Chinese Names - 50 Most Popular Names for Boys and Girls

Written by Apple Updated Mar. 15, 2023

Chinese names are as long and esteemed as Chinese culture. It plays an important role in Chinese people's life. Naming in China reflects the aspirations and dreams of parents for their children. A harmonious name is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the family.

Confucius Statue
Confucius Statue

Chinese Names: Family Name + Given Name

A Chinese name consists of a family name or surname and a given name. When Chinese people say their name, they say their family name first, then their given name, opposite to the Western name order. If we take "Zhang San" as an example – Zhang is the family name, and San is the given name. 

Top 10 Most Common Chinese Surnames/ First Names

Presently, there are more than 4,000 surnames in use in China. However, about 80% of the population shares the top 100 surnames. The top three surnames, Wang, Li, and Zhang, account for over 20% of the population.

Here are the top 10 most common surnames in China. 

1. Wáng (王)

As the most common surname in China, Wang is the Chinese word for king. It represents 93 million people, accounting for 7.25 percent of China's total population. 

2. Lǐ (李)

Li is the second most common surname in China and one of the most common surnames in Asia. It was the royal surname during the Tang Dynasty.

3. Zhāng (张)

Zhang is the third most common surname in China and one of the most common surnames in the world with over 100 million people. 

4. Liú (刘)

Liu is the 4th most common surname in China. It is the surname of the Han dynasty emperors.

5. Chén (陈)

Chen is a common Chinese surname representing 70 million people, accounting for 5 percent of China's total population.

6. Yáng (杨)

Chen is the 6th most common surname in China. It represents 3.7 million people, accounting for 2.6 percent of China's total population.

7. Huáng (黄)

Huang is a common surname in China and Asia. It is also one of the most common surnames in Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

8. Zhào (赵)

Zhao is the 8th most popular surname in China. Yet it ranks first in the Hundred Family Surnames. Because it was the emperor's surname of the Song Dynasty when the book was finished.

9. Wú (吴)

Wu is a common surname in China representing 26.8 million people or 2 percent of the population. The name originates from the State of Wu during the Warring States period.

10. Zhōu (周)

Zhou is the 10th most common surname in China shared by 25 million people, accounting for 1.9 percent of the total population.

5 Popular Chinese Compound Surnames

The usual Chinese surname has only one character, but there are exceptions consisting of double characters. These popular Chinese compound surnames are as follows: Choosing a compound surname will make your Chinese name unique and cool. 

1. ōu yáng(欧阳)

2. sī tú(司徒)

3.  shàng guān (上官)

5. xià hóu(夏侯)

Top 30 Beautiful Chinese Names For Girls With Meanings

When come to choosing a name for their girls, Chinese parents usually prefer these words with the meanings of beauty, happiness, quietness, and flower.  Here is a list of the top 30 best names for girls: 

1. 英 yīng - brave, intelligent

2. 秀 xiù - elegant

3. 芳 fāng - pretty, fragrance

4. 红 hóng - red

5. 香 xiāng - fragrance

6. 梅 méi - prunus mume

7. 兰 lán - orchid

8. 秀英 xiù yīng – elegance beauty

9. 秀兰 xiù lán – elegant orchid

10. 玉梅 yù méi – jade prunus mume

11. 霞 xiá – rosy clouds

12. 静 jìng - quiet

13. 婷 tíng - graceful

14. 美 měi - beauty

15. 慧 huì - intelligence

16. 燕 yàn - swallow

17. 丽 lì - pretty

18. 雅 yǎ - elegant

19. 敏 mǐn - smart

20. 艳 yàn - gorgeous

21. 若汐 ruò xī - like night tide

22. 一诺 yī nuò - one promise

23. 欣怡 xīn yí - joy

24. 梓涵 zǐ hán - catalpa tree mellow

25. 艺涵 yì hán - art mellow

26. 依诺 yī nuò - follow the promise

27. 雨桐 yǔ tóng - rain Firmiana Simplex tree

28. 可欣 kě xīn - merit joy

29. 语汐 yǔ xī - speak night tide

30. 雨欣 yǔ xīn - rain joy

20 Popular Chinese Names for Boys with Meanings

The words with the meanings of being strong, brave, happy, and successful are widely used in Chinese boys' names. Here is a list of 20 common boys' names for your inspiration: 

1. 勇 yǒng - brave

2. 刚 gāng - tenacious

3. 强 qiáng - strong

4. 伟 wěi - great

5. 建军 jiàn jūn - build the army

7. 建国 jiàn guó - build the country

8. 建华 jiàn huá - build the country

9. 超 chāo - surpass

10. 鹏 péng - a legendary bird

1. 福 fú - luck

2. 安 ān - safe

3. 辉 huī - brightness

4. 明 míng - bright

5. 军 jūn - army

6. 杰 jié - outstanding

7. 波 bō - wave

8. 富 fù - wealth

9. 德 dé - integrity

10. 涛 tāo - a large wave

11. 子轩 zǐ xuān - refined high

12. 宇轩 yǔ xuān - universe high

13. 子涵 zǐ hán - catalpa tree

14. 浩然 hào rán - vast

15. 俊杰 jùn jié - outstanding

16. 梓睿 zǐ ruì - clever

17. 宇航 yǔ háng - universe cruise

18. 宇辰 yu chen - universe, sun, moon

19. 亦辰 yǔ chén - the universe

20. 浩宇 hào yǔ - vast universe

How to Pick a Lucky Chinese Name

Choosing the right Chinese name means being aware of many cultural differences. How to choose a Chinese name for yourself? Here are some pieces of advice.

1.  Choose a Surname First

You can choose a surname from one of the 10 most common Chinese surnames mentioned above 

2. Pick a Popular Chinese Name

Chinese parents spend a lot of time discussing when choosing a name, as names are thought to influence a child’s future. The popular names above are popular and common with good meanings. You can choose a Chinese name from them.

3. Choose a Name that Sounds Similar to Your English Name

You can choose a name that sounds similar to your own name. For example, if your name is Kelly, you could use the Chinese name 凯莉 (kǎi lì), or if your family name is Lee, you could use the Chinese surname 李 (lǐ). 

4. Choose a Chinese Name that Means Good

Each Chinese character represents a specific meaning. Two characters put together may represent a new idea. Chinese parents pay great attention to the meaning of names when naming their children. They choose names with good meanings.

The popular Chinese names above all have nice meanings. You can choose a Chinese name from them, or ask your Chinese friend for some advice.

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