Xie (surname)

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謝姓 - 楷体.svg
Pronunciation Xiè (Pinyin)
Siā (Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Language(s) Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean
Language(s) Chinese
Word/Name Descendants of Yuyang
Derivation State of Xie
Meaning to thank
Other names
Variant(s) Xie, Hsieh (Mandarin)
Tse, Tze, Che, Jay (Cantonese)
Chia, Cheah, Sia (Hokkien)
Chia (Teochew)
Zhia, Zia (Shanghainese)
Sa (Korean)
Tạ (Vietnamese)
"Hsieh" redirects here. For other uses, see Xie (disambiguation).

Xie ([ɕjê])[nb 1] (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Xiè; Wade–Giles: Hsieh4) is a Chinese family name; it is estimated that there are about ten million people in China with this surname, the majority of whom live in southern China, and a 2013 study found that Xie was the 23rd most common surname in China,[2] with 0.79% of the population having this surname.[3] The greater majority of Xie members are also members of the Hakka people of the greater Han ethnicity.

The surname originated in two major branches: during the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors period, and near the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty. It was a prominent aristocratic clan in the Eastern Jin dynasty of China. The hometown of the Xie is Kaifeng, Henan Province.

There is a less common surname with the same pronunciation but different writing (解).


The spelling of the same Chinese character using Wade–Giles romanization is Hsieh. The spelling "Hsieh" is most commonly used in Taiwan and in older romanizations. "Hsieh" tends to be incorrectly pronounced as "Shay" by those attempting to read it using English orthography. However, other variations are pronounced "Sh'eh" and the spelling is sometimes modified as Shieh.

The Cantonese spelling of the same Chinese character is Tse or Tze and the Taishanese spelling of the same Chinese character is Dea, Der, Dare, or Dear. The Min Nan (Hokkien) and Teochew spelling of the same Chinese character is Chia, Cheah, or Sia.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the name is most commonly Chia, although Cheah, Seah, Sia, Cha, Tse, Chay etc. can also be found. During the Chinese diaspora, the region was administered by British Empire clerks, who knew little about Chinese dialects, often had to find their own romanizations. As a result, the variations are non-exhaustive.

In the Philippines, the name is also spelled as Sese (which also means thank you in Kapampangan, a local dialect in Pampanga, Philippines where the first Xie settled). In Indonesia, the name is also spelt as Tjhia or Tjia. In East Timor, as a legacy of Portuguese colonialism and lingua franca, Xie is also produced as Tchia, Tchea, Tsia, Tcha and Tjea. The Vietnamese version is Tạ.

In the United States, the name is sometimes spelled as Jair and Zia. Other variations of the surname include Shea and Shei.

Variation table[edit]

Variation Language Common Place
Xie Mandarin/Pinyin Romanization Mainland China
Tse Cantonese Hong Kong


Hokkien (Minnan) and Teochew


Min Overseas Chinese
Bahasa Indonesia Indonesia
All Min, Hakka and Yue dialects Malaysia, Singapore
Filipino-Chinese Philippines
Sese Filipino-Kapampangan
Wade–Giles romanization Taiwan
Ché Portuguese Macau
Portuguese Timor-Leste
Taishanese United States
Vietnamese Vietnam
Sa Korean Korea
Sha Japanese Japan

Origins and history[edit]

During the legendary Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors period, the Xie were believed to be the descendants of Yuyang, son of the Yellow Emperor. Yuyang's descendants founded ten states successively, the State of Xie (谢) first, and its occupants becoming the first Xie.[4]

For the purpose of reciprocating his mother's upbringing, King Xuan of Zhou (r. 827 – 782 BCE) of the Western Zhou Dynasty granted the former State of Xie, in modern Nanyang, Henan province, to his maternal uncle Shen Boxi, the Marquess of Shen, whose line claimed descent from the semi-mythological character Bo Yi. The people of Xie later adopted the name of the state as their surname.[4]

By the early Qin dynasty, a branch of the Xie relocated to Yangxia (阳夏), Chen (陈) commandery (modern-day Taikang, Henan), and built a reputation as a noble clan.

In the Eastern Jin dynasty, the Xie were among the cluster of noble clans who fled to the south in the wake of the fall of Chang'an, dominating the court thereafter.[5]

Famous people with the surname Xie[edit]

Xie clan of Chen commandery[edit]

Politics & military[edit]

Entertainment and business[edit]

Literature and art[edit]





  1. ^ The approximate pronunciation in English is /ʃjɛ/.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pronunciation of Xie". Pronounce Names. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Newest 100 Surnames". 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  3. ^ Tanghe County and Taikang County of Henan Province: the origin of surname Xie Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., en.hnta.cn.
  4. ^ a b Chinese surname history: Xie, peopledaily.com Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  5. ^ Clans in the Eastern Jin, chinaknowledge.de