Meaning and Origin of: Han
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First name origins & meanings:
- Old English : Steep incline
First name variations
Last name origin & meaning:
- Chinese : from the name of a state of Han, which existed during the early part of the Western Zhou dynasty (1122–771 bc), in present-day Shaanxi province. This was the fief of a younger brother of Cheng Wang, second king of the Zhou dynasty. The state of Han was later annexed by the state of Jin, but the area was enfeoffed by the Jin ruler to Wu Zi, a descendant of Wen Wang. Wu Zi’s descendants eventually adopted the name of the fief as their surname.
- Korean : there are two Chinese characters for the surname Han. However, one of these characters, meaning ‘China’, is extremely rare (only two households with this surname appeared in a recent census), so only the other will be considered here. Some records indicate that there are 131 clans of the Han family, but only one—the Han family of Ch’ŏngju, can be documented. Some sources name Han Ran as the founding ancestor of the Han family. Han Ran is recognized as one of the men who assisted the first Koryŏ king, Wang Kŏn, in setting up the Koryŏ kingdom in 918. More recent scholarship, however, postulates that the Ch’ŏngju Han clan’s founding ancestor was U-P’yŏng, one of three sons of the fortieth generation descendant of Kija, the founder of the ancient Chosŏn kingdom (died 194 bc). The other two sons, U-sŏng and U-Kyŏng, founded the Ki clan and the Sŏngan clans, respectively.
- French : of uncertain origin. In some cases at least it is from a Breton word meaning ‘summer’ or a topographic name from a place named with Gaulish hafod ‘summer residence’.
- Dutch and Czech (Hán) : from a reduced form of the personal name Johann(es) (see John).
- Jewish : variant of Hahn.
- A bearer of the surname Han from the Poitou region of France was recorded in Repentigny, Quebec, in 1685 with secondary surnames Janhan and <xref>Chausse</xref>.