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Surname Cortez - Meaning and Origin

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A Familial Journey: Understanding the 'Cortez' Surname through an iGENEA DNA Test

My iGENEA DNA test results profoundly altered my personal understanding of my family identity and surname, 'Cortez'. Instead of adhering to a stereotypical Spanish heritage, I discovered a complex and diverse genetic past that includes North African and Native American roots, offering a refreshing perspective on my familial ties.

V. Cortez

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Cortez: What does the surname Cortez mean?

The surname Cortez is of Spanish origin and it is derived from the word "corte", which means "court" in English. It is essentially an occupational surname, given to individuals who worked at a royal court, or who lived near a court. Cortez is fairly common in Spain and Latin America, and it is also associated with the famous Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés who played a significant role in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Therefore, the last name Cortez can symbolize nobility, prestige, and history. In some cases, the name could also have been given to someone who was short, as it is derived from the old Spanish word "corte", meaning "cut short". It should also be noted that the variations of the surname include Cortes, Cortese, and Cortéz.

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Cortez: Where does the name Cortez come from?

The last name Cortez is of Spanish origin and is a patronymic form of the personal name 'Cortes'. The name 'Cortes' originated as a nickname for an individual refered as courteous or polished. It became a surname during the medieval times in Spain.

Today, the surname Cortez is most common in countries that have had strong Spanish influence, including Mexico, Spain, and the United States, particularly in areas with significant Hispanic populations such as California, Texas, and Florida. It is also fairly common in the Philippines, a former Spanish colony.

Variations of the surname Cortez

The surname Cortez, of Spanish origin, can be found in different variants and spellings based on geographic region, dialect, and historical influences. Variants include:

1. Cortés: The accent on the "e" is typically used in Spanish-speaking countries.

2. Courtois: A French variant associated with the roots of the Cortez family in parts of France, particularly Normandy.

3. Cortês: This is the Portuguese variant of the surname.

4. Curtis: This English variant shares the “court” root with Cortez.

5. Cortese: An Italian variant with a similar pronunciation.

6. Kurtz or Kurz: These are German versions of the surname, also associated with "short" or "court."

7. Cortesi, Cortazzo and Cortellessa: These are Italian derivatives of the same root.

8. The Dutch or Flemish version of Cortez is Coertse or Koertse.

Combined forms with prefixes or suffixes may include DeCortez, McCortez, Cortezo, Cortezi, Cortezinho, etc. These can represent regional preferences or familial distinctions. Additionally, some families may drop or add a letter to form surnames like Cortes, Cortet, Corez or Corte. However, these often retain the core root, reflecting their shared origin with the surname Cortez.

Famous people with the name Cortez

  • Alexa Demie Cortez: An actress, singer, and model known for her role in the HBO series "Euphoria".
  • Alberto Cortez: A famous Argentine singer and songwriter.
  • Ricardo Cortez: An American actor.
  • Cortney Cortez: Emmerich Kálmán's husband who is a Spanish and classical philologist.
  • Charlie Cortez: A professional footballer famous for playing for clubs like Tacoma Stars and the Seattle Sounders FC.
  • Dave Cortez: An American singer and musician.
  • Melissa Barrera Cortez: A Mexican actress and singer.
  • Gregorio Cortez: A Mexican-American folk hero celebrated in corridos (Mexican ballads).
  • Jessica Marie Garcia Cortez: An American actress known for her role in the show Liv and Maddie.
  • Jayda Cortez: A popular YouTube star.
  • Ignacio Cortez, also known as Nacho: The fictitious protagonist in movies "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams" and "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over".
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: An American politician and activist, member of the Democratic Party and the U.S House of Representatives from New York's 14th congressional district.

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