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First name origin & meaning:

Chinese: Fragrant; sweet-smelling

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Chinese: from the name of Ji Fang Shu, a senior adviser to the penultimate king of the Western Zhou dynasty, Xuan Wang (827–781 bc). He is known for the expeditions he undertook to calm southern tribes. His descendants adopted part of his name, Fang, as their surname.
  2. Chinese: from the name of the ancient state of Fang (in present-day Henan province). The model emperor Yao (2357–2257 bc) was admired by Confucius for his virtuous leadership and his selection of his successor, Shun, on grounds of merit rather than heredity. (Yao passed over his own son, Dan Zhu, who did not display governing ability, and chose Shun.) When Shun ascended the throne, he granted the state of Fang to Dan Zhu’s son. His descendants eventually adopted the name of the state Fang as their surname.
  3. German: from Middle High German vanc ‘catch’, ‘enclosure’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosed plot of land, a hunting ground, a place where traps were set (for game or fish), or a pit; or a byname, meaning ‘the catch’, for a foreigner who had been forced into bondage.
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