|Language(s)||Chinese (Cantonese, Southern Min, Mandarin), Korean|
As an English surname, Chew has three separate origins:
- A toponymic surname referring to a place in Billington, Lancashire. It was originally spelled Cho, from Middle English cho, which is possibly a descendant of Old English cēo meaning "fish gill".
- A toponymic surname referring to Chew Magna or Chew Stoke in Somerset.
- A nickname from Old English cio, which refers to smaller chattering species of crow, in particular the red-billed chough.
As a Chinese surname, Chew is a spelling of the pronunciation in different varieties of Chinese of a number of distinct surnames including the below ones, listed by their pronunciation in Mandarin Chinese:
- Zhōu (Chinese: 周), spelled Chew based on its pronunciation in the Teochew dialect of Southern Min (Peng'im: ziu¹; IPA: /ʦiu³/).
- Zhào (traditional Chinese: 趙; simplified Chinese: 赵), spelled Chew based on its pronunciation in Cantonese (Jyutping: ziu6; Cantonese Yale: jiuh; IPA: /t͡siːu̯²²/)
- Qiū (Chinese: 丘, 秋, 邱) or Qiú (Chinese: 裘, 仇), from a variant of the Mandarin Wade–Giles spelling Ch'iu
According to statistics cited by Patrick Hanks, there were 2,033 people on the island of Great Britain and 48 on the island of Ireland with the surname Chew as of 2011. In 1881 there had been 1,490 people with the surname in Great Britain, mainly in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, and Bedfordshire.
The 2010 United States Census found 8,905 people with the surname Chew, making it the 3,988th-most-common name in the country. This represented an decrease in relative frequency, but an increase in absolute numbers, from 8,516 (3,831st-most-common) in the 2000 Census. In both censuses, about four-tenths of the bearers of the surname identified as Asian, four-tenths as White, and 15% as Black. It was the 310th-most-common surname among respondents to the 2000 Census who identified as Asian.
Notable people with the surname include:
- Samuel Chew (justice) (1699–1744), Chief Justice of colonial Delaware
- Benjamin Chew (1722–1810), American jurist
- Samuel Chew (captain) (c. 1750 – 1778), captain in the American Continental Navy
- R. Preston Chew (1843–1921), Confederate officer in the American Civil War and West Virginia businessman
- Ada Nield Chew (1870–1945), British suffragist
- Jack Chew (1915–1984), English football full back
- Chew Swee Kee (1918–1985), Singaporean politician
- Jackie Chew (1920–2002), English football winger
- Ruth Chew (1920–2010), American children's writer
- Charles Chew (1922–1986), American politician
- Geoffrey Chew (1924–2019), American theoretical physicist
- Wee-Lek Chew (born 1932), Singaporean-born botanist
- Richard Chew (born 1940), American cinematographer
- John Chew (born 1947), Singaporean Anglican priest
- Ron Chew (born 1953), American community organizer
- Chew Kheng Chuan (born 1957), Singaporean academic administrator
- Ray Chew (born c. 1958), American jazz musician
- Paddy Chew (1960–1999), Singaporean AIDS victim
- Robert F. Chew (1960–2013), American actor
- Chew Gek Khim (born 1961), Singaporean businesswoman
- Danny Chew (born 1962), American cyclist
- Michael Chew (born 1962), Malaysian field hockey player
- Betty Chew (born 1964), Malaysian politician
- Elim Chew (born 1966), Singaporean clothing businesswoman
- Chew Chor Meng (born 1968), Singaporean television actor
- Chew Pok Cheong (born 1970), Malaysian cricketer
- Dennis Chew (born 1973), Singaporean radio host
- Hans Chew (born 1975), American pianist
- Chew Choon Eng (born 1976), Malaysian badminton player
- Chew Hoong Ling (born 1980), Malaysian writer and inspirational speaker
- Fleur Chew (born 1981), Australian rower
- Chew Sin Huey (born 1981), Malaysian pop singer
- Jennifer Chew (born 1983), American Paralympic wheelchair basketball player
- Danny Chew Ji Xiang (born 1987), Singaporean football defender
- Phillip Chew (born 1994), American badminton player
- Chew Yiwei (born 1995), Malaysian diver
- Chew Kai Xiang (born 1999), Malaysian figure skater
- Chew Chin Hin (fl. 1940s–present), Singaporean physician
- Geoffrey Chew (musicologist) (fl. 1960s–present), British musicologist
- Chew Choon Seng (fl. 1972–present), Singaporean businessman
- Sam Chew Jr. (fl. 1973–present), American actor
- Emily Chew (fl. 1977–present), American ophthalmologist
- Chew Men Leong (fl. 1985–present), Singaporean civil servant and naval admiral
- Lock Yue Chew (fl. 1991–present), Singaporean physicist
- Patricia Chew (fl. 1995–present), CNN Hong Kong news anchor
- Sue Chew (fl. 2006–present), American politician in Idaho
- Chew Jun Ru (fl. 2009–present), Singaporean erhu player
- Donevan Chew (fl. 2012–present), Malaysian advertising director
- Scott Chew, American politician in Utah
- Chew (disambiguation)
- Ng Poon Chew (1866–1931), Chinese-American writer and publisher (surname Ng, given name Poon Chew)
- Abram, William Alexander (1873). "A History of the Township of Billington, in the Parish of Blackburn Co., Lancaster; its Ancient Families, Lords, and Freehodlers; with an Account of the Parochial Chapel and Chapelry of Langho: Part I". Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. 13 (25). Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- Hanks, Patrick; Coates, Richard; McClure, Peter, eds. (2016). The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press. p. 489. ISBN 9780192527479.
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entry #2
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entry #3
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entries #4–8
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entry #4. For the Teochew pronunciation, see Fielde, Adele M. (1883). "周". A pronouncing and defining dictionary of the Swatow dialect, arranged according to syllables and tones. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 59. Additionally see "周". mogher.com. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entry #7
- Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 489, entry #8; and Louie, Emma Woo (1988). Chinese American Names: Tradition and Transition. McFarland. pp. 182, 183. ISBN 9780786438778.
- Hanks, Coats & McClure 2016, pp. 489 (entry #9), 505
- "행정구역(구시군)/성씨·본관별 가구 및 인구" [Family names by administrative region (district, city, county): separated by bon-gwan, households and individuals]. Korean Statistical Information Service. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "How common is your last name?". Newsday. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Most common last names for Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S." Mongabay. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
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