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JazzPolice
05-28-2004, 04:47 PM
Hi. I'm Scandinavian and my girlfriend is fascinated by names which starts with Fitz- -- like FitzWilliam (her favorite), FitzPatrick, FitzGerald, and so forth. She wish she had one of those names.
One of my ambitions in life is to impress her with my knowledge, and I would like to explain to her where the prefix Fitz comes from. Of course, I have no idea. Its far from obvious like prefixes like "von" or suffixes like "son".
Can anybody at this forum help me drag her attention to me?

silenus
05-28-2004, 04:52 PM
Generally, the "Fitz-" prefix means "son of" and is Norman in origin.

sarcophilus
05-28-2004, 04:57 PM
Basically another son of, from Latin through French

Dictionary meaning (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=fitz)

Colophon
05-28-2004, 05:27 PM
Quite right. There is no truth in the rumour that the first gay marriage in Ireland was between Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald.

JazzPolice
05-28-2004, 06:09 PM
Thank you, silenus and sacrophilus, much appreciated. And Colophon, too!, I had no idea Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald were gay...!

/Jazz Police

PS. Silenus, I don't think it's a good idea too hang out with Dionysos too much. See what happened to Rory Gallagher.

C K Dexter Haven
05-28-2004, 06:19 PM
I believe that, in the UK in the early 1800s, the Fitz- prefix was assigned as a last name to indicate a royal bastard -- that is, the illigitimate son of King William IV was called FitzWilliam.

I haven't tried to check this, it's from a vague memory of something I read somewhere sometime...

Early Out
05-28-2004, 09:01 PM
I haven't tried to check this, it's from a vague memory of something I read somewhere sometime...In the lavish, privileged world of the admins, this is what passes for a cite. :D

yabob
05-28-2004, 09:09 PM
In the lavish, privileged world of the admins, this is what passes for a cite. :D
Yeah, it's the sort of laxity that gives us Fitz.

Colibri
05-28-2004, 10:35 PM
I believe that, in the UK in the early 1800s, the Fitz- prefix was assigned as a last name to indicate a royal bastard -- that is, the illigitimate son of King William IV was called FitzWilliam.

I haven't tried to check this, it's from a vague memory of something I read somewhere sometime...

I have heard that myself, although not in reference to William IV's son. It seems to be a widespread belief, although I don't know how correct it is.

From sarcophilus's site:

\\Fitz\, n. [OF. fils, filz, fiz, son, F. fils, L. filius. See Filial.] A son; -- used in compound names, to indicate paternity, esp. of the illegitimate sons of kings and princes of the blood; as, Fitzroy, the son of the king; Fitzclarence, the son of the duke of Clarence.

I lived in a largely Irish-American neighborhood growing up, and we used to tease the "Fitz's" in the class with this.

Colibri
05-28-2004, 10:43 PM
Here: (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/NORrichardfitz.htm)

In about 1026, Herleva of Falaise, the sixteen year old daughter of a tanner from Falaise in Normandy, gave birth to a son called Richard. The boy's father was Gilbert, Count of Brionne, one of the most powerful landowners in Normandy. As Herleva was not married to Gilbert, the boy became known as Richard Fitz Gilbert. The term 'Fitz' was used to show that Richard was the illegitimate son of Gilbert.

Here: (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/NORosbern.htm)

William Fitz Osbern, was the illegitimate son of Osbern the Seneschal, who became one of the legal guardians of William the Conqueror after the death of his father Robert, Duke of Normandy, in 1035. A number of Norman barons would not accept an illegitimate son as their leader and in 1040 an attempt was made to kill William. The plot failed but they did kill the guardians Osbern the Seneschal, Gilbert of Brionne and Alan of Brittany.

Here: (http://www.geocities.com/Chisholmfamilytree/LineofBrittany.html)

(9) Akaris Fitz-Bardolf, born 1090. Presumably illegitimate son of Bardolf de Bretagne and an unknown woman. Associated with an unknown woman and sired son Hervey.

(10) Hervey Fitz-Akaris, born 1129. Presumably illegitimate son of Akaris and an unknown woman. Associated with an unknown woman and sired son Henry.

(11) Henry Fitz-Hervey, born 1167, died 1212. Presumably illegitimate son of Hervey and an unknown woman. Married Alice Fitz-Walter and had daughter Agatha.

(12) Agatha Fitz-Hervey, born 1201. Daughter of Henry and Alice. Married Michael Fleming.

Note: "Fitz" was an apellation often denoting illegitimacy in the Middle Ages. Alternatively, it could simply mean "son of". -- Jessica, who's family has a long and proud history of illegitimacy, and who is merely the latest in a long line of bastards.

AskNott
05-29-2004, 12:44 AM
"Our tailor is Fitz Matush..."
--NPR's CarTalk

RealityChuck
05-29-2004, 04:05 PM
I believe that, in the UK in the early 1800s, the Fitz- prefix was assigned as a last name to indicate a royal bastard -- that is, the illigitimate son of King William IV was called FitzWilliam. I do know that the name Fitzroy was coined to name a illegitimate son of the king. "Roy," of course, come from the French "roi" meaning "king." Evidently, "Fitz-" itself often was used to indicate a bastard son.

Mississippienne
05-29-2004, 06:17 PM
"Fitz" is simply derived from the Norman French fils de, meaning "son of". While many bastards were "Fitz-", many legitimate people were as well. Most Fitz names had no stigma of bastardy attached to them at all, except, of course, for Fitzroy, fils de roi, son of the king.

So, while some Fitzses were bastards, not all bastards were Fitzses, and indeed, not all Fitzses were bastards.