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Surname Cortright - Meaning and Origin

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Cortright: What does the surname Cortright mean?

The surname Cortright is derived from the Dutch term, 'van Cortright', which roughly translates to 'from court right'. It is believed to be a topographic name for someone who lived near or worked at a court. Dutch settlers brought this surname to North America in the 17th century and it is particularly common in New York state, where many Dutch immigrants settled. The name has different spelling versions including Cortright, Kortright, and Van Kortryk. The first recorded spelling of the family name, dated 1598, is shown to be that of Joes Kortryk, during the reign of the Dutch prince, Maurice of Nassau, known as the general who organized the Dutch army. Variations in the last name's spelling often occurred due to a lack of consistency in rules of spelling and translation, different dialects and linguistic drift over the centuries, therefore the original meaning may have shifted or evolved. However, the core association with 'court' or 'right' in the name suggests a connection with law, justice or royal service in its origin.

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Cortright: Where does the name Cortright come from?

The last name Cortright is of Dutch origin and is derived from the words 'kort' meaning short and 'recht' meaning right or straight. It was typically used to describe someone who was fair and equitable in his dealings. Contrary to many surnames that are derived from personal names, locations or occupations, Cortright is more distinct because it draws from a personal characterization or trait. This could mean it was possibly a nickname that evolved into a surname.

Cortright is not a very common surname today. However, according to surname distribution data, it is most common in the United States, specifically within the region of the former New Netherland colony that is present-day New York and New Jersey. This is likely due to Dutch immigration during the colonial period. In the modern day, Cortright is likely to be found in higher concentrations in the United States, with lesser prevalence in Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. The variations in the spelling of the surname, such as Cortwright, Cartwright among others, have also spread in different English-speaking countries.

Variations of the surname Cortright

The surname Cortright has roots in Dutch language. Cortright is an anglicization of the early Dutch surname "van Cortrijk" or "van Kortrijk", which means from Kortrijk – a city in Belgium. When Dutch settlers immigrated to what is now the United States, the name transformed into many variant spellings over time.

Alternatives and variant spellings could include Cortrite, Cortright, Courtright, Kortright and Van Cortright, among others. Some variations can include a space in the name, such as "Van Cortlandt".

The "VanCortlandt" variant sometimes used two words, for instance "Van Courtland."

The “vw” sound in Dutch “van” can potentially be written as "f" or "v", for example, "Vancortright" or "Fancortright".

"Kortrijk" also has language based variations such as "Courtrai" in French and "Cortrick" in English.

Spelling variations were quite common until the last couple of centuries, as literacy levels were low and people would phonetically spell names. As such, exact spelling variations may cover an extensive range, specifically in older records or entries.

Famous people with the name Cortright

  • Kara Cortright: Kara is a freelance makeup artist, actor, and model based in Los Angeles. She has worked as a makeup artist for celebrities such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and Taylor Swift.
  • Josh Cortright: Josh is an NBA basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, and has been playing professionally since 2011.
  • Brooke Cortright: Brooke is a well-known fashion blogger, YouTuber, and stylist who has collaborated with top fashion brands such as Balmain, Gucci, and Prada.
  • Christine Cortright: Christine is an award winning opera singer who graduated from the Juilliard School of Music before launching her successful career.
  • Alexa Cortright: Alexa is a successful interior designer who was featured on the hit show, Fixer Upper, as well as other popular home renovation programs.
  • Shawn Cortright: Shawn is a professional mixed martial artist, and former heavyweight champion. He is also a coach of several up-and-coming fighters.
  • Adam Cortright: Adam is a successful author and screenwriter who has written for several major movie studios and won numerous awards for his scripts.
  • Rachel Cortright: Rachel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who founded the popular clothing label, LoveCortright. She has been featured in several industry publications and even had a reality show, Rachel's Runway, on The CW.

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