Recorded as Zupa, Zuppa, Zup, Zuppo, Zupone, and others, this is Italian surname. It is probably occupational and if so described a soup maker from the medieval word "zuppa" meaning soup. However Italian surnames are rarely what they seem to be. For the past millenium Italian of a sort has been spoken throughout the sub continent of Italy, which until 1860 was made up of about twelve states. These in turn were members of a loose federation with little or no power, and therefore each state gradually adopted or developed their own language versions. This could mean that the same surname spelling may have quite a different meaning between say Piedmont in the north, Naples in the middle, and Sciliy in the south. The dictionary of Italian surnames is itself very guarded in ascribing particular meanings to a surname. With this name it suggests that an alternative meaning in the region of Friulano could be an athlete or at least an agile person! To add to the confusion the Italian registers that do exist are usually late or erratic, making research very difficult. Few exist before the year 1800, which is some six hundred years after surnames first appeared. Victorian examples include Nicola Zuppa at Bisenti, Teramo, on November 23rd 1836, and Luigi Zupo at Reali Saline, Foggia, on February 18th 1837.
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