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The place name is fairly common in England and comes from an Old English term meaning "cold cottage", referring to a resting place for travellers or other strangers on the road. The original Northampton to London road (modern B526) runs nearby. The route was diverted in 1728 along a new road on the higher ground east of the village, causing the latter to decline.
The place name was once used elsewhere in Buckinghamshire in the ancient village adjacent to Bedgrove.
The modern area is the triangle defined by the M1 motorway, the A422 road and the A509 road. It is mostly farmland and designated as urban open space since it is substantially within the flood plain of the River Ouzel (or Lovat).