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"fitz" in names (was: Scottish "Osborn" and clothing)

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  • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
    ... That s a common misconception. I m not sure where it got started, but I suspect it s as widespread as it is because it s such a popular device in novels
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 29, 2008
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      K Smith wrote:
      > . . .I've always heard that the "Fitz" at the beginning of a surname
      > was for a son born out of wedlock, meaning "bas***d son of" so and so.

      That's a common misconception. I'm not sure where it got started, but
      I suspect it's as widespread as it is because it's such a popular
      device in novels with fantasy or historical settings.

      In fact, "fitz" just means "son of", and is as applicable to a son
      sired on a wife as one sired on anyone else. It ultimately comes from
      the Latin "filius" ("son"), which gave rise to the Old French phrase
      "le fiz" or "le fuiz" ("the son of"), which was taken to England by the
      Normans and eventually shortened and Anglicized as you see.


      Coblaith Mhuimhneach
      Barony of Bryn Gwlad
      Kingdom of Ansteorra
      <mailto:Coblaith@...>
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