Southern Italian: Sometimes said to be derived from a diminutive of Sicilian gargia "jaw", "mandible" or Calabrian gargia "open mouth", presumably applied as a nickname. However there is no known source for this pure speculation. Perhaps derived from Gargiu. It is not specific to Naples. It is the 11th most common surname in the State of Campania, which was 9.5% of the population of Italy in 1980. Naples was at that time only roughly 23% of the population of Campania. The surname was extremely common in both Naples and the Sorrentine quite early, and is well documented in church records in the end of the 16th century. In the Sorrentine alone there was an estimated minimum Gargiulo population of 500 at any one time in the 17th century based on a 2008 study of at least 600 Gargiulo church records from 8 area churches. For such a large Gargiulo community to have existed in the Sorrentine in the 17th century, it is estimated that the surname must already have been in common usage in the Sorrentine in the 16th century before the commencement of church records ca 1580, and probably also as early as the 15th century. The same could almost certainly also be documented for the same period for Naples and the surrounding area. The exact origin of the surname and when it first came into common usage is not presently known. However, those interested should consider the common Roman family name Gargilius. Many surnames in the Sorrentine and in Campania are derived from Roman names. The best known Roman of this name today was Quintus Gargilius Martialis who was a soldier, a Roman official, and a writer on medical subjects, though not a physician. A lot is known about him because of his medical writings admired in the Middle Ages. It is unusual that so many in the Sorentine (and Naples) were already using the Gargiulo surname in 1600. Ordinary people in other parts of Europe had not yet started using surnames at this early time. However, Romans commonly did use 2 names, and even 3, which could help explain the early use of 2 and 3 names in southern Italy. However, so far no connection between Gargiulo and Gargilius has been documented.
Noted individuals surnamed Gargiulo
- Antonino Bonaventura Gargiulo (1848–1904), monsignor, editor, publisher and Bishop of San Severo
- Domenico Gargiulo, Baroque painter (1612–1679), better known as Micco Spadaro
- Julian Gargiulo, Italian-American concert pianist
- Lou Gargiulo, two-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
- Michael Gargiulo, serial killer from Santa Monica, California    
- Michael Gargiulo (journalist), television news anchor
- Rafael Gargiulo, Argentina's 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics light-heavyweight boxer
Gargiulo Family Businesses
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- De Felice, Emideo, I Cognomi Italiani Rilevamenti Quantitativi dagli Elenchi Telefonici; Informazione Socio Economiche e Culturali, Onomastiche e Linguistiche, Societa Editrice il Mulino, Bologna, 1980.
- Genealogy of the Gargiulo Family of Capri, and Related Families of Vuotto, Lembo, and DeMartino, by Jay Norwalk, 1940 - , Newcastle, Me. : Axion Press, 1999, 330 pages
- Some Gargiulo Families of Sorrento, Italy. A Study of a Large Community in the 17th and 18th Centuries, Including Photographs of 250 Records by Jay Norwalk, 1940 - and Angela Federico 1955 - , Newcastle, Maine : Axion Press, to be published winter 2010, 650 pages (est)