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COOTES Family HistoryThis name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English "co(a)te" meaning a coot, and was originally given as a nickname to a bald person. The bird was regarded as bald because of the large white patch, an extension of the bill, on its head. The expression "as bald as a cote" has become standard in English. A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, or to supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition.
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