Liú surname in regular script
PronunciationLiú (Pinyin)
Lâu (Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Language(s)Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese
Language(s)Old Chinese
DerivationSurname of the Han dynasty's ruling family
Other names
Variant(s)Liú (Mandarin)
Liew (Hakka)
Lau, Lauw, Lao, Low (Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew)
Lieu, Lieh (Shanghainese)
Liew, Lieu (Gan)
Lưu (Vietnamese)
Yoo (Korean)
See alsoYoo (Korean name)

/ (Liu, Lao, Lau, Low, Lauv, Lieh, Lieu, Liew, Loo, Lew, Liou or Yu) is a Chinese surname. The Liu (/)[1] as transcribed in English can represent several different surnames written in different Chinese characters:

In Cantonese transliteration, 刘/劉 (Liú) is Lau, Lao is also transliteration of 刘/劉 in Southern Min and Taiwanese Hokkien, while Liu is a different surname, , pinyin: Liào.

In Shanghainese, 刘/劉 is romanized as Lieu and rarely Lieh; 柳 is similarly romanized; whereas 廖 is transliterated as Lioh

In Teochew, 刘/劉 is usually romanized as Lau, Low or Lao; 柳 is written as Lew; and 廖 is romanized as Leow or Liau.

In Hakka, 刘/劉 is most commonly transliterated as Liew while 廖 is written as Liau or Liaw. The other variants of the romanised surname Liu, i.e. 柳, 留 and 六, are uncommon among speakers of Hakka.

In Gan, 刘/劉 is most commonly transliterated as Liew or Lieu, 廖 is written as Lieo or Liau.

In Hokkien, 刘/劉 is most commonly pronounced as Lau

The Indonesian-Chinese descent Latinise it according to Dutch pronunciation as Lauw.

In Vietnamese, the name can either take the form Liễu (in northern regions), or Lưu (in central or southern regions), or Lục. A few having Vietnamese-Chinese descent use the family name Lao.

Origin of Liu

劉 or 刘 (Liu, Lao, Lau, Low, Lew, Liew, Lauv, Lio, Luu, Ryu, Yu, Yoo)

留 (Liu, Lau, Low, Lauv, Yu)

柳 (Liu, Lew, Liew, Lao, Ryu, Yu)

  • from the state of Lu of the Zhou dynasty
  • from post-Chu state
  • from the Miao people
  • from ethnic groups in China and Taiwan

廖 (Liao, Liu, Leow, Lia, Yu)

  • from the Zhou dynasty
  • from Zhurong
  • from the Miao people
  • from ethnic groups in China and Taiwan
Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Lâu (sèⁿ)
Deutsch: Liu
贛語: 劉姓
עברית: ליו
latviešu: Liu
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Làu (sáng)
Nederlands: Liu
日本語: 劉氏
português: Liu
русский: Лю
suomi: Liu
svenska: Liu (namn)
українська: Лю (прізвище)
Tiếng Việt: Lưu (họ)
粵語: 劉氏
中文: 刘姓