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Meaning and Origin of: Yan

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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Chinese: of uncertain origin, originating in Shaanxi province. It may be a variant of another name from the same region and pronounced the same way (see 4 below, ).
  2. Chinese: the origin of this name is closely tied up with that of Zhuang. During the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc), many members of the ruling class of the state of Chu adopted as their surname Zhuang, the posthumously given name of a king of Chu. The name Zhuang was kept until the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220), when, to avoid a taboo on having the same name as the ruler (then Liu Zhuang), many people changed their surname from Zhuang to Yan.
  3. Chinese: from the ‘style name’ Yan. Yi Fu, a descendant of the grantee of the fief of Zhu (see Zhu 1) during the Zhou dynasty had the ‘style name’ Yan. Descendants adopted his style name as their surname.
  4. Chinese: there are two accounts of the origin of this name: one a place named Yan Village and the other Yan Town. Both places existed during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc).
  5. Chinese: variant of Zhen.
  6. Chinese: from the name of a person called Yan An from the state of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc).
  7. Chinese: variant of Yin 1.
  8. Chinese: from the name of a state of Yan that existed during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc).
  9. Americanized spelling of Jan.
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