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Etymological origin of Italian surname: Cefala'


CEFALA' | CEFALI'

Both from Calabria in the province of Catanzaro, Cefalà is typical of Lamezia Terme, while Cefalì is from Catanzaro and Cortale. additions provided by Stefano Ferrazzi Of grika or greek-albanian origin, the surnames Cefalà and Cefalì arise from an Italianization of the Greek terms kefalàs and kefalìs, which, in the neo-Greek language, literally mean head, big head or, figuratively speaking , stubborn, obstinate (see Cefala): in this context, to be honest, it should be noted that Cefalà and Cefalì correspond exactly to the Italian surnames Testone, Capone, Capoccia, etc, typical of the ancient popular tradition. In the Byzantine Empire, however, it is important to remember that the term kefalades (plural of kefalàs) was also a name given to military archons, probably to underline their role as chiefs or commanders of the army - a bit like we use the term capoccia in the sense of leader: in this sense, then, it is not excluded that some of these families actually have a connection with a Byzantine kefalàs, especially if we consider that several arvanite families were linked to the noble or military ranks of medieval Greece (as well as Albania). Before concluding, however, a last hypothesis must be added regarding the surnames in question (especially in the case of Cefalà): observing the Greek toponymy, it should be noted that several Greek toponyms contain the root Kefal- - for example the island of Kefalonia and the Cretan village of Kefalas - and, in this sense, a derivation from the Greek toponymy (although the hypothesis is not very probable) cannot be excluded; in Sicily, moreover, there is also a place called Cefalà Diana (PA), but, since Cefalà is a surname mainly from Calabria, this hypothesis also sounds unlikely (if anything, it could apply to the sporadic Sicilian Cefalà).

Bibliographic source' "L'origine dei cognomi Italianim storia ed etimologia" di E. Rossoni disponibile online su: https://archive.org/


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