Chinese: Mandarin and Cantonese form of the surname 池 meaning ‘moat’ in ancient Chinese: (i) acquired as a surname by people who lived beside a moat. (ii) from Chi (池) said to be the name of an ancient state (of unknown location and period). (iii) from the personal name Chi (池) personal name of a son of an official in the state of Qin during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Chinese: Mandarin and Cantonese form of the surname 遲 meaning ‘late’ in Chinese: (i) borne by descendants of Chi Ren (遲任) a person who lived during the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). (ii) shortened form of the Chinese compound surname Yu-Chi (尉遲) originally the name of a tribe from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China. (iii) from the second element of the personal name Zi Chi (子遲) style name of Fan Xu a student of Confucius (551–479 BC). Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surname 植 see Zhi Chinese: alternative Mandarin and Cantonese form of the surnames 支 and 智 see Zhi 2 and Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surnames 紀 季 冀 姬 籍 嵇 吉 計 薊 暨 and 汲 see Ji 1-1 Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surnames 齊 祁 戚 漆 亓 蕲 and 啓 see Qi 1-7.7: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surnames 奚 and 郗 see Xi 1 and 5.8: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 錢 based on its Teochew Hokkien or Taiwanese pronunciation see Qian .9: Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 徐 based on its Hokkien or Taiwanese pronunciation see Xu 10: Korean: written 지 in Chinese characters 池 meaning ‘moat’ and 智 meaning ‘wisdom’. The two Chinese characters for the Chi surname are borne by different groups. (i) The smaller of the two groups has only one clan associated with it the majority of whose members live in Kangwŏn and Ch’ungch’ŏn North Provinces of South Korea and North Korea's P’yŏngan North Province. (ii) The other group also has one clan but a much larger population. Unlike many clans in Korea the larger Chi family did not remain congregated in and around its clan seat but dispersed fairly evenly around the peninsula. Compare Chee 5 and Jee 1 Amerindian (Mexico Guatemala and Belize): Mayan name from chi' ‘mouth’ also ‘shore bank’ or from a homonymous name of a fruit-bearing shrub or small tree (Malpighia glabra).
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022