ZHANGChinese From Chinese 张 (zhāng) meaning "stretch, extend". It may have denoted a bowmaker whose job it was to stretch bow wood.
ZHAOChinese From Chinese 赵 (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 郑 (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 周 (zhōu) referring to the Zhou dynasty, which held power from 1046 to 771 BC, continuing for a few more centuries as figureheads.
ZHUChinese From Chinese 朱 (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.
ZIELIŃSKIPolish From Polish zieleń meaning "green". It was possibly a nickname for a person who dressed in green clothing.
ZIMACzech, Slovak, Polish, Russian From a Slavic word meaning "winter". This may have been a nickname for a person with a chilly personality.
ŽITNIKSlovene, Czech From the Slavic root žito meaning "rye". This was an occupational name for a dealer in rye or a baker.