hóu) meaning "lord, nobleman".
HSU Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see XU).
HU Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "beard, whiskers, recklessly, wildly, barbarian".
HUANG Chinese
From Chinese (huáng) meaning "yellow".
JIANG (1) Chinese
From Chinese (jiāng) meaning "river, Yangtze".
JIANG (2) Chinese
From Chinese (jiāng) meaning "ginger".
JIN Chinese
From Chinese (jīn) meaning "gold".
KUANG Chinese
From Chinese (kuàng), which refers to the clan of the same name.
KWAN Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of GUAN.
KWOK Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of GUO.
LAM Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of LIN.
LAU Chinese (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".
LIAO Chinese
From Chinese (liào) referring to the ancient state of Liao, which was located in present-day Henan province.
LIM Taiwanese
Min Nan romanization of LIN.
LIN Chinese
From Chinese (lín) meaning "forest".
LIU Chinese
From Chinese (liú) meaning "kill, destroy". This was the surname of Chinese emperors of the Han dynasty.
LU Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "musical note" and also referring to the former state of Lu, which was situated in what is now Henan province.
MA Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "horse".
MAH Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see MA).
MAN Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of WEN.
NG Chinese (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.
RUAN Chinese
From Chinese (ruǎn), which refers to a type of musical instrument, similar to a lute.
SONG Chinese, Korean
From Chinese (sòng) referring to the Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279.
SUN Chinese
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.
SUNG Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see SONG).
TAN Taiwanese
Min Nan romanization of CHEN.
TANG Chinese
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 (and the world).
WEN Chinese
From Chinese (wén) meaning "literature, culture, writing".
WONG (1) Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of WANG (1).
WONG (2) Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of HUANG.
WU Chinese
From Chinese () referring to the ancient state of Wu, which was located in present-day Jiangsu province.
XU Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "slowly, calmly".
XUN Chinese
From Chinese (xún) meaning "plant, ancient state".
YANG Chinese
From Chinese (yáng) meaning "willow, poplar, aspen".
YEUNG Chinese (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.
YUAN 袁, 源, 原, 元 Chinese
From Chinese (yuán), (yuán) or (yuán), which mean "origin, source".
YUEN Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of RUAN.
ZHANG Chinese
From Chinese (zhāng) meaning "stretch, extend". It may have denoted a bowmaker whose job it was to stretch bow wood.
ZHAO Chinese
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]
ZHENG Chinese
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.
ZHOU Chinese
From Chinese (zhōu) referring to the Zhou dynasty, which held power from 1046 to 771 BC, continuing for a few more centuries as figureheads.
ZHU Chinese
From Chinese (zhū) meaning "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.