Chinese name

naming customs of Chinese culture

Chinese names (Chinese: 姓名; pinyin: xìngmíng) are names for people in Chinese languages. They are mostly used by Chinese people, but some Korean people and Vietnamese people also use forms of Chinese names.

Chinese name

Modern Chinese names are made up of a surname and a personal name. The surname (xìng ) appears first. It is usually only one syllable. The personal name (míng ) appears second. It is nearly always either one or two syllables. When written, each syllable is written with one character. So a person's name will usually be written with two or three characters. For example, Wei () of the Zhang () family – currently China's most common single name – is called "Zhang Wei" and written as 张伟.

Before the 20th century, educated Chinese people also used a "courtesy name" or "style name" ( ). This is the name by which they were known among those outside of their family and friends.