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Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Get Your Nickname: Fitz

My husband bungles words a lot, usually on purpose. When you tell him a new name, phrase or title, he does not remember exactly what you told him, and when he needs to refer to it, he makes up whatever vaguely similar hilarity strikes his fancy to stand in its place. For example, when the popular TV show Bones featured a serial killer named Gormogon, he took to calling the character Gorgonzola (a tasty type of blue cheese). Another example, last night we took my son to the local holiday parade called "City of the North Parade". When we were making plans, my husband asked 'When does the Chicken of the Sea begin?". Usually this habit ranges from entertaining to vaguely annoying, but recently it actually brought a new naming tidbit to my attention, and got me researching.

We were walking the dog (and the baby in his stroller), and I was listing possible baby names. I mentioned the name Fitzwilliam, like from Pride and Prejudice (the name of the main love interest is Fitzwilliam Darcy, more commonly known in popular culture just as Mr. Darcy). Ten minutes later, my husband complained that I am always coming up with girls names, "except Fitzwallace or whatever." And yes, that is what got me thinking, what exactly does Fitz mean? I associate it with Fitz's Rootbeer in St Louis, Missouri (seriously, if you are ever driving through, go to their restaurant and get some, or even the grocery store). I think of it as a quirky nickname, but if you asked me for what name I could not have told you (until recently I probably would not even had made the Pride and Prejudice reference.

When I did start really thinking about it, I realized Fitz is a common prefix, occurring more in surnames than first names. So when I started to research I was not surprised to find out that it actually means "son of" in old French (very old, tied to the Norman's). I think now, these Fitz names fit in perfectly with the "last name as first name" triend, and that Fitz fits with a lot of other rising names/nicknames, such as Max, Jax, Hank, Mac, Nico, Ash etc. The names also have the "double barrel" first name feel that is gaining popularity.

Now for the actual name ideas, not much to discuss in terms of meanings though!

Fitzwilliam - As I mentioned, inspired by Pride and Prejudice

Fitzwallace - Last name of a character in West Wing (which is why it was in my husbands head). I feel like this name does double duty as it yields two nicknames I like, both Fitz and Wally

Fitzpatrick - Put a little Irish Twist on it!

Fitzgerald - This would be the most recognizable version I think - F. Scott Fitzgerald being the most obvious reference, but  there is also the Edmund Fitzgerald (famous shipwreck), or Ella Fitzgerald the singer.

Fitzroy - Unlike the previous names that have meanings like "son of Gerald", Fitzroy actually means son of royalty, or son of the king.

I could list many more. Fitz can be added to a prefix to almost any English name. A few others that stick out to me as phonetically pleasant are Fitzalan and Fitzharris.

Also, if you like Fitz, you might also consider the close phonetic match of Fritz, a traditional shortening of Frederick/Friedrich.

Would you consider the name of nickname Fitz, and if so, what would you want to put on the birth certificate?

1 comment:

  1. I think I like Fritz better than Fitz. I would associate Fitz with Fitzgerald as in John Fitzgerald Kennedy.