Ding (surname)

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RomanisationMandarin: Ding, Ting
Korean: Jeong, Chung
Vietnamese: Đinh

Ding (Chinese: ; pinyin: Dīng; Wade–Giles: Ting1) is a Chinese family name. It consists of only 2 strokes. The only two characters that are simpler are "一" and "乙".


In 2019 it was the 48th most common surname in Mainland China.[1]


There are four main hypothesized sources of Ding:[citation needed]

  • The earliest record of this surname in history was the Duke of Ding during the Shang Dynasty.
  • The name derived from the ancestral surname Jiang. Duke Ding of Qi was the second recorded ruler of the State of Qi. After his death, his descendants adopted his posthumous name Ding as their clan name in his honor.
  • During Spring and Autumn period, the descendants of Duke Ding of Song also used Ding as their last name.
  • During the Three Kingdoms period, a general, Sun Kuang of the Wu kingdom, accidentally burnt the food supply and as a punishment, the king Sun Quan ordered this general to change his last name to Ding; the king did not want to bear the same last name as the general.

The Ding hometown is supposedly northwest of Dingtao (定陶), Shandong.[2]

Hui ethnic group[edit]

The tomb of one of the ancestors of Quanzhou's Ding clan (as well as Jiang and Chen), in Lingshan Islamic Cemetery

Among the Hui Muslims, the surname Ding is thought to originate from the last syllable of the Arabic honorific "ud-Din" or "al-Din" (as in, for example, the name of the Bukharan Muslim Sayyid Ajjal Shams ud-Din (1210–1279; also spelled al-Din), who was appointed Governor of Yunnan by the Mongol Yuan dynasty).[3]

In particular, descent from Sayyid Ajjal Shams ud-Din, known in Chinese as Saidianchi Shansiding (赛典赤赡思丁), is attested in the Ding lineage of Chendai, near Quanzhou, Fujian.[3][4]

Graves of Dings, and their relatives, Jiangs and Chens, in Quanzhou's Lingshan Islamic Cemetery. Note that some tombs bear Christian symbols.

Although some do not practise Islam, the Ding clan remains as one of the better-known Hui clans around Quanzhou, Fujian that still identify as Muslim.[5][6] These Hui clans merely require descent form Arab, Persian, or other Muslim forebears, and they need not be Muslim.[7] Due to their historical ancestors' religion, it is considered a taboo offer pork to ancestors of the Ding family; the living Ding family members themselves consume pork nonetheless.[8]

One branch of this Ding (Ting) family descended from Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar resides in Taisi Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan. They trace their descent through him via the Ding family from Quanzhou, Fujian. Although they feigned to be Han Chinese while in Fujian, they practised Islam when they originally arrived in Taiwan in the 1800s, soon thereafter building a mosque. In time, all their descendants have eventually converted to Buddhism or Taoism and the mosque built by the Ding family is currently a Taoist Temple.[9]

The Ding family also has branches in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore among the diaspora Chinese communities there but no longer practise Islam; some maintain their Hui identity.

A Hui legend in Ningxia links four surnames common in the region — Na, Su, La, and Ding — with the descendants of Shams al-Din's son, Nasruddin, who "divided" their ancestor's name (in Chinese, Nasulading) among themselves.[10]

Other Romanizations[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境".
  2. ^ "Origin of the surname Ding".
  3. ^ a b Kühner, Hans (2001). "The barbarians' writing is like worms, and their speech is like the screeching of owls": Exclusion and acculturation in the early Ming period". Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. 151 (2). pp. 407–429. ISSN 0341-0137.; p. 414
  4. ^ Angela Schottenhammer (2008). Angela Schottenhammer (ed.). The East Asian Mediterranean: Maritime Crossroads of Culture, Commerce and Human Migration. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 123. ISBN 978-3-447-05809-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  5. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (2004). Dislocating China: reflections on Muslims, minorities and other subaltern subjects. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 294. ISBN 1-85065-324-0.
  6. ^ Robert W. Hefner (1998). Market cultures: society and morality in the new Asian capitalisms. Westview Press. p. 113. ISBN 0-8133-3360-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 286. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  8. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 271–272. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  9. ^ Loa Iok-Sin / STAFF REPORTER (Aug 31, 2008). "FEATURE : Taisi Township re-engages its Muslim roots". Taipei Times. p. 4. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Dillon, Michael (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: migration, settlement and sects. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-7007-1026-4.