See also: Yangtzé


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Alternative formsEdit


A transliteration from Mandarin 揚子扬子 (Yángzǐ), Wade-Giles romanization: Yang²-tze³.

The Chinese character name corresponding to 'Yangtze River', 揚子江扬子江 (Yángzǐ Jiāng), was borrowed from an old name for the part of the Yangtze River near Yangzhou.

The folk etymology that it means "Son of the Ocean" derives from the homophonic misnomer which was apparently given to Matteo Ricci, whose posthumously-published journals popularized the name in Europe as Latin Iansu and Iansuchian.


  • IPA(key): /ˈjæŋ(t)si/
  • enPR: yǎngʹsēʹ, yǎngtʹsēʹ

Proper nounEdit


  1. The longest river in China that flows to the East China Sea north of Shanghai.
    • [1625, Samuel Purchas, Pvrchas His Pilgrimes[1], volume III, London, OCLC 219967499, page 340:
      That Riuer of Nanquin which I called (Yamſu or) Ianſu, the ſonne of the Sea, goeth Northward to Nanquin, and then returning ſomewhat Southward, runneth into the Sea with great force ; fortie myles from which it paſſeth by Nanquin. And that from hence to Pequin there might bee paſſage by Riuers, the Kings of China haue deriued a large Channell from this to another Riuer, called the Yellow Riuer, ſuch being the colour of that troubled water.]
    • 1853 December 8, Humphrey Marshall, Documents Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States with Other Countries[2], number 37, Macao: A. O. P. Nicholson, published 1854, pages 323-324:
      You will perceive that the British and French commissioners ascend the Yangtze at pleasure, and have the steamers of their respective countries at their disposal. I was compelled, for the want of other conveyance, to come hither in a little British steamer which plies between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
    • 1887 [October 19, 1886], G. T. Bedell, Thomas H. Vail, B. W. Morris, Geo. F. Seymour, Wm. J. Boone, “Fourteenth Day's Proceedings”, in Journal of the Proceedings of the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America[3], Chicago, page 99:
      The Bishop of Shanghai desires that the bounds of his jurisdiction shall be more clearly expressed, and that therefore his title shall hereafter be, "The Bishop of Shanghai, having jurisdiction in the lower valley of Yangtze." The jurisdiction will be sufficiently large. The Yangtze River is three thousand miles in length, and the population on its borders numbers one hundred millions. As there are already three Bishops of the Church of England, with a large Missionary force of English Clergy, in that empire, Bishop Boone desires that his jurisdiction be limited to the population on the lower Yangtze, a line of eight hundred miles.
    • 1900, Isabella L. Bird, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond[4], volume 1, pages 9-10:
      It is not till the Yangtze reaches Sha-shih that its character completely changes. The first note of change is a great embankment, thirty feet high, which protects the region from inundation. Below Sha-shih the vast river becomes mixed up with a network of lakes and rivers, connected by canals, the area of the important Tungting Lake being over 2000 square miles.
    • 1969, Yi-Fu Tuan, China[5], Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, page 22:
      Aside from the Turfan depression in Hsin-chiang (Sinkiang) province, the hottest part of China lies in the middle and lower Yangtze Valley. Maximum temperatures of 43°-44°C (110°-112°F) have been recorded in Ch'ang-sha and Nan-ching.
    • 1974, John H. Winkelman, The Imperial Library in Southern Sung China, 1127-1279 : A Study of the Organization and Operation of the Scholarly Agencies of the Central Government[6], page 12:
      Early in the summer of 1127 the emperor was located near the city of Nan-ching just south of the Yangtze River.
    • 1982 January 3, “News stories of year on Peiping selected”, in Free China Weekly[7], volume XXIII, number 1, Taipei, page 3:
      The Chinese Communists destroyed natural resources by widening the Yangtze River, and brough natural disasters to the mainland, including the worst floods in Szechwan province and other areas.
    • 2020 August 10, “Worst rains in decades cause China flooding”, in Time[8], volume 196, number 5-6, page 10:
      The rains swelled the Yangtze River, raising record water levels on July 19 at the Three Gorges Dam, upriver from the city of Wuhan.


Derived termsEdit