The hint also has "son's", does this mean mic is also a possessive singular form?
Does this word have anything to do with the Irish Slur "Mick/Mic/McIrish Many Irish surnames begin with "Mc" or "Mac." Many Irish are also named after the famed Michael Collins, making Michael (Mick) a very common name. Not as derogatory as Paddy." ? Not trying to be derogatory just asking about the culture :/
Mac/mic has no connection with Mick (Michael). Yes, the surnames beginning with Mc or Mac are related to Mac. Seán MacMathúna (John MacMahon) means that John is a descendant of Mahon.
For girls, Mac is replaced with Nic.
- Seán MacGearailt (John Fitzgerald)
- Siún NicGearailt (June Fitzgerald)
Mick and Paddy are not derogatory names within Ireland, only abroad such as England and USA.
It's just a direct translation. "Fitz" is nomano-french for "son of", meaning that their names were at some point translated by the Normans / Normano-English into their dialect of French and the modern English forms derive from from that. If you're asking why some Irish families got 'Fitz' rather than 'Mc', then yea, that's arbitary / probably something to do with some historical interaction between the family and the normans / the english king.
Surnames in Ireland in their English form that start with Fitz such as Fitzgerald, Fitzmaurice, Fitzpatrick etc. indicate that they are of Norman descent. The Normans came to Ireland in 1169 and started a conquest that lasted until the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921.
Surnames in their English form that start with O' such as O'Connell, O'Donnell or that start with Mac such as MacMahon, MacNamara etc. indicate that they are of Gaelic descent.
Not all ways so mon amie, several Irish familes have 'fitz' names without being decended from normans at all, for example, you listed 'Fitzpatrick' who are actually Mac Giolla Phádraig and of gaelic descent ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Giolla_Ph%C3%A1draig_dynasty , other examples FitzDermot from the irish Uí Dúnchada https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyons_Hill , FitzHenry for Mac Inneirghe, I don't know any others. The fitz in their name is a translation.
But in this particular circumstance of the Fitzgerald for 'MacGearailt', you are certainly right, and I am in the wrong, they are as with most FItz names probably norman. I'd guess they are the geraldines of desmond and are really norman and fitzgerald is the original form.
As for the Fitzmaurice/Fitzmorris, I assume that's norman too, but it's worth remembering that several irish gaelic families names have been tranlated to Morris (Ó Muireasa) and Morrison (Mac Muiris or O'Muirghesasain).
Nor is 'Mac' always idication of gaelic decent, infact many (most?) norman families in ireland today have 'Mc' names McRuddery (Fitzsimmons), McCorish, McEvilly (Staunton), McSherry (Hodnett) and funniest of all McNorman.
OH! That makes sense. I should've remembered that, because of how it plays into surnames.