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Zhang (Traditional Chinese: 張, Simplified Chinese: 张, pinyin: Zhāng, Wade-Giles: Chang, Yale: Jeung, Penkyamp: Zoeng or Cheung) is among the most common Chinese surnames. There are currently well over 100 million people worldwide with this surname. The use of this surname dates back to about 4,700 years ago.

Note: 章 is a less common surname which also has the pronunciation of Zhāng.

Table of contents
1 Character Analysis
2 History of the Surname
3 Prominent people with family name 張
4 Prominent people with family name 章

Character Analysis

The character per se is comprised of 弓 (gong1 -- bow used in warfare) and 长 (chang2/zhang3 -- length/to grow, though it is probably the latter that contributes to the notion of an expanding bow). Appropriately, the ancient form of this character uses 巨 (ju4 -- huge, towering) in place of 长, thereby suggesting an even more concrete idea; this form is considered today to be that of an ancient variant which has since faded from everyday usage. Zhang1's literal translation is "to open forth", or "to spread", although its common use is a measure word for (relatively) flat objects such as paper and mattresses.

Prominent people with family name 張

Prominent people with family name 章