Cotter Family History
Cotter Name Meaning
Irish (co. Cork): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Oitir ‘son of Oitir’, a personal name borrowed from Old Norse Óttarr, composed of the elements ótti ‘fear’, ‘dread’ + herr ‘army’. English: status name from Middle English cotter, a technical term in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service rather than rent, from Old English cot ‘cottage’, ‘hut’ (see Coates) + -er agent suffix. Probably an Americanized spelling of German Kotter.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press