This Italian surname of BITTINGER was from a medieval given name, a short form of the name Beatrice. This Italian name was from a medieval female given name borne in honour of a 4th century saint, martyred together with her brothers, Simplicius and Faustinus. Her name was originally VIATRIX meaning a traveller, and the name was adopted by early Christians in reference to the journey through life, and Christ's description of Himself as 'the way, the life, and the truth'. The name was later altered as a result of folk etymological association with the Latin BEATUS meaning 'blessed'. This name is also spelt BETTES, BETTINGER, BETTINI, BETTIS, BETTY, and BETZ. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy.
A notable member of this name was Ugo BETTI (l892-l954) the Italian dramatist and poet, born in Camerino. He studied law and became a Judge in Rome (l930-l944) and librarian of the Ministry of Justice from l944 until l953. His collection of verse include 'Re Pensieroso' (l922) and 'Le Case' written in l937. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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