The History

The Family Name

A few centuries ago, people were only known by nicknames that came from everyday life. In these innocent times, people’s behavior, profession, unique characteristics or some distinctive quality, became their surname. For example, if a man, suppose his name was George, happen to have a large mustache he was dubbed ‘Moustakas’, with his full name being ‘George Moustakas’; or if there was a craftsman who made tin and copper utensils, was surnamed Kalaitzis (from the Turkish word for tin, ‘kalay’). 
And so, in the Koutsogiannopoulos family, there once was a tall man called Giannis, who was known as Giannaros, viz ‘big Giannis’ (where the first name was combined with the Greek augmentative ‘-aros’). Giannaros went to war and, after being severely injured, he came home with only one leg. From then on, he was known as Koutsogiannis (‘koutsos’ meaning ‘lame’ in Greek). Consequently, Koutsogiannis’ children, his ‘poulakia’ (chicks), were called ‘Koutsogiannopoulakia’, and thus, the family name ‘Koutsogiannopoulos’ came about.
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