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A thatched cottage in Herefordshire, United Kingdom.
A public toilet in London, United Kingdom.


Late Middle English, from Anglo-Norman cotage and Medieval Latin cotagium, from Old Northern French cot, cote (hut, cottage) + -age (surrounding property), from Proto-Germanic *kutan, *kuta- (shed), probably of non-Indo-European origin, but possibly borrowed from Uralic; compare Finnish kota (hut, house) and Hungarian ház (house), both from Proto-Finno-Ugric/Proto-Uralic *kota. However, also compare Dutch and English hut.[1][2]

Old Northern French cote is probably from Old Norse kot (hut), cognate of Old English cot of same Proto-Germanic origin.

Slang sense “public toilet” from 19th century, due to resemblance.



cottage (plural cottages)

  1. A small house.
    Synonyms: cot, hut
  2. A seasonal home of any size or stature, a recreational home or a home in a remote location.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”
    Most cottages in the area were larger and more elaborate than my home.
  3. (UK, slang, archaic) A public lavatory.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:bathroom
  4. (Polari) A meeting place for homosexual men.
    Synonyms: gingerbread office, tea room, tearoom, teahouse, (US) tea house

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • French: cottage



cottage (third-person singular simple present cottages, present participle cottaging, simple past and past participle cottaged)

  1. To stay at a seasonal home, to go cottaging.
  2. (intransitive, Polari, of men) To have homosexual sex in a public lavatory; to practice cottaging.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2013), “kuta”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 313-14
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.



Borrowed from English cottage.



cottage m (plural cottages)

  1. cottage

Further reading[edit]



cottage m (uncountable)

  1. cottage cheese (a cheese curd product)