Cupertino was named after Arroyo San José de Cupertino. The creek had been named by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza’s cartographer, who named it after Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Saint Joseph (Italian: Giuseppe da Copertino) was born Giuseppe Maria Desa, and was later named after the town of Copertino, where he was born, in the Apulia region of Italy. The name Cupertino first became widely used when John T. Doyle, a San Francisco lawyer, and historian, named his winery on McClellan Road Cupertino. After the turn of the 20th century, Cupertino displaced the former name for the region, which was West Side.
Although the meaning of Copertino is uncertain, it is likely a compound word meaning “little (covered) shelter.” The -ino suffix in Italian words indicates “small” or “little”, while coprire (past participle coperto) means “to cover” coperto is derived from the Latin coopertus, which also means “covered shelter”.