Recorded in many spellings including Frisch, Fritz, Fritsch, Fritsche, Fritsche, Fritske, with diminutives Fritschel, Fritschli, occupational spelllings of Frischmann, Fritschmann, Fritzemann, and patronymic such as Fritzer and Fritzinger, and others, this surname is German, Austrian or Swisse. It is probably best known to English speakers as the archetypal German "name" being a medieval short or nickname form of the originally personal name Frederick, meaning "peace-power". The popularity of the personal name and later the surname was owing to St. Frederick, a 9th century bishop of Utrecht, whilst later in medieval times, it became the hereditary name of the Hohenstaufen family, who have ruled much of Europe for most of the last ten centuries. In the First World War "Fritz" was used as a derogatory term for all Germans, and it seems to have been a creation of the propaganda department of the British War Office. Not surprisingly the (sur)name is one of the earliest recorded. It appears in the German charters and registers with examples such as Frischinus de Tottichoven, a Latinzed spelling. He was the Burger of Freiburg in the year 1281, whilst Pieter Friczche was recorded in the charters of the city of Dresden in 1391.
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