The origin of place names containing surnames in Chongqing
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Which are the more recognizable names of rail transit stations in Chongqing? In addition to popular tourist stations such as Liziba Station and Haitangxi Station, many netizens find stations containing place names recognizable, such as Ranjiaba Station and Xiejiawan Station. From the literal meaning of these place names, it looks as if they have evolved from surnames. Whether or not it is so? In this regard, the reporter from Chongqing Evening News found the answer in Chongqing Geographical Map Chongqing Geographical Names Cultural Map - Surnames. Let’s soak up the charm of Bayu culture together in the following.
Where did the surnames contained in Chongqing’s place names come from? As a matter of fact, a place name is a name that people give to a geographical entity, reflecting the relationship between the geographical environment and human activity in a given area. Among the numerous place names in Chongqing, there is a representative category of place names named after surnames, especially the names of migrants from all over the country with various surnames who came to a given place and named it after their surnames, thus forming the place names containing surnames in Bayu today.
Chongqing Geographical Names Cultural Map – Surnames states that there are many places named after surnames in Chongqing, most of which were created during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In addition to the famous Ranjiaba, Xiejiawan, Yangjiaping and Xiaojiagou in the central Chongqing, there are also many township, towns and streets named after surnames in various districts and counties, and countless other small place names containing surnames. There are several reasons for naming township, towns and streets in Chongqing after surnames. The first reason is that it is the place where the foreign population gathered, which is also the most frequent reason. Chongqing was a city of migrants, with a large foreign population during the “People of Hunan and Guangdong Moving to Sichuan” period, and the names of the original inhabitants and places disappeared and were abandoned due to the wars, so they were named after the surnames of the people who reoccupied the place, such as Zhaojia Sub-district in Kaizhou, Renjia Town in Zhongxian, and Yanjia Sub-district in Changshou. The second reason is due to historical events, like Jiasi Town in Jiangjin. It is said that in the early Ming Dynasty, a man named Jia Si, who used his property in this area to build a stone arch bridge to facilitate the local people to travel. Descendants named the bridge Jiasi Bridge, and others so named include Wujia Town in Rongchang and Pulv Sub-district in Tongliang. The third reason is that they were named after historical figures, and Gecheng Sub-district in Chengkou is said to have been named after Zhuge Liang, who was stationed there.
Most of these place names containing surnames are associated with migrants, and most of these areas are located in riverine areas, flat dams between mountains and flat hill and plain areas, where the geomorphological conditions are more favorable for the settlement of foreign populations, while the mountainous areas of northeast and southeast Chongqing, with their high mountains and deep valleys, are relatively less distributed. In addition to place names of these larger township, towns and street, surnames, together with local topographical features, comprise many small place names such as Xjiaba, Xjiagang, Xjiawan, etc., which make up a very large proportion of Chongqing’s place names, typical of Chongqing as a city of migrants. (Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)