Grootebroek was a separate municipality until 1979.
The town is called Grootebroek after a large swamp in the area; in Dutch, "groote" means "large" and "broek" means "swamp". The most common meaning of "broek" in present-day Dutch is "pants", leading to some hilarity about the town's name. Grootebroek is located next to Lutjebroek, "small swamp".
The Dutch soccer players Frank and Ronald de Boer grew up in Grootebroek.