- This interesting and unusual medieval English name is a dialectal variant of a metonymic occupational name, Colt, given to someone who looked after asses or horses. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Colt", meaning a young ass, later also a young horse. In Northern England "Colt" was the generic word for working horses or asses. However it is also possible that this could be a nickname surname for a lively, frisky, person. In the modern idiom, the variants include Colter and Coltman. The following examples of namebearers are found in London Records. One Marrian Coult daughter of Thomas Coult was christened on June 8th 1578 at St. Dunstans, Stepney and Isack Coult son of Maxamillion and Susan Coult was christened on July 16th 1620 at St. Bartholomew-the-Great, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godric Colt, which was dated 1017, "Old English Bynames", during the reign of King Canute 1016 - 1035. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.