Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Strange Surnames (as in not too common)


muyongshi

Recommended Posts

Just curious what odd and interesting 姓 people run into and I mean ones that aren't just not on the top 100 list but ones that even Chinese people hear and scratch their head out.

I know of two:

鲍: I have a friend with this surname and she was telling me that so many people get confused by her name. It may just be here in Sichuan that it is uncommon but she is from her so I don't know....

牧: and this one nobody believes is real or they think it must be a minority like the mongols. Interesting reading here

Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Yah same here with the 牧... but I knew it was when i got the name...so I just have to put up with the "oh, well that is an odd name"...

I like the 承 though...very nice...

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is someone surnamed 鲍 in 钱锺书's 围城.

Danwei had an interesting article on this:

"The second-generation national ID card switchover has caused trouble for many people whose names contain obscure characters that are unsupported by the PSB's database. In March of this year, the PSB released a list of 231 characters that were not available in the computer system issuing the IDs; they've been working on a solution, however, and this week announced that 32 of those characters had been incorporated into the software (click the image at left for an enlarged chart)."

www.danwei.org/trends_and_buzz/acceptance_comes_for_obscure_c.php

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick side note from above link:

The Mirror talked to a man named Xin Ge (辛哿), whose given name is one of the characters the system is now able to handle.

Xing Ge said, "All growing up, teachers and classmates were basically unable to read my name the first time they saw it. They'd usually read it as 'He' or 'Qi'. I felt really cool having this name."

Xing's grandmother said, "Choosing the name, I carried a Great Dictionary of Chinese Characters around all day, flipping and flipping through it. After repeated comparisons, I decided this character was the most satisfactory. The dictionary had two definitions for this character, "satisfactory" (可) and "fine" (嘉). And the makeup of the character - the top is 加 and the bottom is 可 - is quite interesting, so the kid's nickname was Kejia - in one stroke we had a name and a nickname."

The misspelled his name twice after giving the correct pinyin....interesting

Link to post
Share on other sites

英 is another one and it's the one I use in my Chinese name. Most Chinese people will be adamant that this is not a surname until you mention 英达, a well-known director.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have a female friend surnamed 鲍, also from Sichuan. There is also the world number 2 badminton player, 鲍春来 (from Hunan I think).

Rare surnames among people I know include 达、燕 and 时.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the correction, muyongshi. No one's pointed that out in over a year - I wonder if people just assume that we're semi-literate and no amount of corrections will help....

There were a few articles prior to National Day that looked at people with names like 国庆 and other patriotic words (link).

And here's a great article that looks at people whose surnames are numbers, dynasties, colors, and foods.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The former tallest man on earth, Bao Xishun, is also surnamed 鮑. And there is a band called 鮑家街43號, strictly speaking not used as the surname, but I suppose that the street that the band is named after was named after the 鮑 family.

芮 Rui seems to be a surname used mostly to name foreigners.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a Dutch/Chinese writer/translator with the surname 龚. And I think I once had a teacher with that name? but not sure.

段 is also not that uncommon I think, came across the name a few times in texts and books.

I like this thread, people come up with uncommon surnames and then other people go 'I know someone by that name!' :-) I once had a friend surnamed 聶 and he said that was an uncommon surname, but at the same time he had a good friend also named 聶.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also some double character surnames which are not too common, but probably not as rare as some of the single-character surnames that have already been mentioned in this thread. And I'm not referring to the "new" surnames given to children that are a combination of the surnames of the parents. It would be interesting to find out the history behind the ancient double-character surnames.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

My wife's surname is 伍 and I also 'borrow' it for my Chinese name. I was told by one of my teacher's in Beijing that 伍 isn't a surname. So I reminded him of 伍子胥... :mrgreen:

Link to post
Share on other sites
fireball9261

How about 繆 (miao4)? My father's best friend had this last name. I think it's quite uncommon. I also heard some one's last name was "第五", and it was actually listed in the book of "One Hundred Surnames".

Link to post
Share on other sites

第伍 was mentioned in a recent report on the name 苟, which some villagers wanted to restore to their former surname, 敬. They'd apparently been forced to change it when the emperor made that character taboo, and they've been stuck with a homophone for 狗 ever since.

The article has a picture of some children with the surname 第伍, the only name remaining out of what used to be a complete series of names 第一 to 第八.

Link to post
Share on other sites
fireball9261

I wouldn't mind to have a surname of 第一 (number 1) since I am rarely 第一 in anything. :mrgreen: Just imagine a person with last name of 第一 and the first name of 人 (person), and he would introduce himself, "My name is 第一人." :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

鮑 is not rarely used surname in hong kong. Several actors are surnamed 鮑, like 鮑方.

The most embarrassing surname may be 愛. 一些愛新覺羅的後人將姓氏改成 「愛」, 人家問你貴姓, 只好答:「我姓愛」(homophone to "I have sex" )

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...