German familiar form of masc. proper name Friedrich; as a characteristic name for a German, from 1883, especially in World War I. On the fritz "inoperative" (1903) is American English slang, of unknown origin. Earliest references suggest a theatrical origin.
To make something inoperative; put out of working order: Lightning hit some wires and fritzed the generator (1903+)
A German, esp a German soldier; kraut (1883+)