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Surname Ming - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

Empowering Personal History: A Review of iGENEA DNA Test and Insights into the Ming Surname

Recently, I undertook the iGENEA DNA test to uncover my lineage and profoundly understand my Ming surname. The DNA test harmonizes cutting-edge genetic science with traditional genealogical methods to surface significant historical truths.

X. Ming

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Ming: What does the surname Ming mean?

Ming is a Chinese surname that has several interpretations. The most common meaning is "bright" or "shining." However, it can also mean "understanding" or "enlightenment." This surname is derived from the ancient state of Ming, which was in the territory of the modern-day province of Shandong in the East of China. The surname was adopted by many families in honor of this state. One of the most well-known uses of Ming is the Ming Dynasty, a ruling dynasty in China from 1368 to 1644, known for its cultural and economic progress. Despite its popularity in China, Ming is relatively rare as a surname in other parts of the world. As with many Chinese surnames, the exact meaning of Ming can vary depending on the context and the characters used.

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Ming: Where does the name Ming come from?

The surname Ming is of Chinese origin. It is derived from the Chinese character "Ming" which commonly signifies brightness or clarity. Its roots date back to the ancient era of Chinese emperors. During the reign of Emperor Yao, approximately 4,000 years ago, a man who served as a high ranking minister was bestowed with the title of "Ming". Over time, the name was adopted as a surname by his descendants and the tradition continued.

Ming is a prevalent surname in China, especially among the Han Chinese, which is the largest ethnic group in the country. It may also be found among Chinese diaspora worldwide. However, it's worth mentioning that some people named Ming in the West might have adopted or translated the name due to its simplicity and easy pronunciation, rather than it being a true representation of their ancestral name. Lastly, it's important to note that in Chinese culture, the surname is traditionally placed before the given name, contrary to the naming order in many Western countries.

Variations of the surname Ming

The surname Ming has Chinese origins and it is often associated with the meaning "bright" or "shining." Due to various English translations from Mandarin or Cantonese, the surname can be spelled in multiple ways such as Ming, Meng, Mung, or Mingg. The confusion in the spelling comes from the difficulty of translating Chinese characters to English alphabets.

In terms of surnames of the same origin, Ming is closely related to Chinese surnames like Li, Wang, Zhang, Liu, Chen, Yang, Huang, Zhao, Wu, Zhou, Xu, Sun, Ma, Zhu, and Hu, all of which are common and originate from China.

Sometimes, depending on the region's custom, a prefix may be added to the surname such as "Ng," "Ang," or "Ong" which are commonly used in Southeast Asia, making it look like Ng Ming, Ang Ming, or Ong Ming. These are still considered variants of the original surname Ming.

However, with the dynamics of global migration, intermarriage, and cultural assimilation, the Ming surname can be amalgamated, changed, or hyphenated thus creating diverse variants not captured in this brief overview. Some Mings may also be of Scottish or English origin, stemming from the Gaelic word “meinn,” meaning “hill.”

Famous people with the name Ming

  • Wu Tianming: Chinese Film Director who helped modernize China's film industry in the 1980s.
  • Ming Tsai: Celebrity Chef known for hosting “Simply Ming” on PBS.
  • Tony Leung Chiu-Wai: Hong Kong Actor known for his roles in films such as In the Mood for Love, Infernal Affairs and 2046.
  • Jimmy Ming Shum: Canadian Paralympic Swimmer who has competed in four consecutive Paralympic Games since 2004.
  • Ming-Na Wen: American Actress known for her roles in ER, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the voice of Mulan.
  • Jackie Chan: International Action Film Star known for his roles in the Rush Hour films, Shanghai Noon and Kung Fu Panda.
  • Ellen Wu Ming: Taiwanese Singer and Model known for her debut EP “What the...Love”.
  • Ava DuVernay: American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter known for her work on Selma, 13th, and A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Tsai Chin: Taiwanese Singer and Actress known for her leading roles in films such as Eat Drink Man Woman and TheJoy Luck Club.
  • T.S. Ming: Hong Kong Author and Film Critic best known for his book “Contemporary Chinese Film”.

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