Recorded as Zoppi, Zoppie, Zoppis, Zoppo, Dal Zoppo, and possibly others, this is a famous Italian surname. It originates from a Roman (Latin) word 'zoppo' meaning lame, and was probably originally given as a personal name of endearment to a child who was born with a defect in the leg. Had the surname been Irish we would have been able to say that it was the name given to the original chief of the clan, but Italian surnames are much more complex in their etymology. However like Celtic or Gaelic names they are often hereditary in a similar manner. 'Nicknames' form one of the largest groupings in the surname lists. Many were they to be given today would be regarded as unacceptable, drawing attention as they do to a person's physical or even mental characteristics. Such considerations of what today is called P C, did not trouble our ancestors, although the most basic and robust forms are now believed to be extinct. In this case examples of recordings taken from early surviving Italian registers, and few have survived if they ever existed at all, compared with other countries, include the following. Vincenzo de Zoppis and his wife the former Maria de Mantuanis, at Brede, Mantova, on February 24th 1674, Domenico de Zoppo and his wife, the former Magdalena Monfardini at San Benedetto, Mantova, on February 9th 1757, and Guiseppina Zoppi, who married Augusto Gatta at Roccca di Papa, Roma, on October 2nd 1868.
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