|Hundred Family Surnames|
|Hanyu Pinyin||Bǎijiā Xìng|
The Hundred Family Surnames (Chinese: 百家姓), commonly known as Bai Jia Xing, also translated as Hundreds of Chinese Surnames, is a classic Chinese text composed of common Chinese surnames. An unknown author compiled the book during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The book lists 507 surnames. Of these, 441 are single-character surnames and 66 are double-character surnames. About 800 names have been derived from the original ones.
In the dynasties following the Song, the 13th-century Three Character Classic, the Hundred Family Surnames, and the 6th-century Thousand Character Classic came to be known as San Bai Qian (Three, Hundred, Thousand), from the first character in their titles. They served as instructional books for children, becoming the almost universal introductory literary texts for students (almost exclusively boys) from elite backgrounds and even for a number of ordinary villagers. Each text was available in many versions, printed cheaply and available to all since they did not become superseded. When a student had memorized all three, he had a knowledge of roughly 2,000 characters. Since Chinese did not use an alphabet, this was an effective, though time-consuming, way of giving a crash course in character-recognition before going on to understanding texts and writing characters.
The work is a rhyming poem in lines of eight characters. The surnames are not listed in order of commonality. According to Song dynasty scholar Wang Mingqing (王明清), the first four surnames listed represent the most important families in the empire at the time:
This text is written in Traditional Chinese. Note that several of these characters may link to the same article.
According to the study, the following surnames are not among the 300 most common surnames:
According to the study, the following surnames are not among the 400 most common surnames: