First name origin & meaning:
Last name origins & meanings:
- Chinese: from a character meaning ‘prince’. There
are numerous unrelated Wang clans, descendants of various princes of
the Shang (1766–1122 bc) and Zhou (1122–221 bc)
dynasties, including in particular descendants of the Shang dynasty
prince Bi Gan and descendants of Bi Gonggao, 15th son of the virtuous
duke Wen Wang, who was granted the state of Wei (a different state of
Wei than that granted the eighth son; compare Sun).
- Chinese: from the name of a state or area called Wang.
From ancient times through the Xia (2205–1766 bc) and Shang
(1766–1122 bc) dynasties there existed a state of
Wang. Later, during the Spring and Autumn period (722–481
bc), there also existed an area named Wang in the state of
Lu. Some descendants of the ruling class of both areas took the place
name Wang as their surname.
- Korean: there is one Chinese
character for the surname Wang. Some sources indicate that there are
fifteen Wang clans, but only two can be identified: the Kaesŏng
Wang clan and the Chenam Wang clan. The Kaesŏng Wang clan, which
originated in China, ruled the Korean peninsula for almost five
hundred years as the ruling dynasty of the Koryŏ period
(918–1392). There are some indications that the Kaesŏng Wang clan
was present in the ancient Chosŏn Kingdom (?194 bc). When
the Chŏnju Yi clan seized power in 1392 and established the
Chosŏn kingdom, many of the members of the Kaesŏng Wang clan
changed their names and went into hiding to avoid being persecuted by
the new ruling dynasty. The Chenam Wang clan is also of Chinese
origin. The Chenam Wang clan is much smaller than the Kaesŏng Wang
- German and Dutch: from Middle German wang,
Middle Dutch waenge, literally ‘cheek’, but also in southern
German having the transferred sense ‘grassy slope’ or ‘field of
grass’. It was thus either a topographic name for someone who lived by
a meadow or a descriptive nickname for someone with noticeable cheeks
(for example, round or rosy).
- Jewish (Ashkenazic): either a borrowing of the German name (see 4), or else a regional name
for a Jew from Hungary (compare Russian Vengria
- Scandinavian: variant spelling of Vang 1.
Famous people with this last name:
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