Recorded in many spellings including Kopp, Koppe, Kopsch, Koppes, diminutives Koeppel, Koppel, Kopple, Koppelin, occupational Kopelman, Koppelmann, and others, this is a surname of Germanic origins. It has three possible origins. It may derive from Kob, a short or nickname from the Hebrew personal name Jakob, or it can be in some case occupational and can describe a maker of barrels, a cooper, or thirdly it may derive from the word 'kopf' and again have been a medieval nickname. This would either be for a person who literally had a large head, or more likely it was given in an abstract form to describe some one who was regarded by his or her peer group as having 'a big head!' Medieval surnames with nickname origins are often what we in the 21st century would now regard as 'robust'. The famous Gaelic surname Kennedy for instance translates literally as 'ugly head', but it, like this one, has been around for a long time ands shows little sign of losing its popularity. Early examples of the recordings include Johannes Copeskinus of Hermannshager, Pommerania, in 1316, Hermann Kopelin of Stuttgart in 1349, and Hans Koppelmann of Barth, in 1404.
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