Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 巢 meaning ‘nest’ in Chinese: (i) said to be borne by descendants of You Chao Shi (有巢氏) a legendary ancient king. (ii) from Chao (巢) the name of an ancient state (located in Anhui province) which existed from the Xia dynasty (2070–1600 BC) to the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). After it was annexed by the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) the name of the state was adopted as a surname. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 晁 a variant written form of another ancient Chinese character 朝 meaning ‘morning’ in ancient Chinese: (i) adopted in place of another Chinese surname Chao (朝) traced back to the personal name Chao (朝) personal name of son of King Jing of Zhou (died 520 BC). (ii) from the personal name Chao (朝) style name of Shi Chao (史朝) an official in the state of Wey during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 鈔 meaning ‘bank note’ in mordern Chinese a surname traced back to Khitan and Jurchen minority ethnic groups in ancient northern China. Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 曹 see Cao Chinese: alternative variant of Zhao . Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 周 see Zhou 7: Southeast Asian (Iu Mien): from the name of the Chao clan of the Iu Mien people from Laos. Compare Saechao .8: Portuguese (Chão) and Galician: topographic name from a common field name derived from Latin planus ‘level even flat’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022