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Coetzee (Afrikaans: [kutˈsɪə]) is an Afrikaans surname. It is the tenth most common family name in the Republic of South Africa.[1]


Unlike many other popular South-African family names, which can often unambiguously traced back to English, Dutch, or Huguenot French, the origin of the name Coetzee is unclear. It is known that it dates back to the person Dirk Coetzee who came to Cape Colony from Kampen in Netherlands in the 17th century.[1]

The Apr 2018 version of the article "Coetzee" in English Wikipedia states,[2] without any source, that it derived from the Hungarian Kocsi, meaning "from Kocs"; and that the surname also originates from the Flemish Couché, which itself originates from the Breton Coet.

A Dutch linguist Jan-Wouter Zwart dismisses this explanation as unlikely and "folk etymology", after examining several facts. Instead Zwart shows the guess, in an informal essay, that it derived from the common Dutch name Koetsier, guided by the pronunciation.[1]

Notable people with the surname "Coetzee"[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jan-Wouter Zwart (2018), On the origin of the South-African surname Coetzee, archived from the original on 2018-06-20, retrieved 2018-06-20
  2. ^ Coetzee, English Wikipedia, 2018-04-27