Information on the name of Chinappi

I had some fun looking on Google for old books (before 1800) which note the word CHINAPPI.

In fact, I found very few (2, see herein below).

The first is a poem from 1582 which expresses 2 words: “chi” and “nappi”.

The second clearly gives (in Latin) the proper name R.D Antonius CHINAPPI of the San Pantaleone church in Venice, in the

Synodal Decrees of Torcellan promulgated in 1739.

It is not surprising that we do not see the name CHINAPPI before 1739, because the erudits of that time must have been few in number and probably religious.

If we come back to the word “nappi”, which gave me great difficulty in understanding, I shall attribute to it the meaning of cup;

which “nappi” would come from the Germanic word “hanap”. I would link this term to the coat of arms (where 2 cups appear) that you give on your site.

We can also relate this word to the NAPA VALLEY, near San Francisco.

See on this subject:


Another explanation, outside the context of the book above, is that « nappi » is the plural of « nappa » (tassel in English). And here we come back to religion, as it was an attribute of the cardinals.

It is possible that chi nappi was a term used to make fun of someone who thinks he was a cardinal, and that the term has stuck.

Nevertheless, I remain convinced that our name has nothing to do with cups and I maintain my explanation given in

PS: note that MALAPARTE links CHINAPPI to Gaeta and Sperlonga (see below).

Parmi ceux-ci, certains le nourrissaient avec des mets exquis ; d’autres encore lui apportaient des coupes dorées ; d’autres séchaient la sueur de son front avec du linge blanc ; d’autres agitaient un éventail devant lui ; et d’autres encore, lui parfumait les pieds de senteurs d’Arabie ; certains mélangeaient de grande quantité de bon vin à l’intérieur de flacons ; et d’autres préparaient de l’excellent vin pour lui.

Among these, some fed him exquisite dishes ; others brought him golden cups ; others dried the sweat from his brow with white linen ; others waved a fan in front of him ; and still others perfumed his feet with arabian scents ; some mixed large quantities of good wine inside flasks ; and others prepared excellent wine for him.


Tuuto cio e opera di due soli coloni, CHINAPPI, venuto da Gaeta e MESCHINI, di Sperlonga. Han comprato questo sabbieto a credito, per pochi soldi: oggi e propriata loro, e vale milioni.

Tout cela est l’œuvre de deux colons, CHINAPPI, de Gaeta, et MESCHINI, de Sperlonga. Ils ont acheté ce grès à crédit, pour peu d’argent : aujourd’hui, il est leur propriété et vaut des millions.

All this is the work of just two settlers, CHINAPPI, who came from Gaeta, and MESCHINI, from Sperlonga. They bought this sandstone on credit, for very little money: today it is their own property, and worth millions.


I am not a linguist and I am expressing here possibilities that I would like other contributors to verify and comment on, or even to refute.

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