Pope Family History
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Pope Name Meaning
English: nickname from Middle English pope (derived via Old English from Late Latin papa ‘bishop’, ‘pope’, from Greek pappas ‘father’, in origin a nursery word.) In the early Christian Church, the Latin term was at first used as a title of respect for male clergy of every rank, but in the Western Church it gradually came to be restricted to bishops, and then only to the bishop of Rome; in the Eastern Church it continued to be used of all priests (see Popov, Papas). The nickname would have been used for a vain or pompous man, or for someone who had played the part of the pope in a pageant or play. The surname is also present in Ireland and Scotland. North German: variant of Poppe.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press