Why is the name “Confucius” unlike other Chinese names?

The real name of Confucius is Kong Qiu (孔丘, kǒng qiū), with surname Kong (孔), and the given name (丘).

In Chinese culture, it has been a tradition to add 子 (zǐ) to the surname the show respects. For example:

  • Han Fei: 韩非子 (Hánfēi zǐ)
  • Mencius: 孟子 (mèng zǐ)

Obviously, Confucius is one of the highly revered person in Chinese history. There are so many temples of Confucius (孔庙) in China.

Hence, the 子 was added to his surname and the name Kong Zi (孔子) was derived.

Further, Confucius has so many names in China. One of his names is Kong Fu Zi (孔夫子).

The name “Confucius” is anglicized form of the Chinese name Kong Fu Zi.

Leave a Comment