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100 Common Cantonese Names: The Best List

May 11, 2022

Have you ever wondered what your Cantonese/Chinese name is? Today, we will learn about common Cantonese names (名 meng2) and walk you through their unique symbolism and meanings. Are you ready for that? If you are, keep reading below!

Are you confused by what we mean when we say "Cantonese"? You see, Cantonese is one of the Chinese language varieties spoken in the southern part of the People's Republic of China or Mainland China, particularly in Guangdong Province. It is also the Chinese language spoken in Hong Kong, Macau, and amongst the Chinese diaspora.

Cantonese seems difficult to learn, especially for a non-native speaker. English speakers and other languages might find it hard to learn because it uses traditional characters and has different tones that affect the meaning of the words. There is also no standard romanization system used in Cantonese, unlike Mandarin, which uses Pinyin. But, if you're really into learning Cantonese, do not assume that it's so hard to learn without trying.

So today, let us learn the common Cantonese names that Hong Kongers use. You will discover many things about Cantonese names, surnames, and even addressing a Hong Konger. Romanization of the words is also available to guide you with the pronunciations.

 

All About Cantonese Names

Common - Cantonese-Names-Ling
  • Hong Kong names are based on Chinese naming customs.
  • In Cantonese writing, Hong Kongers employs Chinese characters to write English names.
  • Structure: Family Name + First Name + Second Name (3 Elements) orFamily Name + Given Name (2 Elements)
  • As the individual's identification, the given name is selected at birth. One or two syllables/Chinese characters are possible. Two-syllable/Chinese character given names can be written combined, hyphenated, or separated into two. However, in Hong Kong, it is customary to write one's given name as two separate words.
  • Family name and given name are written without spaces.
  • Many Chinese characters can be used as both personal and family names.
  • The person's family name is inherited from their parents and shared with other immediate family members and relatives. It appears before the given name or first name.
  • Elements: Every element of a Chinese name has meaning. Given names frequently have a literal meaning that indicates a desirable value, attribute, or characteristic for the individual. Usually, parents give their children names that symbolize their expectations. They do not give names with negative meanings. They even consult a fortune teller.
  • Names have different aspirational implications for men and women. But, when it was being translated to the Roman alphabet, telling the gender using the name appeared to be tricky.
  • There are two ways to come up with your Cantonese name. The first one is using the meaning of your name, which is the traditional one. The second one is by taking out the sound of Chinese characters and creating a Cantonese name comparable to your English name. Example: Daniel (Da, Ni, El): 丹 (daan1) 尼 (nei4) 爾 (ji5) = 丹尼爾 (daan1 nei4 yi5)
  • It is neither common nor appropriate to name a child after a parent or other relative.
  • In some families, immediate siblings may have the same character in their names, referred to as a "generation" name.
  • Cantonese speakers use their own Pinyin system, which differs from mainland Chinese Mandarin spellings.
  • Because there are so many ways to express Chinese characters in English, the same Chinese name can be spelled with various spellings depending on the dialect and transcription system employed.
  • During the marriage, women do not change their legal names. Some government employees may prefer to use their husband's surname before their own.
  • Close friends and family may address one another according to their social standing or kinship.

 

Pronunciation Of Common Cantonese Names

  • Jyutping: Jyutping's digits are tone marks that can be erased to make reading easier.
  • You need to learn how to pronounce the names right. Cantonese is used to be known and defined as just a spoken language. It uses the same standard Chinese characters, but Cantonese has a lot of differences, especially in pronunciation. Cantonese terms are pronounced differently. It also has nine (9) tones than the regular Chinese languages.

 

Westernizing Cantonese Names

  • Many persons use a 'westernized' version of their original Chinese name to adapt to international and English-speaking situations. This will involve changing the order or the arrangement of the name. Format: English name + Cantonese Family Name + Cantonese given name.
  • The majority of Hong Kong residents have an English name that they use daily and in foreign and English-speaking situations, which can be chosen by their immediate family members or themselves.

 

Common Chinese Surnames

Chinese-Surnames - Common-Cantonese-Names-Ling

Since Cantonese/Chinese family names (姓 sing3) are written before the first name, let us first learn about Cantonese surnames or family names. As said above, Cantonese surnames are inherited from parents and shared with other family members. It is commonly a single word or Chinese character. There are, however, two-syllable last names.

As of today, the most common surname in Hong Kong is Chan (Can4), followed by Leung (梁Loeng4), Cheung (張 Zoeng1), Lau (劉 Lau4), and Li (李 Lei5). Below is the list of common surnames in Cantonese.

SurnameCantoneseJyutping RomanizationPronunciationMeaning
PakBaak6Bahkwhite
ChanCan4Chanold, Chen state
ChuiCeoi1Chui Cheuytowering
TsuiCeoi4Cheuyslow, Xu state
ChunCeon4CheunQin dynasty
ChinCin4Chinmoney
ChingCing4Chingrule, order, journey
ChoiCoi3ChoyCai state
TsoCou4TsohCao state
DaiDaai3Dah-ito support, to wear
DangDang6DangDeng state
DingDing1Dinga strong man
DungDung2Dungto supervise, mentor
DuenDyun6Deunsection, part
FanFaan6Fahnexample
FongFong1Fongsquare
FuFu6Footeacher
FungFung4FungFeng state, to gallop
GaGaa2Gahmerchant
GamGam1Gamgold
GeungGoeng1GeungGinger
GongGong1Gongriver
GoGou1Gohtall
GuGu3Gooto regard, to look back
GungGung1Gungto give, to present
HaHaa6Hahsummer
HuiHeoi2Heu-ito allow; Xu state
HeungHeung3HeungDirection
HoHo4HohHan state
HongHong1Honghealthy
HungHung2Hunghole, opening
YamJam6Yamto appoint
YauJau1Yaohills
YikYik6Yikto exchange, easy
YimJim4Yimvillage gate
YipJip6Yipleaf
YeungJoeng4Yeungaspen tree, Yang state
YueJyu1Yeuin, on, at, to go to
YeunJyun4Yeunlong robe
KiuKiu4Kyotall
Lai / LayLaai6Lah-ito rely on
LaiLai4Laia multitude
LamLam4Lamforest
LaoLau4LauHan royalty, to kill
Lee/LiLei5LeePlum
LuiLeoi4Leu-iThunder
LiuLiu6LyooLiao state
LoLo4Logatherer
LeungLoeng4Leungbeam, Liang state
LoLou4Lohcottage
LukLuk6Lukland
LungLung4LungDragon
MaMaa5Mahhorse, Mafu state
ManMaan6Mahnten thousand
ManMan4Manwords, to write
MokMok6Moknot
MoMou4Mohhair, fur
NgNg4Ngloud, Wu state
NgaiNgai6NgaiWei state
PangPang4Pangdescendant of Peng Zu
PoonPun1PunPun river
SamSam2Samto sink
SekSek6Sekstone
SiSi2Seehistory
SitSit3Sitwormwood
SeungSoeng4Seungcommon, often
SoSou1Sohto come to
SungSung3SungSong state
SeunSyun1Seungrandson
TongTong4TongTang dynasty
ToTou4Tohpleased
WanWan5Wanto administer
WongWong1Wongsea
WuWu4Woomustache, beard
TsangZang1Tsanggrandparent/child relationship, Zeng state
ChowZau1Chaosurrounding, circumference, Zhou state
TseZe6Tsehthankful, Xie state
ChengZeng6ChengZheng state
ChiuZiu6ChooZhao state
CheungZoeng1Cheungto expand, to pull a string
TseungZoeng2Tseungwild rice
ChungZung1Chungbell, Zhongli state
ChuZyu1Cheucrimson, Zhu state

 

Common Cantonese/Chinese Names

Now that you already know the common Cantonese last names, let us learn some personal names in Cantonese (名 meng2).

Male Cantonese Names

NameCantonese And Jyutping RomanizationMeaning
Aiguo愛國 (ngoi3 gwok3)Love of country
Bai擺 (baai2)white, pure, many, cypress tree
Bo波 (bo1)Ocean wave
Bowen博文 (bok3 man4)Abundant, literate, rich
Chang張 (zoeng1)long, prosper, good, smooth, sunlight
Chao趙 (ziu6)tide, surpass
Chen陳 (can4)morning
Cheng鄭 (zeng6)sincere, finished
Chih-Cheng志成 (zi3 sing4)Accomplishing goals in life
Chia-Hao家豪 (gaa1 hou4)Having great objectives in life
Chih-Ming志明 (zi3 ming4)Having clear goals in life
Chun-Chieh俊傑 (zeon3 git6)life, youthful, spring
Da达 (daat6)
大 (daai6)
intelligence, great, attaintment
De德 (dak1)virtue
Dong东 (dung1)
栋 (dung6)
pillar, East
Feng峯 (fung1)summit
Fang芳 (fong1)
方 (fong1)
virtuous, fragrant
Fu富 (fu3)
芙 (fu4)
甫 (pou2)
hibiscus, wealthy, father, man
Gang剛 (gong1)strong
Guo国 (gwok3)country
Hai海 (hoi2)sea
Haoran浩然 (hou6 jin4)grand in manner
Hao-Yu浩宇 (hou6 jyu5)a grand house
He河 (ho4)
和 (wo4)
river or harmony
Heng恒 (hang4)constant
Hong虹 (hung4)
红 (hung4)
弘 (wang4)
鸿 (hung4)
宏 (wang4)
rainbow, expand, vast, wild swan
Jia佳 (gaai1)
家 (gaa1)
home, auspicious, family
Jian建 (gin3)
健 (gin6)
establish, build, strong, healthy
Jin金 (gam1)gold
Jing静 (zing6)
精 (zing1)
晶 (zing1)
京 (ging1)
capital city, quiet, crystal, spirit
Kai凯 (hoi2)
开 (hoi1)
開 (hoi1)
啟 (kai2)
start, victory
Lin林 (lam4)forest
Liang亮 (loeng6)brilliant, bright
Ming明 (ming4)bright
Ping平 (ping4)stable, level
Qiang强 (koeng4)strong
Qiu秋 (cau1)
丘 (jau1)
hill, autumn
Rong荣 (wing4)
融 (jung4)
容 (jung4)
glory, prosperous, appearance, and harmonize
Shi时 (si4)
实 (sat6)
史 (si2)
石 (sek6)
generation, stone, honest, history
Tao涛 (tou4)large waves
Wei伟 (wai5)greatness
Wen文 (man4)a literate
Wu武 (mou5)military
Xiang翔 (coeng4)
祥 (coeng4)
soar
good luck
Yang洋 (joeng4)
阳 (joeng4)
ocean, male, sunny
Ying雨泽 (jyu5 zaak6)Rain or friend, pool or brilliance
Yuxuan宇轩 (jyu5 hin1)high house
Zihan子涵 (zi2 haam4)tolerate, child
Zixuan子轩 (zi2 hin1)child, high

Female Names In Cantonese

NameCantonese And Jyutping RomanizationMeaning
Ai爱 (ngoi3)
蔼 (oi2)
love, affection, or friendly, lush
An安 (ngon1)quiet, peace
An Na安納 (ngon1 naap6)peace, quiet, elegant, delicate, graceful
An Ni安旎 (ngon1 nei5)peace, quiet
Bao宝 (bou2)
苞 (baau1)
bud, treasure
Bi碧 (bik1)green jade
Caihong彩红 (coi2 hung4)rainbow
Chun春 (ceon1)Spring season
Fen芬 (fan1)
芳 (fong1)
fragrance, perfume
Hai Rong海榮 (hoi2 wing4)prosperous, flourishing, coming from the seas
Hua欢 (fun1)happy
Huang凰 (wong4)phoenix
Hui慧 (wai6)intelligent, wise
Jìngyi靜義 (zing6 ji6)
静怡 (zing6 ji4)
quiet, harmony, gentle, joy
Ju菊 (guk1)chrysanthemum
Juan娟 (gyun1)beautiful, graceful
Kun坤 (kwan1)earth, female
Lan兰 (laan4)elegant, orchid
Lei蕾 (leoi4)bud
Li丽 (lai6)beautiful
Ling灵 (ling4)
铃 (ling4)
spirit, bell
Mei美 (mei5)
梅 (mui4)
beautiful or plum
Mei-hui美惠 (mei5 wai6)wise, beautiful
Meilin美林 (mei5 lam4)beautiful forest
Meiling美灵 (mei5 ling4)beautiful spirit
Na暖 (nyun5)delicate, elegant
Ning宁 (ning4)peaceful
Nuan娜 (naa4)genial and warm
Qing青 (cing1)
清 (cing1)
green, blue, young
Qiuyue秋月 (cau1 jyut6)autumn moon
Shu淑 (suk6)good, virtuous
Shufen淑芬 (suk6 fan1)good fragrance
Shu-hui淑惠 (suk6 wai6)submit, obey
Su素 (sou3)
肃 (suk1)
simple, plain, respectful
Wei微 (mei4)
薇 (mei4)
Feminine forms mean petite or fern
Xiu秀 (sau3)elegant, beautiful, luxurious
Xiulan秀兰 (sau3 laan4)beautiful orchid
Xiuying秀英 (sau3 jing1)petal, beautiful flower
Xue雪 (syut3)
学 (hok6)
snow or learning
Ya雅 (ngaa5)elegant, graceful
Yan艳 (jim6)beautiful
Ya-ting雅婷 (ngaa5 ting4)elegant and graceful
Yawen雅雯 (ngaa5 man4)graceful clouds
Yi怡 (ji4)
仪 (ji4)
Feminine versions mean joy or ceremony
Yin银 (ngan4)
音(jam1)
荫 (jam3)
shelter, sound, silver
Yu玉 (juk6)
愉 (jyu4)
雨 (jyu5)
pleasant, jade, rain
Yun云 (wan4)
允 (wan5)
cloud, allow
Zhen珍 (zan1)
真 (zan1)
贞 (zing1)
real, virtuous, precious

English Names Using Chinese Characters

English NameCantoneseJyutping Romanization
Daniel丹尼爾daan1 nei4 ji5
George佐治zo2 zi6
Jacob雅各nga5 gok3
Jennifer珍妮花zan1 nei4 faa1
Kimberly金佰利gam1 baak3 lei6
Michael米高mai5 gou1
Noah諾亞nok6 aa3
Thomas湯瑪斯tong1 maa5 si1

 

How To Address A Hong Konger?

Hong Kongers are the people living in Hong Kong. When you visit Hong Kong, it's essential to keep yourself noted of the way you address them. It's not enough that you simply know their names. Here are some things to remember about addressing people in Hong Kong:

  • Hong Kongers use several names that they use interchangeably depending on the situation. They have married names, social names, business names, school names, and English names. But, do not worry too much because they usually tell you which name to use.
  • Remember that first name is an intimate form of addressing a Hong Konger. It is for family members, couples, and in-laws. If you're just normal friends or acquaintances, it's better to address them by their family names because it can be seen as a sign of disrespect.
  • If you are a foreigner, you don't have to worry because most Hong Kongers will introduce themselves using their English name.
  • Close friends can give each other nicknames by repeating the second half of a person's given name twice.

 

What's Next In Learning About Cantonese Names?

https://ling-app.com/learn-cantonese

You have learned above that the name Ling means 'spirit' in Cantonese. But, did you know that there's another Ling that can help you learn Cantonese more than just a common Cantonese name?

Ling App is a language learning platform that helps develop your language skills. It has well-developed features that will provide you with an engaging yet essential language learning experience. Ling App will also give you more information about the culture of the languages you are learning through blog posts like this.

Interacting with Hong Kongers doesn't begin and end in self-introduction. After learning common Cantonese names, make sure to widen your vocabulary and develop your language skills using Ling App. So, go to the website or download Ling App now!

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