In the 13th century B.C., the state of Zhou (which will later become the Zhou Dynasty) was ruled by Tai Wang (King Tai of Zhou). His surname was originally Ji(姬). He had three sons: Taibo, Zhongyong, and Jili. King Tai of Zhou favored the youngest son, Jili to inherit the reins of power, therefore Taibo and his brother Zhongyong voluntarily left Zhou with a group of followers and headed southeast where they established the state of Wu. Taibo and Zhongyong's descendants eventually adopted Wu (吳) as their surname. The state of Wu, which later claimed to be a kingdom of its own, was best known for its military prowess as Sun Tzu, the author of the famed book The Art of War, was the country's general serving under King Helü of Wu.
Taibo and Zhongyong's youngest brother Jili stayed to rule the Zhou state and was the grandfather of Wu Wang (King Wu of Zhou) who started the Zhou Dynasty after successfully overthrowing the Shang Dynasty. The descendants of Wu Wang eventually changed their surname from Ji(姬) to Zhou(周) during the Qin Dynasty to commemorate the merits and virtues of their ancestors.
During both the 1990 and year 2000 US Censuses, fewer than 100 people in the United States had the name O, but Oh was ranked as the 3,508th most common surname in 1990 and the 2,477th most common surname in 2000. Using a single-letter surname may cause various bureaucratic and social difficulties, as many computer programs cannot deal with such names because they are designed to require a minimum of two or three letters, while people may assume that a single letter is only an abbreviation rather than the complete surname; in 1991, The New York Times wrote an article about one Korean American man surnamed O who ended up changing the spelling of his name to Oh to get around these problems.
List of persons with the surname
- O Rissei, a famous Go player
- David Oh, Korean-American politician
- Oh Eun-Sun, South Korean female mountaineer
- Felicia Oh, black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and world-class submission grappling competitor
- Oh Hye-Rin (Raina), a member of South-Korean girl group, After School
- Junggeun Oh, Korean artist
- Nadia Oh, an English singer, rapper and producer
- Sadaharu Oh, the all-time home run king of Japan
- Sandra Oh, a Korean-Canadian actress
- Oh Sangwon, a Korean author
- Oh Sehun, a member of South Korean-Chinese boy band under SM entertainment, EXO
- Oh Ha-young, a member of South Korean girl band under ACube entertainment, Apink
- Oh Seong-Ok, a South Korean handball player
- Oh Taeseok, a South Korean playwright and director
- Oh Takbeon, a South Korean poet, author, and critic.
- Oh Petrik Dong Hyun, a South Korean Digital Analytics Guru
- US Census Bureau. Op. cit. Public Broadcasting Service. "How Popular Is Your Last Name?" Accessed 6 Apr 2012.
- "Why, O Why, Doesn't That Name Compute?". The New York Times. 1991-08-28. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
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