5 Common Names of Confucius

Having heard of the great name of Confucius many times, none of the literary names are often mentioned. What is the chinese name of Confucius?

The name Confucius is a latinized name of Chinese philosopher, who was later introduced to Europe by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci.

In modern culture, this name is officially in used for most of the context. Old literary name has loosely given way to simplify with minimal spelling or characters.

The shorter the better. Everyone likes nickname and moniker. It’s easy to remember.

Over time, common albeit rarely used names are long forgotten. One good example is courtesy name that was an adult name given as part of the traditional in East Asia cultures.

Who is Confucius?

He is the great Chinese thinker and social philosopher who lived during 551 BC – 479 BC in China.

In Taiwan, Confucius Temple is often refers to the one located in Tainan City. This historic architecture was built in 1665 by Koxinga’s son Cheng Jing.

Confucius’ teachings and sayings are not a religion or a belief for one to worship relating spiritual matters. There is no statue of Confucius like other folklore gods and deities.

Interestingly, it’s a set of educational doctrinaire philosophies taught in school.

Confucius is a system of ethics, it focus directly on human and social responsibility.

There are much to learn about Confucianism facts and sayings of Confucius to share.

Before writing more posts on Confucius, there are a few names commonly seen to identify the same person or teaching.

Below sharing the 5 common names of Confucius.

  1. Master Kong ~ Literally translate from Chinese character 孔夫子 (pronounce as Kong Fuzi, three syllabus). Sometime seen as K’ung-fu-tzu in written books.
  2. Kong Fu Zi (孔夫子) ~ Same meaning as Master Kong. The middle name Fu (夫) is additional and may be omitted.
  3. Kong Zi (孔子)~ Also as K’ung-tzu. Translate from “Master Kong”, or shortened name from 孔夫子. An identification upholding more respect from the real name described next.
  4. Kong Qiu (孔丘)~ combination of surname Kong (孔) and given name Qiu (丘). The name used before honored as Master Kong or teacher, such as during academia period name used in classes.
  5. Zhong Ni (仲尼) ~ is a courtesy name. A traditional Chinese practice for owning a ‘style name’ to signify adulthood and respect.
  6. Confucianism ~ Not a name of person. Define as Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

There are some other great names to identify Confucius, mostly in Chinese language. The above-mentioned names are widely used in books, academia or in spoken discussion.

As China modernize, the newer generation prefer contemporary than the ancient names. So if you have Chinese friends in school or at work, naming “Confucius“, “Kong Fu Zi” or “Kong Zi” is clearly understandable.