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.
usage
Bai Chinese
From Chinese (bái) meaning "white".
Chai Chinese
From Chinese (chái) meaning "firewood".
Chan 陈, 陳 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Chen.
Chang 张, 張 Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see Zhang).
Chen 陈, 陳 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 张, 張 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Zhang.
Chia 谢, 謝 Chinese (Hokkien)
Hokkien romanization of Xie.
Chong 张, 張 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" or "birchleaf pear tree".
Fan Chinese
From Chinese (fàn) meaning "bee".
Feng 冯, 馮 Chinese
From Chinese (féng), which referred to an ancient city in Henan province.
Gao Chinese
From Chinese (gāo) meaning "tall, high".
Guan 关, 關 Chinese
From Chinese (guān) meaning "frontier pass".
Guo Chinese
From Chinese (guō) meaning "outer city".
Han 韩, 韓 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.
He Chinese
From Chinese (), representing a southern pronunciation of the name of the ancient state of Han (see Han). After Han was destroyed by the state of Qin, those who resettled further south changed their name to this character in order to match the local pronunciation.
Ho Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Hokkien)
Cantonese and Min Nan romanization of He.
Hou Chinese
From Chinese (hóu) meaning "lord, nobleman".
Hsieh 谢, 謝 Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see Xie).
Hsu 1 Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see Xu 1).
Hsu 2 许, 許 Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see Xu 2).
Hu Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "beard, whiskers, recklessly, wildly, barbarian".
Huang 黄, 黃 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".
Ko Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Hokkien)
Cantonese and Min Nan romanization of Gao.
Kuang 邝, 鄺 Chinese
From Chinese (kuàng), which refers to the clan of the same name.
Kwan 关, 關 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Guan.
Kwok Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Guo.
Lam Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Lin.
Lau 刘, 劉 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.
Leung Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Liang.
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".
Liang Chinese
From Chinese (liáng) referring to the ancient state of Liang, which existed from the 8th to 7th centuries BC in what is now Shaanxi province.
Liao Chinese
From Chinese (liào) referring to the ancient state of Liao, which was located in present-day Henan province.
Lim Chinese (Hokkien)
Min Nan romanization of Lin.
Lin Chinese
From Chinese (lín) meaning "forest".
Liu 刘, 劉 Chinese
From Chinese (liú) meaning "kill, destroy". This was the surname of Chinese emperors of the Han dynasty.
Lo 罗, 羅 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Luo.
Lu 吕, 呂 Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "musical note" and also referring to the former state of Lu, which was situated in what is now Henan province.
Luo 罗, 羅 Chinese
From Chinese (luó) referring to the minor state of Luo, which existed from the 11th to 7th centuries BC in what is now Hubei province.
Ma 马, 馬 Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "horse".
Mah 马, 馬 Chinese
Alternate transcription of Chinese (see Ma).
Man Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Wen.
Ng 1 吴, 吳 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Wu 1.
Ng 2 黄, 黃 Chinese (Hokkien)
Min Nan romanization of Huang.
Ong Chinese (Hokkien)
Min Nan romanization of Wang 1.
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.
Pei Chinese
From Chinese (péi), possibly referring to an ancient city.
Ren Chinese
From Chinese (rén), of uncertain meaning.
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.
Suen 孙, 孫 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Sun.
Sun 孙, 孫 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 陈, 陳 Chinese (Hokkien)
Min Nan romanization of Chen.
Tang Chinese
From Chinese (táng) referring to the Tang dynasty, which ruled China from 618 to 907.
Tse 谢, 謝 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Xie.
Tsui Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Xu 1.
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 黄, 黃 Chinese (Cantonese)
Cantonese romanization of Huang.
Wu 1 吴, 吳 Chinese
From Chinese () referring to the ancient state of Wu, which was located in present-day Jiangsu province.
Wu 2 Chinese
From Chinese () meaning "military, martial".
Xie 谢, 謝 Chinese
From Chinese (xiè) referring to the minor state of Xie, which existed in what is now Hubei province.
Xu 1 Chinese
From Chinese () referring to the ancient state of Xu, which existed to the 6th century BC in what is now Jiangsu and Anhui. The character means "slowly, calmly".
Xu 2 许, 許 Chinese
From Chinese () referring to the minor state of Xu, which existed to the 4th century BC in what is now Henan province. The character means "allow, permit".
Xun Chinese
From Chinese (xún) meaning "plant, ancient state".
Yang 杨, 楊 Chinese
From Chinese (yáng) meaning "willow, poplar, aspen".
Yeung 杨, 楊 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 张, 張 Chinese
From Chinese (zhāng) meaning "stretch, extend". It may have denoted a bowmaker whose job it was to stretch bow wood.
Zhao 赵, 趙 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 郑, 鄭 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.