Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: nickname for a cheerful person, from Middle English rote ‘glad’ (Old English rōt).
  2. English: metonymic occupational name for a player on the rote, an early medieval stringed instrument (Middle English, Old French rote, of uncertain origin but apparently ultimately akin to Welsh crwth).
  3. Dutch: topographic name for someone who lived by a retting place (Dutch root, a derivative of ro(o)ten ‘to ret’, akin to modern English rot), a place where flax is soaked in tubs of water until the stems rot to release the linen fibers.
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