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Common Chinese Family Names


Family names are very important in Chinese culture. When you are introduced to a Chinese acquaintance you should try to remember and use their name. Being familiar with some of the more common Chinese surnames can be a big help in remembering names.

Thousands of Names

There are thousands of Chinese surnames, but the 100 most common surnames are used by 85% of the population of Mainland China. These 100 names are commonly referred to as “The Hundred Surnames.”

Particular surnames are more commonly used in certain provinces of China. In Taiwan, there are more than 1600 surnames in use, but 10 of these are used by 50% of the population.

Most Common Surnames

Here is a list of 20 of the most common Chinese surnames:

Cài 蔡
Chén 陳
Gāo 高
Guō 郭
Hé 何
Hú 胡
Huáng 黃
Lǐ 李
Lín 林
Liú 劉
Mǎ 馬
Sūn 孫
Wáng 王
Wú 吳
Xú 徐
Yáng 楊
Zhāng 張
Zhào 趙
Zhōu 周
Zhū 朱

Names – Questions & Answers

Nín guì xìng?
What is your honorable surname?

Wǒ xìng Chén.
My family name is Chen.

Tā xìng shén me?
What is his family name?

Tā xìng Zhōu.
His family name is Zhou.

Nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?
What is your name?

Wǒ xìng Hé, jiào Hé Bái Lán.
My family name is He, and my full name is He Bai Lan.
我姓何, 叫 何白 蘭.

Tā jiào shén me míng zi?
What is his name?

Tā xìng Gāo, jiào Gāo Bǎo Chéng.
His family name is Gao, and his full name is Gao Bao Cheng.
他姓高, 叫高保成.

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