- This interesting and unusual name has two, related, possible origins, both deriving from the Old French word "chopine", an old (large) liquid measure contained approximately an English "quart"; in Scotland a half-pint. The surname from this source has two possible interpretations. Firstly it may have been acquired as a metonymic occupational name for someone who made "chopins", ladles, or possibly vessels used in the casting of metal, which were also called "chopines". The surname may also have been originally given as a rather less respectable nickname, for a "tippler", from the verb "chopin", to drink, tipple. The modern surname can be found as Chopin, Chopy, Choupin, Chupin, Choppen, Choppin, and Chopping. The marriage of Agnes Chopin and Richard Dowset was recorded on November 8th 1589 at Great Waltham, in Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Chopin, which was dated 1219, in the "Devonshire Curia Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216-1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.