Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 闞 meaning ‘overlook’ in ancient Chinese: habitational name from the placename Kan (阚) the name of a fief (located in present-day Wenshang in Shandong province) granted to Zhi an official in the state of Qi (located mainly in present-day Shandong province) during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 簡 see Jian Chinese: alternative Mandarin form of the surnames 甘 and 干 see Gan 1 and Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 靳 see Jin Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 鄞 see Yin 6. Cambodian: written កាន់ from a Khmer word meaning ‘to hold something’.7: Turkish: ornamental name from kan ‘descent family’.8: Czech (Káň): from kanit meaning ‘to slobber or slaver’ and by extension ‘to gossip’ hence a nickname for a gossip.9: Czech: variant of Káňa (see Kana ) a nickname meaning ‘buzzard’.10: North German: variant of Kahn . This surname is very rare in Germany.1 Dutch: from Middle Dutch kan(ne) can(ne) ‘tankard flagon pitcher’ hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such vessels: potter or a pewterer.1 In some cases possibly also an American shortened form of Dutch Van Kan: habitational name for someone from Kanne in Belgian Limburg.1 Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant of Cohen .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press