The book Life in Old Parian says the Cebuano family name Suico has Chinese origin, and I'm looking for the original Chinese characters. I'm trying to narrow it down based on the Hokkien pronunciation of common Chinese family names, but it's hard to find what the characters were for sure.

In the Philippines, it was common for Filipino-Chinese to take both parents' family names as the Spanish did so I'm trying to narrow it down to a combination of surnames that look like Sui and Co combined. From the Wikipedia page on Chinese names in the Philippines it looks like 謝(Sia/Saa) and 孫 (Suan) are good candidates for the Sui part and 許 (Co), or 郭 (Guo) for the Co part. There seem to be other candidates like 蕭 which is pronounced as siau/sio in Hokkien which confuses things further.

  • There are a lot of characters with the same pronunciation in Chinese. There are also a lot of surnames with the same pronunciation. So the reverse mapping is impossible only based on pronunciation/sound.
    – fefe
    Nov 28, 2017 at 2:00
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    Yeah, I know the reverse mapping would be hard. I was more hoping that someone that both had the last name and spoke Hokkien would bump into the thread. Nov 29, 2017 at 22:18
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    "Co" most likely originated as the honorific ~哥 (Hokkien: Ko), rather than a name. See bibingka.baybayin.com/names/index.html where it says: If you are wondering why so many names end in -co and -ko, it is because co was a title of respect given to someone like an elder, or an older brother.
    – dROOOze
    Dec 29, 2017 at 9:41
  • I am trying to determine the ultimate origin of the last name or surname: Saa. It seems that some sort of single character Chinese commonly borne by some Filipino-Chinese may be the origin (wikipedia: Sia/Saa (謝)). However, i also found that its origin may be Pakistani. Can you help me with that or direct me to somebody who can give me an idea? Thanks
    – Clara Saa
    Sep 2, 2019 at 22:48
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    You provided your question as an answer to the OP's question, which it really isn't. You don't need any points to ask your own question, so please open a new one! (And welcome to the community!) Sep 3, 2019 at 5:11

2 Answers 2


隋 is a more probable candidate for Sui. It is (some form of) Sui in Hakka and Hokkien. There's a 睢 too.

郭 is not a good candidate for Co -- in southern Chinese languages (Hakka, Minnan/Hokkien, Cantonese) it has a final -k. Some variant of Kwok.


I'm not an expert in Filipino, but I might provide a hint for you to look it up.
The former Filipino president, Corazon Aquino, was born Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco, where Cojuangco is pronounced similar to Chinese "许寰哥" ("Brother Kho-Khoan"), which was derived from her grand-grandfather Kho Giok-khoan (许玉寰). (Trivia info: Corazon had a Chinese name herself, "许娜桑". ) Therefore, it's probable that "-co" in Suico indicates "brother", rather than another Chinese surname.
The part "Sui-" might also not be limited to Chinese surnames. One of my assumption is that it comes from Chinese "水" (water), which could lead to a Chinese ancestor whose name had a "水" in it. This man might be a celebrity at that time, and people called him "水哥" ("Sui-co"). Then his descendants use this nickname as their surname.

  • Fair point. Perhaps 水哥 or 瑞哥.
    – user
    Nov 23, 2022 at 9:02

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