O also spelled Oh (Hangul: 오) is the Korean form of the Chinese surname Wu (Hanja: 吳). The character 吳 is phonetically pronounced "Oh" in Korean, but "Wu" in Mandarin Chinese, however the historic origin of the surname is the same.
In the 13th century BC, 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. King Helu is considered to be one of the Five Hegemons of China during the Spring and Autumn period.
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.
Wu Ch'om (Hangul:오첨, Hanja:呉膺), a 45th generation descendant of the famed Chinese general and strategist Wu Qi, migrated to Korea from China during the reign of Shilla's King Jijeung (500-514 AD). He is the ancestor of all 16 Korean "Oh" clans. His direct descendant, Oh Da-ryeon (Hangul:오다련, Hanja:呉多憐) was the magistrate of the province of Naju and helped Taejo of Goryeo to establish the Goryeo Dynasty and was the father of Queen Janghwa of Goryeo. Queen Janghwa gave birth to King Hyejong of Goryeo who was the second king of Goryeo.
The O (or Oh) family of North Korea is a North Korean family whose members have been considered close to the ruling Kim family over several generations because of O Jung-hup, revolutionary fighter closely associated with Kim Il-sung. They are regarded as being highly influential in the North Korean regime and second only to the Kim's.
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
- Cédric O, French politician, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs
- Delphine O, sister of Cédric O, French politician, Member of the National Assembly for Paris's 16th constituency
- David Oh (politician), Korean American politician
- Eddy Oh, Korean American singer of South Korean boy band JJCC
- Felicia Oh, American black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and world-class submission grappling competitor
- Hee Oh, South Korean mathematician
- Sadaharu Oh, the all-time home run king of Japan
- Sandra Oh, Korean Canadian actress
- Oh Bong-Jin, South Korean footballer
- Oh Bong-ok, South Korean baseball pitcher
- Oh Dae-gyu, South Korean actor
- Oh Dae-hwan, South Korean actor
- Oh Dae-keun, South Korean field hockey player
- Oh Dae-suk, South Korean baseball infielder
- Oh Dal-su, South Korean actor
- Oh Eun-chan, South Korean actor
- Oh Eun-joo, South Korean singer
- Oh Eun-seok, South Korean sabre fencer
- Oh Eun-sun, South Korean mountaineer
- Oh Eun-young, South Korean TV Host, model and beauty pageant titleholder
- Oh Eun-young (doctor), South Korean doctor, professor and writer
- Oh Ha-ha, South Korean fencer
- Oh Ha-young, member of South Korean girl group Apink
- Oh Ha-young (weather presenter), South Korean weather presenter
- Oh Han-ah, South Korean politician
- Oh Hee-joon (actor), South Korean actor
- Oh Hee-joon, member of South Korean boy band KNK
- Oh Hee-joong, South Korean actor
- Oh Hyuk, South Korean singer (member of Hyukoh)
- Raina (Oh Hye-rin), member of South Korean girl group, After School
- Oh Il-do (1901–1946), South Korean poet
- Oh In-kyun, South Korean footballer
- Oh In-sil, South Korean voice actress
- Oh In-sung, South Korean voice actor
- Oh Jae-il, South Korean baseball player
- Oh Jae-moo, South Korean actor
- Oh Jae-suk, South Korean footballer
- Oh Jae-seong, South Korean volleyball player
- Oh Jae-won, South Korean baseball player
- Oh Jang-eun, South Korean footballer
- Oh Ji-eun, South Korean actress
- Oh Ji-ho, South Korean actor and model
- Oh Ji-hwan, South Korean baseball player
- J-Min (Oh Ji-Min) South Korean singer
- Oh Ji-young (golfer), South Korean professional golfer
- Oh Ji-young, South Korean professional volleyball player
- Oh Jin-hyek, South Korean archer
- O Jin-u (1917-1995), North Korean marshal and Politburo member
- Oh Jong-hyuk, South Korean singer and actor
- Oh Joo-ho, South Korean footballer
- Oh Ju-hyun, South Korean football midfielder
- Oh Ju-won, South Korean baseball pitcher
- Oh Joo-yeon, South Korean voice actress
- Oh Joon, South Korean ambassador to the United Nations
- Junggeun Oh, South Korean artist
- O Jung-hup (1910–1939), North Korean military officer
- Oh Jung-se, South Korean actor
- Oh Man-seok, South Korean actor
- Oh Min-keun, South Korean former boxer
- Oh Min-suk, South Korean actor
- Oh Min-woo, South Korean comedian
- Oh Na-mi, South Korean comedian
- Oh Sangwon, South Korean author
- Oh Se-hoon, South Korean politician
- Oh Se-hun (entertainer), member of South Korean boy band Exo (band)
- Oh Seung-ah, South Korean actress and singer
- Oh Seung-bum, South Korean football midfielder
- Oh Seung-geun, South Korean singer, composer and businessman
- Oh Seung-hee, South Korean singer of South Korean girl group CLC
- Oh Seung-hoon, South Korean footballer
- Oh Seung-hoon (actor), South Korean actor and model
- Seung-hwan Oh, South Korean baseball pitcher
- Oh Seung-Hyun, South Korean actress
- Oh Seung-lip, South Korean judo practitioner
- Oh Seung-shin, South Korean field hockey player
- Oh Seung-soon, South Korean fencer
- Oh Seung-yoon, South Korean actor
- Oh Seong-ok, South Korean handball player
- Oh Taeseok, South Korean playwright and director
- Oh Takbeon, South Korean poet, author and critic
- Oh Tak-geun (1921–2013), South Korean prosecutor and lawyer
- Oh Yeon-ah, South Korean actress
- Oh Yeon-chun, South Korean public administration scholar and professor
- Oh Yeon-ho, South Korean journalist
- Oh Yun-kyo (1960–2000), South Korean footballer
- Oh Yeon-sang, South Korean physician
- Oh Yeon-seo, South Korean actress
- Oh Yeon-soo, South Korean actress
- Oh Young-ki, South Korean handball player
- O Yoon (1946–1986), South Korean painter
- Oh Yoon-ah, South Korean actress
- Oh Yoon-hee, South Korean fencer
- Oh Yoon-hong, South Korean actor
- Oh Yoon-hye, South Korean singer
- Oh Youn-hyung, South Korean rugby union player
- Oh Yoon-kyung, North Korean former football defender
- Oh Yon-kyung, South Korean former volleyball player
- Oh Yun-suk, South Korean handball player
- Oh Yoon-suk (born 1992), South Korean baseball player
- Oh Yoon-suk (born 1996), South Korean baseball player
- Oh Yong-ran, South Korean handball player
- O Yeong-su (1909-1979), South Korean novelist
- Oh Uhtaek, South Korean physiologist
- Ou (surname), for Chinese surnames sometimes rendered Ao, Au, O, or Oh
- O family (North Korea), an influential family within the North Korean regime
- List of Korean surnames
- "Wu Name Meaning & Wu Family History at". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "People's Daily Online - History of Chinese surname Wu". English.peopledaily.com.cn. 2005-06-21. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "People's Daily Online - Chinese Zhou surname history". English.people.com.cn. 2005-06-17. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "Oh Name Meaning & Oh Family History at". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "Oh: Name Origins and Name Meanings, What Does My Name Mean". Genealogy.familyeducation.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- Encyclopedia of Korean Culture 장화왕후 莊和王后. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- 김성회의 뿌리를 찾아서 〈59〉 오씨（呉氏）、해주오씨. Segye Ilbo. 2013-10-15. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2017-02-16.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Choi, Song Min. "Thae Yong Ho's defection in the context of the O family legacy". www.dailynk.com. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
- 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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