劉(Lao, Lau, Liew, Liu, Loo, Low, Liou or Yu) is a common Chinese family name. The transliteration Liu can represent several different surnames written in different Chinese characters:
- 劉 / 刘, pinyin: Liú. A very common surname, as it was used by the ruling family of the Han Dynasty - a high point in the history of China.
- 柳 pinyin: Liǔ in mandarin, Lau : Cantonese
- 留 pinyin: Liú in mandarin, Lau : Cantonese
- 六 pinyin: Liù in mandarin, Lyuk : Cantonese
- 廖 Cantonese pinyin: Liu 6, Mandarin : Liao, Wu
In Vietnamese, the name can either take the form "Liễu" (in northern regions), corresponding to 柳 in Chinese, or "Lưu" (in central or southern regions), corresponding to 刘/劉 or 留 in Chinese. The family name 六 is "Lục" in Vietnamese. A few having Vietnamese-Chinese descent use the family name "Lao" while Indonesian-Chinese descent Latinise it according to Dutch pronunciation as "Lauw".
In Hakka, 刘/劉 is most commonly transliterated as 'Liew' while 廖 is written as 'Liau' or 'Liaw'. The other variants of the romanised surname 'Liu', i.e. 柳, 留 and 六, are uncommon among speakers of Hakka.
In Cantonese transliteration, 刘/劉 (Liú) is Lau, Lao is also transliteration of 刘/劉 in Min Nan and Taiwanese Minnan Chinese language, whilst Liu is a different surname, 廖, pinyin: Liào, ("Liêu" in Vietnamese).