Norwegian (Bø): cognate of Bøe (see Boe ). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 薄 meaning ‘thin’ in Chinese: (i) from Bo (薄) the name of an ancient state (located in the borderline between Henan and Shandong province). (ii) from the placename Bo (薄) the name of a fief (located in the borderline between Henan and Shandong province) granted to an official in the state of Song during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (iii) said to be borne by descendants of Bo Yi (薄疑) a famous person in the state of Wey during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). (iv) said to be borne by descendants of the Bo Gu (薄姑) family nobles during the Shang dynasty (1600 –1046 BC). (v) adopted as a surname by the Bo Xi (薄奚) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534 AD). (vi) traced back to the Qiang minority ethnic groups in ancient northwestern China. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 伯 meaning ‘oldest brother’ often used as a personal name with this sense. It comes from the name of Bo Yi (伯益) a famous adviser to Emperor Yao (c. 24th century BC) and Emperor Shun (c. 23rd century BC). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 博 meaning ‘vast’ in Chinese: from the placename Bo (博) an ancient city (located in present-day northeastern Liaocheng in Shandong province). Burmese: from a title for a military officer and also for someone who distinguished himself in the struggle for independence of Burma used as part of the male name proper. — Note: Since Burmese do not have hereditary surnames this name was registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US. Vietnamese (Bồ): from the Chinese surname 蒲 see Pu 7: Cambodian: written បូរ or បូ corresponding to the Khmer word meaning ‘ribbon; colored headband’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press