German: habitational name from any of several places so named in the Rhineland. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name or nickname for a singer (see Sanger ). English and Scottish: nickname for a singer from Middle English and Older Scots sang(e) song(e) ‘song’. Compare Sanger Sangster . Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 桑 meaning ‘mulberry’ in Chinese: (i) from the placename of Qiong Sang (窮桑). It was located in present-day Qufu in Shandong province where the legendary king Shao Hao (c. 26th century BC) ascended the throne. Some of his descendants then acquired part of the placename Sang (桑) as their surname. (ii) from the personal name of Zi Sang (子桑) style name of Gong-Sun Zhi an official in the state of Qin (located in present-day W Shaanxi province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). His descendants inherited Sang (桑) part of his style name as their surname. (iii) from Sang (桑) the name of an ancient state (located in present-day Henan province). After it was annexed by the state of Qin (located originally in present-day W Shaanxi province) in 305 BC people adopted 桑 as their surname. Chinese: variant Romanization of the surnames 商 and 尚 (see Shang 1 and ). Chinese: Hakka form of the surname 成 see Cheng 7: Vietnamese: possibly from a common Vietnamese personal name meaning ‘shaft of light’ or ‘bright shiny’.8: Burmese (Chin): from a part of a male compound personal name from sang ‘tall high’. A homonymous name of unexplained etymology is also found among the Kachin people. — Note: Since Chins and Kachins do not have hereditary surnames this name element was registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US.9: Cambodian: written សាំង same as Saing 10: East African (Kenya): unexplained.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press