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Encyclopedia > Zhang

Zhang (Traditional Chinese: 張, Simplified Chinese: 张, pinyin: Zhāng, Wade-Giles: Chang, Yale: Jeung, Jyutping: Zoeng1, Hong Kong Government: Cheung) is among the most common Chinese surnames. There are currently well over 100 million people worldwide with this surname. The use of this surname dates back to about 4,700 years ago.

This surname is often mispronounced by American English speakers as IPA [ʒŋ]; its actual pronunciation (IPA [tʂaŋ]), is pronounced somewhat like jong. Listen to the pronunciation.

The corresponding Korean surname is 장.

Note: 章 is a less common surname which also has the pronunciation of Zhāng.


Character Analysis

The character per se is comprised of 弓 (gōng -- bow used in warfare) and 长 (chng/zhǎng -- length/to grow, though it is probably the latter that contributes to the notion of an expanding bow). Appropriately, the ancient form of this character uses 巨 (j -- huge, towering) in place of 长, thereby suggesting an even more concrete idea; this form is considered today to be that of an ancient variant which has since faded from everyday usage. Zhāng's literal translation is "to open forth", or "to spread", although its common use is a measure word for (relatively) flat objects such as paper and mattresses.

History of the Surname

The origin of the surname Zhang is legendary. The fifth son of Huang Di, the supreme ancestor of all Chinese people, was Qing Yang Shi (青阳氏). Qing Yang Shi's son Hui (挥) was inspired by the Chinese Arc Constellation -- Tian Gong Xing (天弓星) in the sky and invented the bow. Later Hui was assigned as Gong Zheng (弓正), the minister in charge of observing the Arc Constellation and making bows. Then Hui and his descendants got the surname Zhang which means the master of bows in Chinese character. It is believed that the ancestors of Zhang's were archery and the bow was a totem of their tribe.

Prominent people with family name 장

Prominent people with family name 張

Prominent people with family name 章

  Results from FactBites:
Zhang He - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1875 words)
Zhang He (張郃) (167 231) was a distinguished military general under the powerful warlord Cao Cao during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era in ancient China.
After Cao Cao's death in 220, Zhang He was primarily engaged with defending the Kingdom of Wei against the Northern Expeditions led by Chancellor Zhuge Liang of the Kingdom of Shu.
Zhang He was then sent to assist Sima Yi, who was training a naval force in Jingzhou (荆州, present day Hubei and Hunan) to prepare for an assault against the Kingdom of Wu.
Zhang (surname) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (760 words)
It is believed that the ancestors of Zhang's wore archers and the bow as a totem of their tribe.
Zhang had also been a surname by which Manchus and Mongolians chose to sinicize their names since the beginning of the Republic (1912).
Zhang Yi, military general of the Kingdom of Shu during the period of Three Kingdoms.
  More results at FactBites »



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