Vietnamese personal names generally consist of three parts: one family
name, one or more middle name(s), and one given name, used in that
order. The "family name first" order follows the system of Chinese
names and is common throughout the Chinese cultural sphere. However,
it is different from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese names in the usage
of "middle names," as they are less common in China and Korea and do
not exist in Japan. Persons can be referred to by the whole name, the
given name or a hierarchic pronoun, which usually connotes a degree of
family relationship or kinship, in normal usage.
Due to the frequency of the major family names such as Nguyễn,
Trần, and Lê, persons are often referred to by their middle name
along with their given name in Vietnamese media and youth culture.
1 Family name 2 Middle name 3 Given name
4 Near homonyms distinguished by vowel or tones 5 Indexing 6 See also 7 References 8 External links
The family name, positioned first, is passed on by the father to his
children. It is estimated that there are around one hundred family
names in common use, although some are far more common than others.
Distribution of Vietnamese family names
The following include some other, less common, surnames, in alphabetical order:
An: 安 Ân: 殷 Âu: 歐 Bạch: 白 Bành: 彭 Bao: 包 Biên: 邊 Biện: 卞 Cam: 甘 Cảnh: 耿 Cảnh: 景 Cao: 高 Cát: 葛 Chân: 甄 Châu: 周 Chiêm: 詹 Chu: 朱 Chung: 鍾 Chử: 褚 Cổ: 古 Cù: 瞿 Cung: 宮 Cung: 龔 Củng: 鞏 Cừu: 裘 Dịch: 易 Diệp: 葉 Doãn: 尹 Dũ: 俞 Dung: 容 Dư: 余 Dữu: 庾 Đái: 戴 Đàm: 譚 Đào: 陶 Đậu: 竇 Điền: 田 Đinh: 丁 Đoàn: 段 Đồ: 涂 Đồng: 童 Đổng: 董 Đường: 唐 Giả: 賈 Giải: 解 Giản: 簡 Giang: 江 Giáp: 郟 Hà: 何 Hạ: 賀 Hạ: 夏 Hác: 郝 Hàn: 韓 Hầu: 侯 Hình: 邢 Hoa: 花 Hoắc: 霍 Hoạn: 宦 Hồng: 洪 Hứa: 許 Hướng: 向 Hy: 郗 Kha: 柯 Khâu: 邱 Khuất: 屈 Kiều: 喬 Kim: 金 Kỳ: 祁 Kỷ: 紀 La: 羅 Lạc: 駱 Lai: 賴 Lam: 藍 Lăng: 凌 Lâm: 林 Lận: 藺 Lệ: 酈 Liên: 連 Liêu: 廖 Liễu (in northern or central regions): 柳 Long: 龍 Lôi: 雷 Lục: 陸 Lữ: 呂 Lương: 梁 Lưu (in central or southern regions): 劉 Mã: 馬 Mạc: 莫 Mạch: 麥 Mai: 梅 Mạnh: 孟 Mao: 毛 Mẫn: 閔 Miêu: 苗 Mông: 蒙 Ngân: 鄞 Nghê: 倪 Nghiêm: 嚴 Ngư: 魚 Ngưu: 牛 Nhạc: 岳 Nhan: 顔 Nhâm: 任 Nhiếp: 聶 Nhiều: 饒 Nhung: 戎 Ninh: 寧 & 甯 Nông: 農 Ổ: 鄔 Ôn: 溫 Ông: 翁 Phí: 費 Phó: 傅 Phong: 酆 Phòng: 房 Phù: 符 Phùng: 馮 Phương: 方 Quách: 郭 Quan: 關 Quản: 管 Quang: 光 Quảng: 鄺 Quế: 桂 Quyền: 權 Sài: 柴 Sầm: 岑 Sử: 史 Tạ: 謝 Tào: 曹 Tăng: 曾 Tân: 辛 Tần: 秦 Tất: 畢 Tề: 齊 Thạch: 石 Thai: 邰 Thái/Sái: 蔡 Thang: 湯 Thành: 成 Thảo: 草 Thân: 申 Thi: 施 Thích: 戚 Thiện: 單 Thiệu: 邵 Thôi: 崔 Thủy: 水 Thư: 舒 Thường: 常 Tiền: 錢 Tiết: 薛 Tiêu: 焦 Tiêu: 蕭 Tô: 蘇 Tôn: 孫 Tông: 宗 Tống: 宋 Trác: 卓 Trạch: 翟 Trại: 賽 Trang: 莊 Trầm: 沈/瀋 Trâu: 鄒 Trì: 池 Triệu: 趙 Trịnh: 鄭 (almost exclusively a northern surname, based around Thanh Hóa) Trương: 張 Từ: 徐 Tưởng: 蔣 Úc: 郁 Ứng: 應 Vạn: 萬 Văn: 文 Vân: 雲 Vi: 韋 Vĩnh: 永 Vu: 巫 Vương: 王 Vưu: 尤 Xà: 佘 Xầm: 諶 Xế: 車 Yên: 鄢
In Vietnamese cultural practice, women always keep their family names
once they marry, just as in other
To indicate a person's generation—brothers and sisters share the
same middle name, which distinguish them from the generation before
them and the generation after them (see generation name).
To separate branches of a big family. For example, "
However, nowadays most middle names do not have those usages. They can
either have a meaning or just be there to make the full names more
In most cases, formally, the middle name is a part of the given name.
For example, the name "Đinh Quang Dũng" is separated into the
surname "Đinh" and the given name "Quang Dũng". In a normal name
list, these two parts of the full name are put in two different
columns. However, in daily conversation, the last word in a given name
with a title before it is used to address a person, for example "Ông
Dũng", "Anh Dũng", etc. where "Ông" and "Anh" are words to address
the person which depend on age, social position, etc.
The given name is the primary form of address for Vietnamese. It is
chosen by parents and usually has a literal meaning in the Vietnamese
language. Names often represent beauty, such as bird or flower names,
or attributes and characteristics that the parents want in their
child, such as modesty (Khiêm, 謙).
Typically, Vietnamese will be addressed with their given name, even in
formal situations, although an honorific equivalent to "Mr.", "Mrs.",
etc. will be added when necessary. This contrasts with the situation
in many other cultures, where the family name is used in formal
situations, and is a practice similar to Icelandic usage and, to some
degree, to Polish practice. It is similar to the Latin-American and
southern European custom of referring to some people as "Don" along
with their first name.
Addressing someone by his or her family name is rare though not
unheard of. In the past, married women in the north were called by
their (maiden) family name, with Thị (氏) as a suffix. In recent
years, doctors are more likely than any other social group to be
addressed by their family name, though this form of reference is more
common in the north than in the south. Some extremely well-known
people are sometimes referred to by their family names, such as Hồ
Chí Minh (Bác Hồ—"Uncle Hồ") (however, his real surname is
Trịnh Công Sơn
Near homonyms distinguished by vowel or tones Some names may appear the same if simplified into a basic ASCII script, as for example on websites, but are different names:
Lê Hiến Tông (Sino-Vietnamese: 黎憲宗, 1461–1504),
Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗, 1717–1786)
Trịnh Căn (鄭根, 1633 – 1709) reformist warlord, vs. Trịnh
Cán (鄭檊, 1777–1782) infant heir of warlord Trịnh Sâm
Typically, as in the above examples, it is middle or the last personal
given name which varies, as almost any Sino-Vietnamese character may
be used. The number of family names is limited.
Further, some historical names may be written using different Chinese
characters (Sino-Vietnamese), but are still written the same in the
modern Vietnamese alphabet.
According to the Chicago Manual of Style, Vietnamese names are indexed
according to the final given name and not according to the family
name, with a cross-reference placed in regards to the family name. Ngo
Dinh Diem would be listed as "Diem, Ngo Dinh" and
Vo Nguyen Giap
Chinese name Korean name List of common Chinese surnames List of most common surnames Surname
^ Viet name is mandatory for citizenship ^ Lê Trung Hoa, Họ Và Tên Người Việt Nam (Vietnamese Family and Personal Names), Social Sciences Publishing House (2005) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2014. ^ "Indexes: A Chapter from The Chicago Manual of Style" (Archived 2015-02-18 at WebCite). Chicago Manual of Style. Retrieved on December 23, 2014. p. 28 (PDF document p. 30/56).
Vietnamese Name in Olden Day Vietnamese names for girls and boys Introduction to Vietnamese Language Vietnamese names (examples and pronunciation), a video lesson
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