Russian and Bulgarian: patronymic from pop ‘priest’, from Greek pappas (compare English Pope). The name may sometimes derive from a nickname, but celibacy was not enjoined on priests of the Orthodox Church and so the name can indeed mean ‘son of the priest’. In many cases, however, the Russian name means no more than ‘of the priest’ and designates a servant of a priest. Jewish (American): most likely a shortened form of Popovski, a habitational name for someone from a place called Popovka, of which there are several examples in Ukraine.
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