Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 毛 meaning ‘hair feather’ in Chinese: (i) from Mao (毛) the name of an ancient state (first located in Shaanxi province and later moved to Henan province) granted to Shu Zheng the eighth son of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). After the state was annexed by the state of Han during the Warring States period (475–221 BC) the name of the state was adopted as a surname. (ii) from the placename Mao (毛) the name of a fief (located in Henan province) granted to Bo Dan or Bo Ming the ninth son of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). (ii) the surname is also traced back to the Mao (毛) family from the Di (氐) ethnic groups prior to the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) which were scattered across western China. Chinese: Mandarin or Cantonese form of the surname 茅 meaning ‘cogon’ in Chinese: from Mao (茅) the name of an ancient state (located in Jinxiang in Shandong province) granted to Mao Shu (茅叔) a grandson of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC). After the state was annexed by the state of Zou in 493 BC the name of the state was adopted as a surname. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 冒: (i) from the second element of the personal name Fen Mao (蚡冒) style name of King Li of Chu (ruler of the state of Chu died 741 BC). (ii) adopted in place of other Chinese surnames including Ji (姬) and Mao (媢). (iii) said to be borne by some descendants of Tuohuan king of Zhennan (died 1439 AD) who fled to Rugao (located in present-day Jiangsu province) after the extinction of the Yuan dynasty (1206 – 1368 AD). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 茆 meaning ‘cogon grass’ in Chinese: (i) said to be borne by some descendants of Zhai Bo one grandson of King Wen of Zhou (1152–1056 BC); (ii) also said to be adopted in place of another Chinese surname Mao (茅 see Mao sense ). Chinese: Cantonese form of the surname 牟 see Mou Cambodian: written ម៉ៅ of Chinese origin (see 1 above).7: Vietnamese: from the Chinese surname 毛 see 1 above.8: In some cases possibly also Breton (also Le Mao): nickname status name or occupational name from Old Breton mauu ‘young boy; servant’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022