Zheng (surname)

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Zheng (Cheng/Chang/Cheang)
Zheng name.png
PronunciationZhèng (Mandarin)
Tcheng or Cheng/Chang (Hong Kong)
Cheang (Macao)
Tee,Tay, Teh or The (Hokkien, Teochew)
Dang or Dhang (Hokchew)
Region of originChina
Meaningname of an ancient state in Henan province
Other names
Variant(s)Trịnh (Vietnamese)
Chung, Jung, Jeong (Korean)
Saetae (Thai)

Zhèng (Hanyu Pinyin) or Cheng (Wade-Giles) is a Chinese surname and also the name of an ancient state in today's Henan province. It is written as 鄭 in traditional Chinese and 郑 in simplified Chinese.

In 2006, Zheng (Cheng/Chang) ranked 21st in China's list of top 100 most common surnames. Zheng (Cheng/Chang) belongs to the second major group of ten surnames which makes up more than 10% of the Chinese population.[1][2][3] Zheng (Cheng/Chang) was a major surname of the rich and powerful during China's Tang dynasty.[4]

In Hong Kong and Taiwan, the name is normally romanized as Cheng or Tcheng, but it is occasionally romanized as Chang in Hong Kong. It is commonly romanized as Cheng, Cheang and Teh in Malaysia, Tay in Singapore and Te in Indonesia and Philippines,[5] from the Hakka, Hokkien and Teochew pronunciation of the character. It also pronounces Dâng in Hokchew.

The surname also has taken form outside of Chinese societies: in Vietnamese as Trịnh. In Korean, the name is written 정 and transliterated as Chung, Jung, or Jeong. It is the fifth most common Korean surname (after Kim, Yi, Park, and Choi), with about 4.85% of the South Korean population (2,230,611 people) having this name.


The Zheng surname originated in Henan. In 806 BC, King Xuan, the penultimate king of the Western Zhou Dynasty, enfeoffed his younger brother Prince You, who became posthumously known as Duke Huan of Zheng, at Zheng (present-day Hua County, Shaanxi). Duke Huan was killed along with King You of Zhou when the Quanrong tribes sacked the Zhou capital Haojing in 771 BC. Duke Huan was succeeded by his son Duke Wu, who helped King Ping of Zhou establish the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in Luoyang, and his feudal state of Zheng was also moved east to present-day Henan. His descendants and many people of the state later adopted Zheng as their surname.[6][7][8]

During the Tang dynasty the Li family of Zhaojun 赵郡李氏, the Cui family of Boling 博陵崔氏, the Cui family of Qinghe 清河崔氏, the Lu family of Fanyang 范陽盧氏, the Zheng family of Xingyang 荥阳郑氏, the Wang family of Taiyuan 太原王氏, and the Li family of Longxi 隴西李氏 were the seven noble families between whom marriage was banned by law.[9] Moriya Mitsuo wrote a history of the Later Han-Tang period of the Taiyuan Wang. Among the strongest families was the Taiyuan Wang.[10] The prohibition on marriage between the clans issued in 659 by the Gaozong Emperor was flouted by the seven families since a woman of the Boling Cui married a member of the Taiyuan Wang, giving birth to the poet Wang Wei.[11] He was the son of Wang Chulian who in turn was the son of Wang Zhou.[12] The marriages between the families were performed clandestinely after the prohibition was implemented on the seven families by Gaozong.[13] Their status as "Seven Great surnames" became known during Gaozong's rule.[14]

Spelling and pronunciation[edit]

Chinese Mandarin (Hanyu Pinyin) Hakka Cantonese (Jyutping) Hokkien (Pe̍h-ōe-jī) Hokchew (Bàng-uâ-cê)
Trad. Simp.
Meixian: cang52
Huiyang: cang53
Fengshun: chang31
Wuhua: qang31
Songkou: cang52
Yingde: qang31
Sixian: cang55
Hailu: chang33
Dabu: chang53
Raoping: chang24
Zhao'an: chang55
Hong Kong: cang55
zeng6 Tēⁿ[permanent dead link] / Tīⁿ[permanent dead link] Dâng

Notable people[edit]

There are over 400 Zhengs listed in the Who's Who in Chinese History.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

See also[edit]

  • Zheng Dynasty, Koxinga's family, which ruled Taiwan during the early Qing dynasty


  1. ^ National Natural Science Foundation, China. Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. China renews top 100 surnames, Li still the biggest, People's Daily, January 11, 2006.
  2. ^ Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Huston, Texas
  3. ^ Origins of Chinese Names By Chunjiang Fu, Asiapac Editorial, Wei Lin Chua, Joo Ling Choong Published by Asiapac Books Pte Ltd, 2007; ISBN 981-229-462-7, ISBN 978-981-229-462-3; p. 37 Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Origins of Chinese Names By Chunjiang Fu, Asiapac Editorial, Wei Lin Chua, Joo Ling Choong Published by Asiapac Books Pte Ltd, 2007; ISBN 981-229-462-7, ISBN 978-981-229-462-3; p. 36 Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Setyautama, Sam; Mihardja, Suma (2008). Tokoh-tokoh Etnis Tionghoa di Indonesia [Ethnic Chinese Figures in Indonesia] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Gramedia. ISBN 978-979-9101-25-9.
  6. ^ Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
  7. ^ Top 100 surnames: in the Lower Mainland by Chad Skelton, published in the Vancouver Sun, Saturday, November 03, 2007 Archived June 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Origins of Chinese Names By Chunjiang Fu, Asiapac Editorial, Wei Lin Chua, Joo Ling Choong Published by Asiapac Books Pte Ltd, 2007; ISBN 981-229-462-7, ISBN 978-981-229-462-3; p. 60 Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ p. 67.
  10. ^ A Zürcher (Milchfecker): Eine nicht alltägliche Stimme aus der Emmentaler-Käsereipraxis. Brill Archive. 1830. pp. 351–. GGKEY:WD42J45TCZZ.
  11. ^ Wei Wang; Tony Barnstone; Willis Barnstone; Haixin Xu (1991). Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei. UPNE. pp. xxvii–xxviii. ISBN 978-0-87451-564-0.
  12. ^ Jingqing Yang (2007). The Chan Interpretations of Wang Wei's Poetry: A Critical Review. Chinese University Press. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-962-996-232-6.
  13. ^ A Study of Yuan Zhen's Life and Verse 809--810: Two Years that Shaped His Politics and Prosody. ProQuest. 2008. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-0-549-80334-8.
  14. ^ William H. Nienhauser (2010). Tang Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader. World Scientific. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-981-4287-28-9.
  15. ^ Who's who in China, 1919
  16. ^ Who's who in China, Containing the Pictures and Biographics of Some of China's Political, Financial By John Benjamin Powell, Hollington Kong Tong Published by Millard's review, 1920
  17. ^ Who's who in China [Supplement to the 3d Ed.] edited by John Benjamin Powell Published by The China Weekly Review, 1928
  18. ^ Who's who in China: Biographies of Chinese : Supplement By China Weekly Review Published by China Weekly Review, 1931
  19. ^ Who's who in China: Containing the Pictures and Biographies of China's Best Known Political, Financial, Business and Professional Leaders ... By Zhixiang Hao Published by The China weekly review, 1931
  20. ^ Who's who in China Published by China Weekly Review, 1936; Item notes: 1936
  21. ^ Who's who in China: Biographies of Chinese Leaders. Chung-kuo Ming Jen Lu Published by The China Weekly Review, 1936
  22. ^ Who's who in China: Biographies of Chinese Leaders : Supplement to Fifth Edition : (including a Section Embracing Those who are Affiliated with Japanese-sponsored Administrations Within Areas Controlled by the Japanese Military Forces Published by The China weekly review, 1940
  23. ^ Who's who in China By Who's Who Staff Published by AMS Press, 1950; ISBN 0-404-56968-4, ISBN 978-0-404-56968-6
  24. ^ Who's who in China; Biographical Sketches of 542 Chinese Communist Leaders.: Biographical Sketches of 542 Chinese Communist Leaders By Donald W. Klein Published 1959
  25. ^ Who's who in China, 1918-1950: With an Index By Jerome Cavanaugh, Chinese Materials Center Published by Chinese Materials Center, 1982; Item notes: v.1
  26. ^ Who's who in China: Current Leaders By Who's Who in China, "Zhongguo ren ming da ci dian" bian ji bu; Published by Foreign Languages Press, 1989; ISBN 0-8351-2352-9, ISBN 978-0-8351-2352-5
  27. ^ Who's who in China: Chinese-English Manual of Chinese Leaders and Government Organizations = 汉英中国领导人暨政府机构手册 Published by TWL, 1993
  28. ^ Who's Who in China By Sony Imagesoft Published by Sonic Books, 1994; ISBN 1-56673-135-6, ISBN 978-1-56673-135-5
  29. ^ Who's who in China: [a First-ever Comprehensive Compilation of the Powerful, Affluent, and Influential in China - Their Stories, Net Worth and Networks] Contributor Gerald Leong Published by Inspire Publ, 2004; ISBN 3-938159-00-6, ISBN 978-3-938159-00-2

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Surnames of a Hundred Families (Bai Jia Xing), 960AD-1127AD
  • Annal of Surnames by Gao Shilian, 627AD
  • Chinese Dimensions: Their Roots, Mindset and Psyche by Dr.Yow Yit Seng, 2006, Malaysia, 1st Edition; ISBN 967-978-927-6