- Means son/son of — as in Fitzgerald (son of Gerald) or Fitzsimmons (son of Simon)
- Nickname of characters in Agents of SHIELD and Scandal TV shows
History of the name Fitz
If your name is Fitzgerald, Fitzhenry, Fitzsimmons or Fitz- anything else, you may have wondered what the first syllable stood for. And you may have found out that it stood for the Latin “filius,” meaning son.
These Fitz names are of Norman origin, and the Fitz was used by the Normans in England to indicate “son of,” just as Mac was used in Ireland or Scotland and Ap in Wales.
But how did Filius turn into Fitz? Simply enough. It was a trick of the old scribes to draw a line through the letter “l” when it was followed by an “i.” This was one of the time-saving devices they had in the days before shorthand.
This crossed “i” sometimes looked like a “t,” thus a certain man who was the son of William, would have his name written in records as “Fillus William.” With the “i” crossed, this looked like Fitus William.
Then the letter “z” in English is used as a contraction of the letters “us.” Thus Fitus became Fitz. This derivation is given on good authority and seems to be true to the fact.
There are many Fitzgeralds in this country proud to belong to the great Scotch family of Geraldines, as they call themselves. There is never any suggestion that the fitz in this case indicates illegitimacy. However, Fitzroy was sometimes given to an illegitimate son of a king.
Thus Geoffrey, Bishop of Lincoln, illegitimate son of Henry II, was called Geoffrey Fitzroy; and an illegitimate son of Henry VIII and Elizabeth Blount was called Henry Fitzroy, the name having passed on to his descendants.
Charles, Henry and George, sons of King Charles II and Barbara Billiers, Duchess of Cleveland, took this surname of Fitzroy. They and their descendants became Dukes of Grafton and Berwick and Lords of Southampton, and the family name Fitzroy is still borne by these aristocratic houses in England.