Zhuang is romanized as Chuang in the Wade-Giles system still sometimes employed on Taiwan and among the Chinese diaspora. It is romanized Zong and Chong in Cantonese; Chng and Ching in Minnan; and Chong and Tong in Gan.
In Vietnamese, the surname formerly written as 莊 in Chữ Nôm is now written Trang; in Korean, the surname formerly written as 莊 in Hanja is now written 장 and romanized as Jang; in Japanese, the surname written 荘 in Kanji is romanized Shō.
Zhuang was not listed among the 100-most-common surnames in mainland China during the 1982 census or the 2007 MPS report on housing registrations; however, it has been ranked as the 24th-most-common surname on Taiwan.
Zhuang is a rather uncommon name in the United States. It was ranked 53,245th during the 1990 census and 31,703rd during the year 2000 one. Chuang is more common, having been ranked 24,816th in 1990 and 11,621st in 2000. The variant spellings Chong, Ching, and Tong are all much more common, but include other Chinese surnames as well.
Similarly, Zhuang was unlisted among the 200-most-common peculiarly Chinese surnames (i.e., excluding ethnically diverse surnames such as "Lee") in a 2010 survey of the Registered Persons Database of Canadian health card recipients in the province of Ontario, but the variant romanizations Chong, Ching, and Tong were all listed.
As with many Chinese surnames, the current bearers come from a variety of origins, some legendary.
The Manuscript of the Words and Deeds of Virtuous Clans claimed that the first Zhuangs were descended from King Zhuang of Chu.
During the Warring States period, the general Zhuang Qiao (庄跤) of Chu attacked Shu but was blocked from returning home by Qin troops. He proclaimed himself king of Dian. A third group were the subjects of this realm.
All three groups found themselves bound to change their names to Yan (嚴) upon the ascension of the Han Ming Emperor, whose personal name was Zhuang, owing to the naming taboo.Most did change back to Zhuang after Han dynasty but many still remain as Yan until today.
Notable people with the surname
- Yang Xuxian. 《台湾一百大姓氏》 [Taiwan's 100 'Big Families']. Op. cit. 中华百家姓-千字文-国学经典-文化经典. "中国台湾姓氏排行 [Taiwan (China) Surname Ranking]". 8 Jun 2010. Accessed 1 Apr 2012. (Chinese)
- US Census Bureau. Op. cit. Public Broadcasting Service. "How Popular Is Your Last Name?" Accessed 6 Apr 2012.
- Shah, B. R.; Chiu, M.; Amin, S.; Ramani, M.; Sadry, S.; Tu, J. 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: 42. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-10-42. PMC 2877682. PMID 20470433.
- Baxter, Wm. H. & Sagart, Laurent. PDF (1.93 MB), p. 158. 2011. Accessed 11 October 2011.
- People's Daily Online. "Chinese Zhuang surname history". 7 Jul 2005. Accessed 16 Apr 2012.
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