Curtis \c(u)-rtis, cur-tis\ as a boy's name is pronounced KERT-iss. It is of English and Old French origin, and the meaning of Curtis is "courteous, polite". Surname, in origin a nickname used in the Middle Ages for a courteous person. In earlier times, it was linked with Middle English "curt" meaning "short leggings". See also Kort. General Curtis Le May; golfer Curtis Strange; football player Curtis Martin.
For more information, see also the related name Cortez.