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

Chang clan steeped in royal history

"The contented one, indeed is to be Chang Le (always happy)!"
Art & Culture

An, embodying rich cultural diversity

The history of An embodies the rich cultural diversity that exists within China.
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Wu: a surname fit for an emperor

There are three sources of Wu as a surname and all were related to a county in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) called Wuyi in today's Yanlin, Henan Province. 
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Sunbathe the books and pay for water

There are generally three sources for Hao as a family name.
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Bi, the clan that gave us movable type

It is estimated that there are about 1.22 million people surnamed Bi in China, ranking it the 138th in terms of population. 
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Crane crazy Duke got wings clipped

There are three types of sources for Luo as a family name – derived from a local ancient surname – came from an official rank, and rooted from minorities in the Chinese history.
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Lost a letter ? Blame a man called Yin

It is estimated that there are about 2.24 million people surnamed Yin in China, ranking it the 104th in terms of population, accounting for about 0.16 percent of Chinese.
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An ancient name that flows like water

Teng is considered one of the oldest surnames and is used widely by many ethnic groups. 
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From generals to scholars and writers

An estimated 2.46 million people in China are surnamed Tang, making it the 101st most common names. The Tangs account for about 0.1 percent of the population.
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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. 
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