Cruz is a name which originates from the Iberian peninsula - the part of Europe including Spain, Portugal, Andorra and part of France. It means 'cross', referring to the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified according to Christian scripture.
Cruz, and extended forms of the name such as 'Vera Cruz' (true cross) and 'Santa Cruz' (holy cross) are common surnames and place names in Spanish and Portuguese. However, Cruz is relatively rare as a given name, and when used it has historically been given to girls.
David and Victoria Beckham drew attention to the name outside of the Spanish-speaking world when they called their youngest son Cruz David in 2005. The little boy was born in Spain while his dad was playing for Real Madrid.
Famous people called Cruz:
Cruz Bustamante, US politician (born Cruz Miguel Bustamante)
Surnames to avoid Cruz with:
If you plan to stick with the authentic Spanish pronunciation in which 'z' is pronounced as a 'th' sound, families named Thorpe or Thurston might have to reconsider their choice or risk sounding like they have a burnt tongue every time they mention their offspring. Can be shortened to:
Cruzita is a cute Spanish diminutive for a baby girl, Cruzito for a boy.
Foreign variants include Crocifisso (Italian), Crwys (Welsh) and Gorane (Spanish) all of which mean 'cross'.
Similar English names include Chris, Christian and Craig.
Cruz can be used as a either a boys' or a girls' name.
Celebrities who named their baby Cruz:
David and Victoria Beckham