|Language(s)||Dutch, English, French, German, Korean, others|
As a Dutch, English, French, and German surname, Noe is derived from the biblical given name Noah (Middle English and Latin Noe). The English variant Noy is similarly derived. However, Noah was not a common given name in medieval England when the surname first appeared there, and so Patrick Hanks suggests that the surname may have been used by descendants of people who were nicknamed Noah, for example as a jocular reference to the Genesis flood narrative, or because they had played the part of Noah in a stage play.
As a Korean surname, Noe (Hangul: 뇌) can be written with either of two hanja characters: one meaning "thunder" (雷; Hangul: 우레 뇌; RR: Ure Noe), and the other meaning "to request" (賴; Hangul: 의뢰할 뇌; RR: Uiroehal Noe). In North Korea, both of these surnames are still spelled Roe (뢰), but in South Korea, the spelling of Sino-Korean words starting with 'r' has changed. The first character is used to write the Chinese surname now pronounced Léi in Mandarin Chinese, while the second is used to write the surname Lài. In Korea, surnames are also divided by identification with bon-gwan, which are hometowns of a clan lineage. The main bon-gwan for the surname Noe meaning "thunder" is Gyodong-myeon, a township and island in Ganghwa County, Incheon. Its members claim descent from Noe I-seong (Hangul: 뇌이성; Hanja: 雷以誠; pinyin: Léi Yǐchéng), who came from China to Korea to take the official post of hyeongbu sirang during the reign of Emperor Dezong of Qing in the late 19th century.
In South Korea, the 2000 census found 80 people in 26 households with the surname Noe meaning "thunder", all but two of whom identified with the Gyodong bon-gwan. There were also 12 people in two households with the surname Noe meaning "to request", but the census did not record their bon-gwan. Statistics for the current distribution of these surnames in North Korea are not available. A 1930 taxation survey by the Japanese colonial government found roughly thirty households with the surname meaning "thunder", primarily in Suan County and Hwangju County, North Hwanghae province (in an area that became part of North Korea after the division of Korea).
The 2010 United States Census found 11,182 people with the surname Noe, making it the 3,229th-most-common name in the country. This represented an increase in absolute numbers, but a decrease in relative proportion, from 10,789 (3,080th-most-common) in the 2000 Census. In both censuses, more than 90% of the bearers of the surname identified as White, between three and five per cent as Hispanic, and between one and two percent as Asian.
- Yvan Noé (1895–1963), French playwright
- Kenneth W. Noe (born 1957), American historian
- Alva Noë (born 1964), American philosophy professor
- Katherine Schlick Noe, American education professor
- Mary Noe, American educator, writer and lecturer
- José de Jesús Noé (1805–1862), the last Mexican alcalde of Yerba Buena, now San Francisco
- James A. Noe (1890–1976), American politician from Louisiana
- Cindy Noe (born 1947), American politician from Indiana
- Thomas Noe (born 1954), American politician from Ohio
Science and medicine
- Friedrich Wilhelm Noë (1798–1858), German-born Austrian pharmacist
- Adolf Carl Noé (1873–1939), Austrian-born palaeobotanist
- Jerre Noe (1923–2005), American computer scientist
- Joel Mark Noe (1943–1991), American plastic surgeon
- Chuck Noe (1924–2003), American basketball coach
- Anne Noë (born 1959), Belgian football coach
- Ángel Noé Alayón (born 1964), Colombian cyclist
- Andrea Noè (born 1969), Italian road bicycle racer
- Jacob Noe (born 1980), American mixed martial artist
- Amédée de Noé (1818–1879), French caricaturist and lithographer
- Luis Felipe Noé (born 1933), Argentine artist and writer
- Gaspar Noé (born 1963), Argentine filmmaker
- Ignacio Noé (born 1965), Argentine graphic artist
- Rémy Noë (born 1974), British painter
- Sydney P. Noe (1885–1969), American numismatist
- Ana María Noé (1914–1970), Spanish actress
- Virgilio Cardinal Noè (1922–2011), Italian Catholic prelate
- Marie Noe (born 1928), American woman convicted of murdering eight of her children
- Clifford Noe (1930–2004), American conman
- Claus Noé (1938–2008), German economist
- Arvid Noe (1946–1976), pseudonym of a Norwegian man who died due to AIDS
- Leo Noe (born 1953), British real estate investor
- Kevin Noe (born 1969), American conductor and stage director
- Tankeu Noé, Cameroonian guerrilla
- Tony Noe, American singer-songwriter
- Davis, Bruce (2005). We're Dead, Come on in. Pelican Publishing Company. p. 83. ISBN 9781455614059.
- Hanks, Patrick, ed. (2003). Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. p. 674. ISBN 9780195081374.
- Hanks, Patrick; Coates, Richard; McClure, Peter, eds. (2016). The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press. p. 1959. ISBN 9780192527479.
- Hanks 2003, p. 674; Hanks, Coates & McClure 2016, p. 1973
- 雷. Naver Hanja Dictionary. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- 賴. Naver Hanja Dictionary. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Vice-Minister of Justice", in rough translation; see Three Departments and Six Ministries
- "뇌(雷)" [Noe]. Daejeon: Jokbo Museum. Retrieved 6 December 2018. The Jokbo Museum cites the following work for their pages on family names: 김진우 (2009). 《한국인 의 역사》 [The History of Koreans]. 春秋筆法 [Chunchu Pilbeop]. OCLC 502157619.
- "교동뇌씨(喬桐雷氏)" [Gyodong Noe clan]. Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Diffusione del cognome Noe". Mappe dei Cognomi Italiani. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Noë". Nederlandse Familienamenbank. Centrum voor familiegeschiedenis. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "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 5 December 2018.
- "How common is your last name?". Newsday. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
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