Rutter Family History
Rutter Name Meaning
English: occupational name from Old French roteor roteeur routeeur ‘player on the rote’ a musical instrument a kind of harp or fiddle. The regular modern development of the name would have been to Roter (rhyming with boater) and to Router or Rowter (rhyming with doubter). These variants survive in small numbers but the principal modern form is Rutter found in fairly large numbers across England especially in the northeast and in the West Midlands. The shortened vowel in Rutter may have been influenced by rotte rutte Middle English variants of Old French rote. Compare Root English: nickname from Middle English roter rotour ‘robber plunderer’ also ‘scoundrel lecher’ a borrowing of Old French rotier Anglo-Norman French routier ‘soldier of fortune; robber highwayman ruffian’ though this is a less likely source of the modern surname. Dutch: nickname from Middle Dutch rut(t)er ‘freebooter footpad’ cognate with 2 above.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press