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Ban is the Mandarin pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname written in Chinese character. It is romanized Pan in Wade–Giles. Ban is listed 235th in the Song dynasty classic text Hundred Family Surnames.[1] It is not among the 300 most common surnames in China.[2]

Ban (班)
PronunciationBan (Mandarin)
Language(s)Old Chinese
MeaningStripes (of a tiger)
Other names
Variant form(s)Pan



The surname Ban originated from Mi 芈, the royal surname of the State of Chu of ancient China. Dou Gouwutu (鬬穀於菟; fl. 7th century BC), a grandson of the Chu ruler Ruo'ao, was said to have been abandoned as an infant and nursed by a tigress. His given name Gouwutu, meant nursed (穀 gòu, milk) by a tiger (於菟 wūtú, tiger) in the Chu language. Dou Gouwutu grew up to become a general and the Prime Minister of Chu. His descendants adopted Ban (meaning "stripes", an allusion to tiger's stripes) as their surname.[3]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "百家姓" [Hundred Family Surnames] (in Chinese). Guoxue. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  2. ^ 中国最新300大姓排名(2008) [300 most common surnames in China (2008)] (in Chinese). 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" 班姓起源,名人及家谱 [Origin and famous people of the Ban surname] (in Chinese). Shangdu. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)