Zhang / Chang
Zhang king surname in regular script
RomanizationChang, Zhang (Mandarin)
Cheung (Cantonese)
Cheong (Macao, Malaysia)
Tiong, Diong (Eastern Min)
Tsan, Tsaon (Shanghainese)
Teoh, Teo (Hokkien, Teochew)
Tew (Teochew)
Chong, Cheong (Hakka)
Cheong (Gan)
Jang, Chang () (Korean)
Trương, Trang (Vietnamese)
Tjong (Indonesia)
PronunciationIPA: /tʂɑŋ˥/ (Mandarin IPA)
Zhāng (Pinyin)
Zoeng1(Cantonese Jyutping)
Tiuⁿ (Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Language(s)Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese
Language(s)Old Chinese
Meaningdrawing a bow,[1]
archer, bowyer, a measure word

Zhang ([ʈʂáŋ] ) is the third most common surname in China and Taiwan (commonly spelled as "Chang" in Taiwan), and it is one of the most common surnames in the world.[2][3] Zhang is the pinyin romanization of the very common Chinese surname written in simplified characters and in traditional characters. It is spoken in the first tone: Zhāng. It is a surname that exists in many languages and cultures, corresponding to the surname 'Archer' in English for example.[4] In the Wade-Giles system of romanization, it is romanized as "Chang", which is commonly used in Taiwan; "Cheung" is commonly used in Hong Kong as a romanization.

It is also the pinyin romanization of the less-common surnames (Zhāng), which is the 40th name on the Hundred Family Surnames poem. There is the even-less common (Zhǎng).

was listed 24th in the famous Song-era Hundred Family Surnames, contained in the verse 何呂施張 (He Lü Shi Zhang).

Today, it is one of the most common surnames in the world at over 100 million people worldwide.[5]

was listed by the People's Republic of China's National Citizen ID Information System as the third-most-common surname in mainland China in April 2007, with 87.50 million bearers.[6][7]

A commonly cited but erroneous factoid in the 1990 Guinness Book of Records listed it as the world's most common surname,[8] but no comprehensive information from China was available at the time and more recent editions have not repeated the claim.


() is also sometimes romanized as:

is the Hanja of the Korean surname romanized Jang and Chang ().

remains the Kanji for the Japanese surname romanized Chō.

is also the Chữ Nôm form of the Vietnamese surname Trương.


For list of people with surname Zhang, see List of people with surname Zhang.

As mentioned above, is the third-most-common surname in mainland China, making up 6.83% of the population of the People's Republic of China.[9] In 2019 it was the most common surname in exactly one provincial-level division, Shanghai municipality.[10] In Taiwan, is the fourth-most-common surname, making up 5.26% of the population of the Republic of China. In 2019 it was again the third most common surname in Mainland China.[10]

Zhang Wei (张伟) has been the most common family name and given name combination in China for many years.

Among the Chinese diaspora, the name remains common but takes on various romanizations. "Chong" is the 19th-most-common surname among Chinese Singaporeans;[11] "Chang" is the 6th-most-common surname among Chinese Americans; and "Zhang" was the 7th-most-common particularly Chinese surname found in a 2010 survey of Ontario's Registered Persons Database of Canadian health card recipients.[12]



combines the Chinese characters (gōng, "bow") and (simp. , cháng, "long" or "wide"). It originally meant "to open up" or "to spread" as an arching bow, but as a common noun in modern use it is a measure word for flat objects such as paper and cloth, like the English "sheet of".


The traditional origin of the surname (Old Chinese: *C. traŋ[1]) is rooted in Chinese legend. The fifth son of the Yellow Emperor, Qing Yangshi (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Qīng Yángshì), had a son Hui (; ; Huī) who was inspired by the Heavenly Bow constellation (天弓星, Tiān Gōng Xīng) to invent the bow and arrow. Hui was then promoted to "First Bow" (, Gōng Zhèng) and bestowed the surname , which – when broken into its constituent radicals – means "widening bow" or "archer". Its Middle Chinese pronunciation has been reconstructed as Trjang.[1]

Other origins

See also


  1. ^ a b c Baxter, William H.; Sagart, Laurent (2011). Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction. p. 143. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2011 – via crlao.ehess.fr.
  2. ^ Tongji weixun 统计微讯 (23 June 2014). 张、王、李、赵谁最多—2010年人口普查姓氏结构和分布特点. mp.weixin.qq.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  3. ^ 最新版百家姓排行榜出炉:王姓成中国第一大姓 [Latest surname ranking: Wang is the number one surname in China]. Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese). 15 April 2013. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Zhang Family History". Ancestry.ca. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  5. ^ "What are the 10 most common last names in the world?". Reference.com. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  6. ^ 公安部统计分析显示:王姓成为我国第一大姓. 新华网 (in Chinese). 24 April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Chinese Surname Shortage Sparks Rethink". People's Daily Online. 20 June 2007. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  8. ^ McFarlan, Donald (2001). 1990 Guinness Book of World Records. Sterling Pub. Co. ISBN 189205101X.
  9. ^ 公安部统计:'王'成中国第一大姓 有9288万人 [Public Security Bureau Statistics: 'Wang' Found China's #1 'Big Family', Includes 92.88m People]. news.eastday.com (in Chinese). 24 April 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  10. ^ a b 2019年全国姓名报告出炉,这十个姓名使用最多. 新京报网 (in Chinese). 20 January 2020. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Popular Chinese Surnames in Singapore". Statistics Singapore. Archived from the original on 23 February 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  12. ^ Shah, Baiju R.; Chiu, Maria; Amin, Shubarna; Ramani, Meera; Sadry, Sharon; Tu, Jack V. (2010). "Surname Lists to Identify South Asian and Chinese Ethnicity from Secondary Data in Ontario, Canada: A Validation Study". BMC Medical Research Methodology. 10 (1): 42. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-10-42. PMC 2877682. PMID 20470433.
  13. ^ (本聶壹之後,以避怨變姓。) Sanguozhi. Vol. 17.