30+ Popular Chinese Last Names/Surnames With Meanings

30+ Chinese Last Names That Will Make You Wanna Walk The Great Wall

January 3, 2020 Updated December 16, 2020

chinese last names
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Last names provide a solid connection to our family’s past. Chinese last names are rooted in their country’s deep history. Many Japanese and Korean surnames also stem from Chinese surnames. While there are over 4,000 last names in China today, the ancient tradition of the “old hundred families” is still strong. According to legend, the top 100 surnames in China stemmed from 100 tribes that lived thousands of years ago. These now make up around 85 percent of China’s population.

We’ve compiled a list of popular Chinese last names. While a name’s character might be shared in Mandarin and Cantonese, the romanticization differs in each language variation. Here, we break down each name, its romanticizations, and its meaning. Read on and see if you recognize any!

  1. Mandarin: Huang
    Cantonese: Wong
    Meaning: Yellow.

  2. Mandarin: Lin
    Cantonese: Lam
    Meaning: Forest.

  3. Mandarin: Chang
    Cantonese: Cheung
    Meaning: Expanding (referring to the bowstring pulling of an archer).

  4. Mandarin: Sun
    Cantonese: Suen
    Meaning: Grandson.

  5. Mandarin: Cheng
    Cantonese: Zeng/Cheng
    Meaning: Referring to the former State of Zheng.

  6. Mandarin: Xiao
    Cantonese: Siu
    Meaning: Quiet.

  7. Mandarin: Chuang
    Cantonese: Tsong
    Meaning: Village, place of business, farmstead, or solemn.

  8. Mandarin: Hung
    Cantonese: Hung
    Meaning: Flood, vast or grand.

  9. Mandarin: Li
    Cantonese: Lee
    Meaning: Plum.

  10. Mandarin: T’ien
    Cantonese: Tin
    Meaning: Field.

  11. Mandarin: Yüan
    Cantonese: Yuen
    Meaning: Robe.

  12. Mandarin: Jen
    Cantonese: Yam
    Meaning: Appoint.

  13. Mandarin: Ts’ui
    Cantonese: Chui
    Meaning: Towering.

  14. Mandarin: Wang
    Cantonese: Wong
    Meaning: King.

    chinese last names

  15. Mandarin: Ch’en
    Cantonese: Chan
    Meaning: Old or exhibit.

  16. Mandarin: Yang
    Cantonese: Yeung
    Meaning: Aspen tree.

  17. Mandarin: Ch’eng
    Cantonese: Ching
    Meaning: Rule, procedure or journey.

  18. Mandarin: Shen
    Cantonese: Shum/Sum/Sham
    Meaning: To sink.

  19. Mandarin: Chiang
    Cantonese: Keung
    Meaning: Ginger.

  20. Mandarin: T’an
    Cantonese: Tam
    Meaning: Talk.

  21. Mandarin: Liao
    Cantonese: Liu
    Meaning: Chat, kill or slightly.

  22. Mandarin: Wei
    Cantonese: Wai
    Meaning: Leather.

  23. Mandarin: Hsiung
    Cantonese: Hung
    Meaning: Bear.

  24. Mandarin: Lung
    Cantonese: Lung/Long
    Meaning: Dragon.

  25. Mandarin: Mao
    Cantonese: Mo
    Meaning: Hair or fur.

  26. Mandarin: Shih
    Cantonese: Si/Xi
    Meaning: Establish or reproduce.

  27. Mandarin: Kung
    Cantonese: Kung
    Meaning: Present or give.

  28. Mandarin: Ch’ien
    Cantonese: Chin
    Meaning: Money.

  29. Mandarin: K’ung
    Cantonese: Hung
    Meaning: Hole.

  30. Mandarin: Ch’ang
    Cantonese: Sheung
    Meaning: Common.

  31. Mandarin: Kang
    Cantonese: Hong
    Meaning: Healthy.

    chinese last names

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