A modern Chinese usually has a surname (family name) or xing and a given name (first name), or ming (or mingzi), always in that order. Thus Wang Xiaoping is Mr. Wang with the personal name Xiaoping. In ancient China, however, naming was very complicated and one person usually had several names, including xing, shi, ming, and zi. Each of these four words meant a different thing. Xing and shi together formed today’s surname, and ming and zi today’s given name. Nowadays, people use xingshi to refer to a person’s surname, mingzi to refer to one’s give name. Study of ancient Chinese documents shows that xing originally referred to the names of different matriarchal tribes. It also had something to do with the place where people live. Researches show that xing came into being during the matrilineal society period, around four or five thousand years ago.