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Gender Male
Word/name Anglo-Norman
Meaning Polite, Courteous, Well-Bred
Other names
Related names Kertész, Kurt, Cortez, Carson

Curtis or Curtiss is a common English given name and surname of Anglo-Norman origin derived from the Old French curteis (Modern French courtois, surname Courtois[1]) which means "polite, courteous, or well-bred". [2] It is a compound of curt- ″court″ and -eis ″-ish″.[3] The spelling u to render [u] in Old French was mainly Anglo-Norman and Norman, when the spelling o [u] was the usual Parisian French one, Modern French ou [u]. -eis is the Old French suffix for -ois, Western French (including Anglo-Norman) keeps -eis, simplified -is in English. The word court shares the same etymology but retains a Modern French spelling, after the orthography had changed.[4]

It was brought to England (and subsequently, the rest of the Isles) via the Norman Conquest.

Many Hungarian immigrants in English speaking countries with the last name Kertész have adopted the name Curtis, since it is pronounced similarly and helped them integrate into their new community. The Spanish version of this last name is Cortés or Cortez.

Surname uses: Curtis[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

  • Randall Curtis, a character on The Simpsons based on George Lucas
  • Rey Curtis, a character on Law & Order
  • Izumi Curtis, a character in Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Three brothers on the TV series The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis (the shows narrator), Sodapop Curtis and Darrel "Darry" Curtis.
  • Jackson Curtis and Kate Curtis, fictional characters from the film 2012.

Surname uses: Curtiss[edit]


Given name uses: Curtis[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

  • Curtis Manning, a fictional character played by Jamaican-Canadian actor Roger Cross as part of the television series 24
  • Curtis Wilkins, a fictional character from the comic strip Curtis
  • Curtis (Stargate), a recurring character in Stargate Universe
  • Curtis Donovan, a fictional character played by actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as part of the UK television series Misfits

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Surname Courtois in France (French) [1]
  2. ^ Percy Hide Reaney, Richard Middlewood Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames (1991), p. 121.
  3. ^ CNRTL etymology of courtois (french)
  4. ^ T. F. Hoad, English Etymology, Oxford University Press paperbook 1993. p. 101a.