Definitions for "Cottier"
In Great Britain and Ireland, a person who hires a small cottage, with or without a plot of land. Cottiers commonly aid in the work of the landlord's farm.
a medieval English villein
The family name Cottier, to be found today mostly in Switzerland and France, but also in Great-Britain and Ireland (as well as in Australia and the USA, from Swiss emigration to those countries), is derived from the Latin common noun "cottus", referring, in the old feudal system of peasantry which prevailed to the end of the Middle-Ages, to a land-labourer (villein) who did not own the land he worked on - nor paid rent for it : he paid back the landowner by cultivating the plot allotted to him, living in a small, thatched hut or lodging which came to be known as a cottage.