Baby Names

100+ Popular Taiwanese Last Names (2023)

Taiwanese last names are crucial to Taiwan’s cultural roots and identity. They represent a person’s family history. So it can often be used to trace their genealogy and links to their roots. In Taiwan, last names have a rich cultural value and are necessary to its heritage, reflecting its unique history and traditions. The use of last names in Taiwan dates back to ancient times when they were first used to differentiate people and families from one another.

Over time, they have changed, taking on new meanings and reflecting the cultural influences of different periods in Taiwan’s history, such as the Chinese and Japanese colonial ages. Today, last names remain an important part of the country’s identity and are used in everyday life, from formal documents to social gatherings. This article will provide an in-depth look at Taiwanese last names, exploring the origins, meanings, and common usage of some of the most popular names in the country. 

History of Last names in Taiwan

History of Last names in Taiwan

The history of surnames in Taiwan can be traced back to ancient times. During the time of the Han dynasty in China, the use of last names became more general and was used to maintain records of families and their origins. As a result, many of the last names used in Taiwan today have their roots in China and can be traced back to this period. In the 17th century, the Dutch colonized Taiwan, and Dutch names were introduced to the island.

After the Qing dynasty deported the Dutch in the late 17th century, the Chinese further influenced the use of last names in Taiwan. In 1895, Japan took control of Taiwan and ruled the island until the end of World War II. During this time, many Taiwanese were forced to adopt Japanese names, and using last names became compulsory in Taiwan. This resulted in a fusion of Chinese and Japanese last names and the introduction of new names from Japan.

After World War II, Taiwan became an independent nation, and using last names became an important element of its cultural identity. Today, many Taiwanese have last names that reflect their ancestry and family history, with many names originating from China and others from Japan. In conclusion, the history of last names in Taiwan reflects the country’s unique cultural heritage, shaped by influences from China, Japan, and other nations

Cultural significance of last names

Last names hold significant cultural importance in Taiwan. 

  • They symbolize a person’s family history and heritage and are used in daily life in various ways. Last names can help individuals trace their family history and ancestry, allowing them to connect with their roots and understand their place in the larger community. This is particularly important in Taiwan, where family is highly valued, and the sense of community is strong.
  • In addition to genealogy, last names are also used in everyday life to identify individuals and families. They are commonly used in formal documents, such as passports and ID cards, and are often used in social gatherings. It helps to determine people and families from one another.
  • The cultural significance of last names in Taiwan is also reflected in the meanings and origins of the names themselves. Many last names in Taiwan have roots in Chinese culture and history, and their meanings often reflect the characteristics and personalities of the families who use them. For example, a family with the last name “Wang” might be considered ambitious and driven, as the name means “king” in Chinese. 

50+ Most Common Taiwanese Surnames

  1. Chen – Of Chinese origin, meaning “morning” or “dawn.”
  2. Cheng – Of Chinese origin, meaning “complete” or “finish.”
  3. Chang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “long” or “eternal.”
  4. Chien – Of Chinese origin, meaning “healthy” or “strong.”
  5. Chiang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “river.”
  6. Chu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “to live” or “to exist.”
  7. Chiu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “bridge.”
  8. Chao (趙) – Surname
  9. Fan (范) – Model, exemplar
  10. Hsu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “study.”
  11. Ho – Of Chinese origin, meaning “good” or “virtuous.”
  12. Hsieh – Of Chinese origin, meaning “teacher.”
  13. Huang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “yellow.”
  14. Hsuan (宣) – Declare, announce
  15. Ho (何) – What, why
  16. Hsiao – Of Chinese origin, meaning “small.”
  17. Kuo – Of Chinese origin, meaning “nation” or “country.”
  18. Kuang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “light.”
  19. Ku – Of Chinese origin, meaning “ancient.”
  20. Liao (廖) – Liaison, connection
  21. Lin – Of Chinese origin, meaning “forest.”
  22. Lee – Of Chinese origin, meaning “plum.”
  23. Lai – Of Chinese origin, meaning “come” or “arrive.”
  24. Liu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “willow tree.”
  25. Li – Of Chinese origin, meaning “plum” or “practical.”
  26. Lu (陸) – Land, mainland
  27. Peng (彭) – Boom, blast
  28. Sung – Of Chinese origin, meaning “pine tree.”
  29. Shih – Of Chinese origin, meaning “teacher” or “scholar.”
  30. Shen (沈) – Sink, submerge.
  31. Shao (邵) – Surname
  32. Sun (孫) – Grandson
  33. Su (蘇) – Revive, awaken
  34. Shu (舒) – Ease, comfort
  35. Tao – Of Chinese origin, meaning “peach” or “pear.”
  36. Tsai – Of Chinese origin, meaning “vegetables.”
  37. Tu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “earth” or “soil.”
  38. Tuan (段) – Segment, part
  39. Tai (戴) – Wear, bear
  40. Ting (庭) – Courtyard, garden
  41. Teng (鄧) – Upright, tall
  42. Tseng – Of Chinese origin, meaning “increase” or “surplus.”
  43. Wei – Of Chinese origin, meaning “power” or “might.”
  44. Wang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “king.”
  45. Wu (吳) – Martial, Military
  46. Xu – Of Chinese origin, meaning “empty.”
  47. Yang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “sheep” or “goat.”
  48. Yeh – Of Chinese origin, meaning “leaf.”
  49. Yao – Of Chinese origin, meaning ” or “elegant.”
  50. Yu (余) – Surplus, the remainder
  51. Yen (顏) – Face
  52. Zhang – Of Chinese origin, meaning “stretch.”

40+ Unusual Taiwanese Surnames

Unusual Taiwanese Surnames

  1. A-chi means “one” or “first” in the indigenous Amis language.
  2. A-fu – “one luck” in Mandarin.
  3. A-Jian – Means “one healthy” in Mandarin.
  4. A-ning – “one peace” in Mandarin.
  5. A-xing – “one star” in Mandarin.
  6. Ai-ying – “love shadow” in Mandarin.
  7. Ching-lun – Means “clear sky” in Mandarin.
  8. Chiu-shan – Means “autumn mountain” in Mandarin.
  9. Chuan-fa – “pass the law” in Mandarin.
  10. Ding-yi – “settle one’s intentions” in Mandarin.
  11. Gao-tong – “highness” or “exaltedness” in Mandarin.
  12. Guo-chang – Means “national growth” in Mandarin.
  13. Hsin-yi – Means “new beginning” in Mandarin.
  14. Jia-ying – Means “add lustre” in Mandarin.
  15. Ju-hsin – This Means “pure heart” in Mandarin.
  16. Kao-chang – Means “high-level” or “superior” in Mandarin.
  17. Ke-hsin – Means “happy heart” in Mandarin.
  18. Lai-Chun – Means “come spring” in Mandarin.
  19. Lang-feng – Means “wolf wind” in Mandarin.
  20. Lin-ting – Means “forest pavilion” in Mandarin.
  21. Mei-Ying – Means “beautiful shadow” in Mandarin.
  22. Min-feng – Means “people’s wind” in Mandarin.
  23. Nian-ying – “new shadow” in Mandarin.
  24. Ping-yi – Means “calm one” in Mandarin.
  25. Qing-lun – Means “clear sky” in Mandarin.
  26. Ren-hong – Means “mankind’s red” in Mandarin.
  27. Ru-Xuan – “like a mystery” in Mandarin.
  28. Sheng-Feng – “birth wind” in Mandarin.
  29. Shun-yi – “smooth one” in Mandarin.
  30. Ting-Feng – This means “listen to the wind” in Mandarin.
  31. Wen-ying – Means “cultured shadow” in Mandarin.
  32. Wu-Feng – Means “five winds” in Mandarin.
  33. Xiao-Ying – Means “little shadow” in Mandarin.
  34. Xing-yi – Means “star one” in Mandarin.
  35. Yang-Feng – Means “sheep wind” in Mandarin.
  36. Yin-yang – Means “shadow shadow” in Mandarin.
  37. Ying-chun – This Means “shadow spring” in Mandarin.
  38. Yu-hong – Means “jade red” in Mandarin.
  39. Zhi-Feng – “know wind” in Mandarin.
  40. Zhi-Ying – Means “know shadow” in Mandarin.
  41. Zhi-Chun – Means “know spring” in Mandarin.
  42. Zhi-hong – “know red” in Mandarin.
  43. Zhong-ying – “centre shadow” in Mandarin.
  44. Zu-feng – Means “foot wind” in Mandarin.

Trends in last name usage

In recent years, there has been a change in the use of surnames in Taiwan. Some traditional last names are becoming less popular, while new, unique ones are becoming more popular. Some of the factors contributing to these trends include:

  1. Marriage: Many people in Taiwan change their last names after marriage, leading to a mix of traditional and new last names in the country.
  2. Urbanization: As more people move from rural areas to cities, traditional last names are becoming less common. In cities, people are more likely to adopt unique, modern surnames.
  3. Globalization: With increased globalization, people in Taiwan are becoming more exposed to different cultures and are adopting last names from other countries.
  4. Modernization: As Taiwan becomes more modern and Westernized, traditional last names are becoming less popular. Some people are adopting more Western-style last names to reflect their changing cultural identity.

Despite these changes, traditional last names are still highly valued in Taiwan and are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Many families take great pride in keeping their last names and passing them down from generation to generation.


The last names in Taiwan have a rich history and cultural importance. They reflect the country’s unique combination of Chinese, Japanese, and other cultural influences. And also they are important to Taiwan’s legacy. The most common last names in Taiwan include Lin, Chen, and Wang, while unique and unusual last names are also becoming increasingly famous. Despite these changes, surnames remain important in Taiwan’s identity and cultural heritage. They are used daily and are a source of pride for many families. Understanding the history and cultural significance of last names in Taiwan is important, as they play a crucial role in shaping the country’s cultural identity. So, if you want to know more about Taiwanese Last Names, this place is for you!

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