Cortez \c(o)-rtez, cor-tez\ as a boy's name is pronounced kor-TEZ. It is of Spanish origin, and the meaning of Cortez is "courteous". May also mean "court-dweller". Variant of Curtis. Historical: surname of the Spanish explorer and adventurer Hernando Cortes (16th century) who with a small expeditionary force conquered the Aztec civilization of Mexico.