What Are Some Chinese Names?


Quick Answer

Chinese names comprise a given name and a family name. Some common given names include Jing, Chen, Dong, Xue, Zhong, Yi, Li, Xin, Jian, Shou and Fu. The most common family names are Li, Wang and Zhang, followed by Liu, Chen, Yang, Zhao, Huang, Zhou, Wu, Xu, Sun, Hu, Zhu, Gao, Lin, He, Guo and Ma.

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Full Answer

Nearly 87 percent of the Chinese population have one of just 100 family names. Family names may be adopted from either the mother or the father. Some family names consist of more than one Chinese character, as is the case of compound names like Ou Yang, Tai Shi, Duan Mu, Si Ma, Du Gu and Nan Gong.

Given names are carefully selected by Chinese parents and are intended to bring good fortune to the child, or to be descriptive of the general circumstances or conditions in which the child was born. For example, the given name Jing may indicate that the child was born in Beijing, while the given name Chen may indicate a birth in the morning. Other given names express more universal concepts, such as faithfulness (Zhong), righteousness (Yi), reliability (Xin), purity (Bai), excellence (Chao) and tranquility (An).

Given names are generally reserved as a form of address between friends and family. Otherwise, the polite form of address is the family name, followed by either Mr. (Xian Sheng) or Mrs. (Wan Shi).

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