Chinese Surname

Chinese Surname

Chinese surnames are used by Han Chinese and Sinicized ethnic groups in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and among overseas Chinese communities. In ancient times two types of surnames, ancestral names (Chinese: 姓; pinyin: ng) and clan names (Chinese: 氏; pinyin: shì), existed.

The colloquial expressions laobaixing (老百姓; lit. "old hundred surnames"), and bǎixìng (百姓, lit. "hundred surnames") are used in Chinese to mean "ordinary folks", "the people", or "commoners." The Bǎijiāxìng (百家姓) or "Hundred Family Surnames" refers to an ancient text documenting Chinese surnames.

Chinese family names are patrilineal, passed from father to children. (In cases of adoption, the adoptee usually also takes the same surname.) In current Chinese practice, surnames are not changed upon marriage. However, in places with Western influence such as Hong Kong, women may (legally or informally) adopt their husband's surname.

Read more about Chinese Surname:  Origin of Chinese Surnames, Distribution of Surnames, Surnames At Present, Sociological Use of Surnames

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