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Re: Re: My (erm) roots - QUACH

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Posted by Marie Kwok ( on October 17, 2006 at 13:45:25:

In Reply to: Re: My (erm) roots - QUACH posted by Tony Quach on April 22, 2006 at 14:13:43:


My husband's surname is also Kwok(Cantonese), or Guo(Mandarin pinyin transliteration), or Kuo(Wade-Giles transliteration).

Guo, like many characters with the "city" radical on one side, was originally a place name. The character was first used in the "Three Annals of the Spring & Autumn Period", referring to the fief granted a younger brother of Zhou Wu-wang(Ji Fa), the first king/emperor of the Chou(Zhou) dynasty. The fief was in north eastern China, and was later conquered by the state of Chi in the Spring & Autumn period. The name was next used in the "Book of Mencius", which mentioned a Lord of Guo. The "Ci Hai" dictionary referred to these as the sources of the surname "Guo".

The word "guo" came to mean the outer curtain of a city's defences when a city had double city walls. I have to wonder if the city of "Guo" was the first to build outer walls outside its original city wall, and so the outer curtain was named after that city.

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