Last name origins & meanings:
- Chinese: from an honorific title borne by a prince
of the state of Zhao during the Warring States period (403–221
bc). He was awarded the title Noble Ma Fu after repeatedly
distinguishing himself as a general, and subsequently, his descendants
adopted part of the honorific title, Ma, as their surname.
- Korean: there are two Chinese characters for the surname Ma, only
one of which is frequent enough to be treated here. Two clans use this
character: the Mokch’ŏn clan and the Changhŭng clan. The
founding ancestor of the Korean Mokch’ŏn Ma clan migrated to Korea
from China during the Han Commanderies period (1st century
bc). The Ma clans played fairly important roles in the
formation of the pre-Shilla Paekche kingdom. The records are not
consistent, but it seems that originally the Ma surname was Yŏng
and that either the Koryŏ king T’aejo (941–943) or the Shilla
king Kyŏngsun (927–935) changed the name to Ma.
- Cambodian: unexplained.
- Hawaiian: unexplained.
- Tongan: unexplained.
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