What's in a Name

Every Chinese family name has its own cultural origin that can be traced back thousands of years. In this column, Shanghai Daily introduces the biggest Chinese family names and their histories.
Art & Culture

The Ni and their famous mysophobe

The Ni surname is the 111th most common, owned by an estimated number of 1.96 million people, or about 0.14 percent of China's population. 
Art & Culture

Minority name changed by Chinesization

Compared with many Chinese surnames, He is a quite young Chinese surname that did not appear until the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).
Art & Culture

Long and proud history of the Leis

There are generally two types of sources for Lei as a family name which are derived from several local ancient surnames and rooted from minorities in the Chinese history.
Art & Culture

The many varied stories of the Xues

It is estimated that there are about 7.2 million people surnamed Xue in China, ranking it the 35th in terms of population. 
Art & Culture

Royalty and fame source of Cen name

There are an estimated 576,000 people in China with the surname Cen. It ranks the 235th Chinese family name in terms of the population.
Art & Culture

The Lian: a family of many tribes

There are an estimated 0.19 million people surnamed Lian in China, ranking the 290th in terms of population. Lians account for about 0.012 percent of the population.
Art & Culture

Fei: a noble and honored name

There are an estimated 480,000 people surnamed Fei, accounting for 0.034 percent of the population in China. It ranks the 199th Chinese family name in terms of population. 
Art & Culture

Tang: Tale of breaking the hat tassel

Tang, a popular surname, ranks the 18th most common family name in China.
Art & Culture

Bao: a long history of righteousness

There are an estimated 670,000 people surnamed Bao, accounting for 0.054 percent of the total population in China. Bao ranks the 179th most common Chinese family name.
Art & Culture

Liu, a name patronized by Confucius

There are an estimated 1.14 million people surnamed Liu, accounting for 0.09 percent of the total population in China. Liu is the 133th-most-common surname in China.
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