The surname Corte was first found in the several places named "Corte," in Italy. The Italian word corte means "court," as in a manorial court. The surname can be traced back to the year 1123, when members of the Corte family lived in Salerno.
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Italian surnames come in far more variations than the names of most other nationalities. Regional traditions and dialects are a decisive factor in this characteristic. For example, northern names tend to end in "o", while southern in "i". Also important, but not unique to Italy, was the fact that before dictionaries and the printing press most scribes simply spelled words according to their sounds. The predictable result was an enormous number of spelling variations
. The recorded spellings of Corte include Corte, Corti, Da Corte, Dalla Corte, Della Corte, La Corte, Cortella, Cortello, Cortelli, Cortelletti, Cortellino, Cortellini, Corticelli, Cortini, Cortese, Cortesi, Corteggiano, Cortigiani, Cortesano and many more.