Yan (surname)

Yan is a surname in several languages and the pinyin romanization for several Chinese surnames, including " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()", " ()" in simplified (traditional) form.

These characters are romanised as Yen in the Wade–Giles romanization system which was commonly used before the early 80s. As such, individuals and institutions who had to romanize their Chinese names prior to that time, such as when having their books translated or publishing manuscripts outside of China, used "Yen" instead of "Yan". Such examples include Yenching University and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. The Yan surname in Taiwan is mostly spelled as Yen since only until recently has the government approved the use of pinyin romanization of names. The Cantonese romanization of these surnames is "Yim". As such, most people from Hong Kong and Chinese diaspora that emigrated prior to 1949 from Guangdong use the name Yim.

On many occasions, the surname " ()" is also romanized as Yan in Cantonese. This name in Mandarin is romanized as Zhēn, see Zhen (surname).

Yan is also an alternative spelling of the Breton name Yann.

Latin alphabetEdit

  • Amanda Yan, (born 1988), Canadian athlete, in wheelchair basketball and other sports
  • Esteban Yan, (born 1975), Dominican baseball pitcher
  • Héctor Yan, (born 1999), Dominican Republic professional baseball player
  • Martin Yan, (born 1948), Chinese-Canadian/American television chef
  • Petr Yan, (born 1993), Russian former UFC Bantamweight Champion
  • Rico Yan, (1975–2002), Filipino actor
  • Vasily Yan, (1875–1954), Russian writer
  • Yen Hoang, (born 1997), American wheelchair racer




Yan (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), pinyin Yán, originated as a variant of the surname 閻.


Yan You was the first king of the Xiao Zhu and was originally known as Cao You. His ancestor was called Yan An who inherited a piece of land, which later flourished into the Zhu kingdom, a feudal state of Lu. According to the judicial rules of that time, Cao You had to give up his surname in order to ascend the throne. He adopted his father Yi Fu's style name Bo Yan. From then on Cao You was known as Yan You. This officially made Yan You the first Yan in Chinese history.[1] Yan An was the son of Luzhong (陸終), grandson of Zhurong clan and Wuhui (吳回). Zhurong was said to be the son of Gaoyang (also known as Zhuanxu), a sky god. Zhuanxu was a grandson of the Yellow Emperor.

Cao are believed to be descended of the ancient Zhou kings (Ji was the ancestral name of the Zhou dynasty). The surname is derived of a kingdom called the State of Cao.[2] The Ji family is traced from the miraculous birth of the Xia dynasty culture hero and court official Houji, a previously barren wife of the Emperor Ku (this origin allowed his descendants to claim a lineage from the Yellow Emperor as well) caused by his mother's stepping into a footprint left by the supreme god Shangdi. Shaohao is usually identified as a son of the Yellow Emperor. According to some traditions, he is a member of the Five Emperors.


晏 is a typical Han surname.


延 is a Chinese surname. It has various origins:


燕 is a Chinese surname. It has various origins:

Burmese (ရန်ရ)Edit

  • Yan Aung Kyaw (born 1989), Burmese footballer for Myanmar national football team
  • Yan Aung Win (born 1992), Burmese footballer for Myanmar national football team
  • Yan Paing (born 1983), Burmese footballer for Myanmar national football team
  • Yan Yan Chan, Burmese singer

Breton and French-speaking peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Gan Heritage Chapter E-Book".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Cao surname origins".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)