Lim (Min Nan)
Lín (Chinese: 林) is the Mandarin Chinese form of a Chinese surname for "Forest" or "Trees" that is also used in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. It is also common among overseas Chinese where it is sometimes pronounced "Lim" because many Chinese descendants are part of the Southern Min diaspora and speak a language/dialect that is also part of the Min Nan group. In Hong Kong and Macao, it's "Lam".
King Zhou of Shang (reigned 1154 BC to 1122 BC), the last king of the Shang dynasty, had three uncles advising him and his administration. The king's uncles were Bi Gan (also spelled Pi Kan), Qi Zi, and Wei Zi. Together the three men were known as "The Three Kindhearted Men of Shang" in the kingdom. Bi Gan was the son of Prince Ding, son of King Shang and, thus, was King Zhou's uncle.
Unfortunately, Zhou was a cruel king, and the state's citizens suffered tremendously. His three uncles could not persuade him to change his ways. Failing in their duty to advise the king, Wei Zi resigned. Qi Zi faked insanity and was relieved of his post. Only Bi Gan stayed on to continue advising the king to change his ways. "Servants who are afraid of being killed and refrain from telling the truth are not righteous," he said. This put him in danger of incurring the king's wrath. Bi Gan stayed at the palace for three days and nights to try to persuade the bloodthirsty and immoral king to mend his ways.
The stubborn king would not relent and had his uncle, Bi Gan, who was arrested for treason. Upon hearing this, his pregnant wife (surname Chen) escaped into the forest to protect her unborn child from death. She knew, in time, the king would execute Bi Gan and his entire family. The baby was born in the forest. Alone with no one to help, she grabbed hold of two trees and gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Jian. When she reached the nearest town, she gave her child the surname Lin (Chinese character depicted by two trees).
Before long, Shang Zhou was overthrown and killed by Zhou Wu Wang (Zhou Dynasty, 1134 BC to 256 BC). Zhou Wu Wang knew about the courageous court adviser Bi Gan and sought his wife and child. When he found them, he honoured them in respect of Bi Gan. The mother and child were restored back into the royal family. The new king conferred the surname Lin (meaning woods or forest) on Bi Gan's son, because he was born in the woods.
Different versions of the name
- This family name is common among the Malaysian Chinese community. However, because the vast majority of Chinese Malaysians romanized their surnames according to the pronunciations of their respective southern Chinese dialects, it is very rarely romanized as "Lin". The Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew and Hainan communities romanize it as "Lim" whereas the Cantonese-speaking community uses "Lam".
- A Korean surname 임 Im (Korean name) is the Korean equivalent of "Lin". Specifically, only the first and by far the more numerous of the two clan branches of 임, 수풀 림 (Supul-Lim), is equivalent to "Lin". The second, 맡길 임(Matgil-Im), is equivalent to the rare Chinese surname Ren. The romanization of 林 is commonly spelt "Lim" (임) with the rarer spelling being "Rim" (림). While the romanization of 任 (임) is commonly spelt "Im" with the rarer spelling being "Yim".
- A common Japanese surname, Hayashi, is written with the same character 林 and also means forest.
- The Vietnamese surname, "Lâm", was formerly written using the same Chinese character.
- In Singapore, although "Lim" and "Lam" are generally more common variants, the extremely rare spelling "Lynn" can be found in select families of Chinese, Japanese, or other East-Asian ancestry (also transcribed using the 林 character) and bears no known relation to the English or Scottish surname of the same spelling, or alternate spelling "Ling".
- According to an unofficial count undertaken by the American company infoUSA, "Lam" is the third most common surname found in Canadian telephone directories.
- A rare Chinese surname which is also transcribed Lin is 藺 (pinyin Lìn).
- Indonesians of Chinese ancestry bearing this surname sometimes spell it as "Liem."
- Filipinos of Chinese descent with this surname mostly use the Hokkien spelling "Lim", as the majority have Fujianese ancestry. It is sometimes found in hispanicised compound surnames such as "Limtiaco"; this type of Filipino surname is often derived from the original name of a Spanish-era immigrant patriarch.
- Prominent Thai-Chinese royalist families with this surname are bestowed by member of the royal family some indigenised derivative such as "Limthongkul" "Sirilim".
Notable people surnamed Lin
This is a Chinese name, meaning the surname is stated "before" the given name, though Chinese living in Western countries will often put their surname after their given name.
- Lin Biao, Chinese military leader and former Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
- Brigitte Lin, (Lin Ch'ing-hsia 林青霞), Taiwanese actress
- Lin Chih Ying, (林志穎), (stage name - Jimmy Lin), Taiwanese actor
- Lin Chi Ling, (林志玲), Taiwanese model, actress
- Cho-Liang Lin, Taiwanese-American violinist
- Lin Dan (林丹), men's singles badminton player, People's Republic of China
- Mazu (goddess) 林默娘, Taoist Goddess of the sea and protector of all sailors and fishermen
- Lin Di, pipa player with Chinese rock band Cold Fairyland
- Lin Hwai-min, choreographer and founder of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theater
- Jenny Lin Taiwanese-American pianist
- Jeremy Lin (born 1988), American basketball player
- Lin Jun Jie, Singaporean singer and songwriter
- Justin Lin American movie director
- Kevin Lin, (林義傑), marathon runner
- Lin Li Hui (林立慧), (stage name- Shu Qi), Taiwanese actress
- Lin Ling-san, former Minister of Transportation and Communications of the Republic of China
- Maya Lin, artist and architect
- Lin Peng, actress
- Lin Sang, People's Republic of China athlete
- Lin Sen, Taiwanese leader
- Lin Shicheng, Shanghai born pipa player
- Lin Xin Ru (Ruby Lin), (林心如), Taiwanese actress
- Lin Xiangru Chinese politician of the Warring States period
- Lin Yang-kang, Taiwanese politician
- Lin Yi Chen (Ariel Lin), Taiwanese actress
- Lin Yu-chun, a Taiwanese singer
- Lin Yu-fang, a Taiwanese politician
- Lin Youren, musician Chinese guqin player
- Lin Yutang, Chinese writer
- Lin Wei Ling, (林韋伶), (stage name- Estrella Lin), Taiwanese singer
- Lin Zexu, 19th century official and diplomat
- Alfred Lin, Taiwanese American CFO and venture capitalist
- Lin Wenyue, scholar, writer and translator from Taiwan.
- Lin Claire, A notable writer and comic artist from Taiwan
- Adrian Lam, coach
- Barry Lam, (林百里), billionaire and founder of Quanta Computer
- Bowie Lam, Hong Kong actor and singer
- Lam Bun, radio commentator
- Bun-Ching Lam, concert pianist and composer
- Carol Lam, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of California
- Chet Lam, singer/songwriter
- David Lam, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Canada
- Derek Lam, American fashion designer
- Eman Lam, musician
- Lam Fung (Raymond Lam), Hong Kong entertainer
- George Lam (林子祥), singer
- James Lam, author and consultant
- Karena Lam (林嘉欣), actress
- Lam Kor-wan, serial killer
- Nora Lam, Chinese Christian Ministry and the author of "China Cry"
- Pat Lam, rugby player
- Richard Lam, lyricist
- Ringo Lam, film director
- Sandy Lam (林憶蓮), Hong Kong Cantopop singer
- Sarah Lam, actress
- Stephen Lam, government official
- Tony Lam, politician
- Wifredo Lam, Cuban artist
(Also Cantonese form)
- Olivia Lum, Singaporean businesswoman
- Agnes Lum, American model and J-pop singer
- Awkwafina or Nora Lum, American rapper
- Lim Eng Beng, Filipino Chinese professional basketball player
- Alfredo Lim, Filipino Chinese politician and former mayor of Manila
- J Antonio Lim Sr, Banker, Filipino Chinese politician and previous mayor of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental
- Zeryl Lim, a Filipino Chinese actress
- Vicente Lim, Brigadier General during WWII, anti-Japanese Resistance fighter in Philippines
- Danilo Lim, Filipino Chinese Brigadier General originally from Amoy
- Lim Bo Seng, World War II anti-Japanese Resistance fighter based in Singapore and British Malaya
- Catherine Lim, Malaysian born Singaporean author
- Jennifer Lim, British Born Chinese Actress
- Lim Koon Teck, first person of Asian descent to be appointed to the British Colonial Legal Service during the 20th century
- Lim Chin Siong, co-founded Singapore's People's Action Party (PAP) alongside Lee Kuan Yew
- Lim Chong Eu, former Malaysian born Singaporean politician
- Lim Giong, Singaporean Taiwanese musician and songwriter and actor
- Lim Goh Tong, Fujianese billionaire and casino tycoon
- Lim Guan Eng, Malaysia politician, current Chief Minister of Penang (2008–present)
- Ken Lim, Singaporean record producer and composer
- Lim Kit Siang, Malaysian politician, known as Mr. Opposition
- Lim Kwong Yew (Norman Kwong), former professional athlete and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Canada
- Moses Lim, TV and movie actor (e.g. "Just Follow Law"), food gourmet and entrepreneur from Singapore
- Peter Lim, Singaporean billionaire
- Phillip Lim, American fashion designer
- Ron Lim, American comic book artist
- Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and CEO of Genting Berhad conglomerate
- Lim Yew Hock, second Chief Minister of Singapore
- Xian Lim, Filipino Chinese actor
- Freddy Lim, Taiwanese musician and lead singer of Taiwanese metal band Chthonic
- Lim Boon Keng [Dr. Lim Boon Keng], famous Singaporean national reformist of Peranakan descent
- Wendell Lim, Professor at University of California, San Francisco and director of SynBERC
- Lim Hng Kiang(林勛強), Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry
- Lim Chin Tsong(林振宗), Overseas Chinese oil tycoon during British Burma
- Lim Por-yen 林百欣, Hong Kong industrialist
- Lim Kim San, 林金山, builder of Singapore
- Charnvit Vanavijitr (Lim), A Thai muti-millionaire businessman, involves in trading, mining and palm oil businesses
- Liem Sioe Liong (Sudono Salim), Indonesian tycoon
- Liem Swie King, Indonesian badminton player
- Steve Liem Tjoan Hok (Teguh Karya), Indonesian film director.
- Liem Seeng Tee, founder of Sampoerna, one of the largest Indonesian tobacco company.
- Liem Tien Pao (Putera Sampoerna) (Chinese: 林天喜), one of Indonesia's richest men, grandson of Liem Seeng Tee.
- Junior Liem, Indonesian actor.
- Lin Chong, character in the Chinese novel The Water Margin (Shuihu Zhuan)
- Lin Daiyu, major character in the Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber
- "Common surnames". CBC.ca (CBC News). 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2008-01-27. "...the source is a Nebraska-based company called infoUSA, which claims to have put together a directory of every telephone listing in Canada."