Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 勞 meaning ‘consoling and rewarding’ in ancient Chinese: (i) from the placename Lao Shan (勞山) the name of a famous hill in present-day Shandong province. It was adopted as a surname during the Western Han dynasty (202 BC–25 AD). (ii) from the official post in ancient China who took charge of consoling citizens and provided help for them. Since the Chinese character 勞 had the meaning ‘consoling and rewarding’ they acquired the surname 勞. Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 老: (i) from the first element of Lao Tong (老童) title of son of the legendary king Zhuanxu (traditional dates: 2514–2437 BC). (ii) borne by descendants of Lao Dan (老聃) also known as Lao Tzu founder of Taoism. (iii) from Lao (老) the name of a fief (located in Shandong province) granted to grandson of the Duke Dai of Song (ruler of the state of Song reigned 799–766 BC). Chinese: alternative Cantonese form of the surnames 劉 and 柳. Also Teochew or Hokkien form of the surname 劉. See Liu 1 and Chinese: alternative Cantonese form of the surnames 婁 and 樓 see Lou 1 and Vietnamese: from the Chinese surname 勞 see 1 above. Catalan (Laó): variant of Llaó itself a variant of Lleó a cognate of Spanish Leo 5.7: Spanish (southern): unexplained.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022