Luis Wong

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Meaning of Last Name

"wong" family name, ancestry, and history

Meaning: "Golden Yellow", "Yellow"

Origins: South China

Wong is the Cantonese romanization of two common Chinese surnames; Huang (黃; literally "yellow") and Wang (王; literally "king"). The logograph for Wong / Huang consists of the radical characters for "twenty", "fires" and "fields," all representing the colour of these images combined. As a result of late 17th to 18th century colonial activities, where English speaking colonists transcribed the family name as "Wong" in south China, we find this version of the family name following the migratory routes of the early migrant Chinese from this southern region to places such as Canada and the United States. As a result, one can often determine a multi-generational non-native Chinese persons whose surname is Wong back to this historic artifact—usually as "Cantonese" Wong, inferring the fact that the person's ancestral heritage is from south China. To the Chinese mind, this colour relates to mother Earth. In fact, the Chinese character for Wong is based on parts that relate to this colour—in reviewing the derivative characters that form Wong , we see "Bright" (from the ancient form for the number twenty over the character for burning fires) + the character "farm fields" (square grid at center) inset between the characters "twenty" (the 'crown') and "fire" (two strokes at 'base'). In Chinese the surname Wong is also referred as "Grass Head Wong" for the upper strokes or "Big Stomach Wong" for the center strokes. Most proper speaking Chinese will not refer it as "Yellow Wong" because the word yellow color associates to perversion when used in speech. The use of Wong (黃; pinyin: Huáng) as a surname started in 648 BC when the Huang Kingdom located in Henan Province of China was sacked. The Huang Kingdom was a legacy state established and governed by the beloved royal descendants of the ruthless Qinshihuang who unified the area known as China today as the "Ch'in" or (Qin) State. By royal decree, all the citizens adopted the name of their King and their Kingdom as their surname in remembrance of their origin. From Henan, they dispersed all over China and eventually to all corners of the globe. As a result, there is a tiny branch of those with this surname who are members of the first royal dynasty of China while most of others were the subjects or citizens of this ancient state. Now, it is said to be among the top seven most common surnames in China and one of the most common surnames in the world, numbering more than 60 million (about the population of modern-day UK or France). The process of Anglicizing Chinese names follows geopolitical history. Anglicized names in Hong Kong and Singapore come from the vernaculars of Cantonese, Hokkien (Min Nan), Teochew, Fuzhou (Hokchew), Hakka, Hainan, etc. In Taiwan, Anglicized names follow the American Yale system instead of the British Wade-Giles system. In China proper, known as the People's Republic of China (PRC), romanization into alphabets follows an originally invented system called "Hanyu Pinyin," which translates all Chinese characters from the Mandarin vernacular for standardisation. In Vietnamese, the surname is commonly translated as Hoàng or Huỳnh and sometimes anglicized to Vong.

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