Ling (surname)

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Ling is a surname which can be of Chinese, English, or Nordic origin.


"Ling" is the Roman alphabet spelling of multiple Chinese surnames.

Líng (凌)[edit]

According to traditional stories, the surname pronounced Líng () in Mandarin originated during the Zhou Dynasty as an occupational surname for a court official responsible for the storage and handling of ice. King Wu of Zhou's brother Kang Shu (康叔) had a son who held this post, and Kang Shu's descendants later adopted Líng as their surname.[1]

Lìng (令)[edit]

A less-common surname pronounced Lìng () in Mandarin:


"Ling" may also be an Eastern Min, Northern Min, or Wu transcription of the surname pronounced in Mandarin as Lín ().[2] People with this surname spelled as "Ling" include:

  • Ling How Doong (林孝谆, born 1934), Singaporean politician and lawyer
  • Ling Liong Sik (林良实, born 1943), Malaysian politician
  • Jahja Ling (林望傑, born 1951), Indonesian-born American orchestral conductor
  • Tschen La Ling (林球立, born 1956), Dutch football player
  • Alan Ling Sie Kiong (林思健, born 1983), Malaysian lawyer
  • Julia Ling (林小微, born 1983), American television actress
  • Landon Ling (林家亮, born 1987), Canadian football player
  • Tung-Chai Ling (林忠财), Malaysian materials scientist

The following Chinese people have the surname Ling, but the characters for their Chinese names are not known:

The Vietnamese surname Linh originated from the Vietnamese pronunciation of a different character pronounced Líng in Mandarin (), which is not used as a surname in Chinese.[citation needed]


The English surname Ling, also spelled Linge, may have two different origins: one from a word used in Lincolnshire meaning "heath", and the other as a toponymic surname referring to the parish of Lyng, Somerset.[3]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Francine Smith (née Ling) from the animated television series American Dad!
  • Ling Xiaoyu (凌曉雨) from the Tekken series
  • Ling Zhen (凌振) from the classical novel Water Margin


  1. ^ Chao, Sheau-yueh J. (2000). Genealogical Research on Chinese Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 117. 
  2. ^ Starostin, Sergei. "林". Sino-Tibetan Etymology Database. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell (1901). A dictionary of English and Welsh surnames, with special American instances. London: H. Frowe. p. 485.