Recorded as Esposito, Esposuto, Esposto, Esposti, Exposi, Espote, Sposito (Italian and sometimes French), and Exposito (Spanish), this is a surname of early Latin (Roman) origins. It derives from the word 'expositus' meaning 'outside' and was a topographical reference either to a person who lived outside of a city, or in a more socialogical sense, it is claimed that it was given as a surname to a foundling, one who was literally found outside. It is said that the surname is the most popular in the city of Naples. This may suggest that conventional morality is or was, lower in Naples than other Italian cities, but the most likely explanation is that given that the boundaries of the ancient city were quite restricted, the term 'expositus' in medieval times would almost certainly have been topographical and descriptive of an early suburbanite! A coat of arms granted in France has the blazon of a gold field, in base a rock proper supporting a black eagle, and a red chief pierced with three silver crosses. It is unclear when the name was first recorded, but examples from surviving Italian church registers include Francesco Esposito of Casale di Posilipo, Napoli, on April 12th 1760 and Maria Rosa Esposta, on San Severo, Foggia, on May 17th 1832.
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