Intonations Meaning of Chinese
There are about four to
five hundred words used as surnames. Over
the centuries list of top 100 surnames "Baijiaxing"
has been compiled and updated. (In reality more than 100
surnames are often listed).
The family name
or surname is so important that when two Chinese get
together, they introduce each other by (or seek to find out)
the surnames, by saying What is your surname?
finding out their given names!
Due to the sheer
population size and numbers, this listing would not have
been too precise. It was not until recently, with the advent
modern computers that it is possible to compile accurate
Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, compiled
a list of the most common surnames. The top one hundred
are tabulated in as follows. (Source:
Xinhuahet 1 Oct 2006,
Click on any word to view the characters in both simplified and
traditional writings, pronunciation in pinyin as well as
other dialects, as well as meanings of a particular word.