Monday, October 6, 2008

Song (surname)

Song is the pinyin transliteration of the Chinese family name . It is transliterated as Sung in Wade-Giles, and Soong is also a common transliteration. In addition to being a common surname, it is also the name of a Chinese dynasty, the ''Song Dynasty'', written with the same character.

The first written record of the character Song was found on the oracle bones of the Shang dynasty. The origin of the character can possibly be dated to an even earlier time . Structurally, the character has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 4000 years. The etymology of the character can possibly be traced back to the abstract representation of a totem symbol. With the outer radical denoting preciousness, and the inner character representing trees or woods, the entire character literally means "holy wood" or "treasured tree", possibly a totem symbol from the late Neolithic and Bronze Age.

In the written records of Chinese history, the first time the character Song was used as a surname appeared in the early stage of the Zhou dynasty. One of the children of the last emperor of Shang dynasty was a duke named Song. The State of Song, Song's personal dominion, became part of the Zhou dynasty when Shang has fallen. Citizens of the former State of Song, to commemorate their fallen state, began to use the character Song, as their surname.

A less common Chinese family name can also be transliterated to Soong in some Chinese dialects.

Prominent people

* Duke Xiang of Song, leader in Song during Spring and Autumn Period
* Song Yu, Zhou Dynasty poet
* Consort Song, empress during Han Dynasty
* Empress Song , empress during Han Dynasty
* Song Xian, Three Kingdoms era military officer
* Song Qian, officer of Eastern Wu during Three Kingdoms era
* Song Bian, Northern Wei official
* Song Jingang, Prince during Transition from Sui to Tang
* Song Jing, b. 663, Tang Dynasty chancellor
* Song Ci, b. 1186, Song Dynasty scientist
* Song Zhun, Song Dynasty scholar
* Song Lian, b. 1310 Ming Dynasty historian
* Song Yingxing, b. 1587 Ming Dynasty scientist and encyclopedist
* Charlie Soong, b. 1863
* T. V. Soong, b. 1894
* Soong sisters
** Soong May-ling
** Soong Ching-ling
** Soong Ai-ling
* Kenneth Soong
* Elaine Soong
* Bill Sung
* Sung Chiao-jen, b. 1882, revolutionary and political leader
* Song Zheyuan, b. 1885, general
* Song Renqiong, b. 1909, general
* Song Ping, b. 1919, Communist Party official
* James Soong, b. 1942, Republic of China governor
* Song Defu, b. 1946, Communist Party politician
* Song Zuying, b. 1966, ethnic Miao Chinese singer
* Song Weiping, b. 1967, billionaire
* Sarah Song, b. 1985, Miss Chinese International 2007

Fictional characters

* Song Jiang
* Noonien Soong, The creator of the android Data in Star Trek
* Arik Soong, Great grandfather of Noonien Soong

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