Another Name Question

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?

Generally, the “Fitz-” prefix means “son of” and is Norman in origin.

Basically another son of, from Latin through French

Dictionary meaning

Quite right. There is no truth in the rumour that the first gay marriage in Ireland was between Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald.

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.

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…

In the lavish, privileged world of the admins, this is what passes for a cite. :smiley:

Yeah, it’s the sort of laxity that gives us Fitz.

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:

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




“Our tailor is Fitz Matush…”
–NPR’s CarTalk

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.

“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.