Recorded in several forms including Cocozza, Cucuzza, Coczella, Cocucci, Zucca, Zoca and probably others, this is a typical Italian surname. It can be either occupational for a market gardener, one who specialised in growing pumpkins or onions, or a nickname for a person who was either literally had a 'big head,' or who was considered by his peer group to be somewhat over the top! Italian surnames are the most difficult of all European surnames to research with accuracy. They are like most of the others medieval in origin, but unlike every other European nation, were often fluid in their spelling, successive generations adding to or subtracting from the base spelling at will, to the point where some names now contain only one letter of the original spelling! As a result research can only be based on surnames which have proven recordings. Unfortunately even this is difficult. Until 1860 Italy was a loose federation of states, who went their own way, were generally poor, and keeping records was a function far down the list of priorities. In addition 'Italian' itself even today is barely a unified language, with the same name sometimes having totally different meanings in different parts of the country. With this surname examples of recordings are few, but include Laura Cocucci at Campobasso, on December 22nd 1696, and Martino Cocozza at Ciorland, Caserta, on September 9th 1850.
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