Family name origins & meanings
- Chinese : from Hu, a name bestowed posthumously on Gui Man, Duke of Chen. After conquering the Shang dynasty and becoming the first king of the Zhou dynasty in 1122 bc, Wu Wang searched for a descendant of the great ancient emperors to guard their memory and offer sacrifices, to help retain the mandate of heaven which was considered essential to remain in power. He found Gui Man, a descendant of the model emperor Shun (2257–2205 bc), and granted him the region of Chen (in present-day Henan province), along with one of his daughters in marriage and the title Marquis of Chen. Gui Man was posthumously named Hu, Duke of Chen, and some of his descendants adopted this name as their surname.
- Chinese : from part of the name of the state of Youhu, which existed during the Xia dynasty (2205–1766 bc). Its residents subsequently adopted the second character of the name, Hu, as their surname.
- French : nickname from Old French hu ‘outcry’, ‘noise’ (the same word as gave rise to the English phrase ‘hue and cry’, which referred to a clamour raised when in pursuit of a criminal); compare Huard 2.
- Mexican (Maya) : nickname meaning ‘iguana’.