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"Curtiss" redirects here. For other uses, see Curtis (disambiguation).

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 ″Gardener″ have adopted the name Curtis, since it is pronounced similarly and helped them integrate into their new community.

Surname uses: Curtis[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

Surname uses: Curtiss[edit]


Given name uses: Curtis[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]



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.