Word of the Day

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

boniface

\BON-uh-feys, -fis\ , noun;
1.
any landlord or innkeeper.
2.
Saint (Wynfrith), a.d. 680?–755?, English monk who became a missionary in Germany.
3.
a jovial innkeeper in George Farquhar's The Beaux' Stratagem.
4.
a male given name: from a Latin word meaning “doer of good.”
Quotes:
The big man had come on shift at the inn early, for a fellow boniface had not yet recovered from the effects of a dispute with a patron.
-- Poul Anderson, "The Gate of Flying Knives," Thieves' World, 2007
And, in the midst of it, came the jolly Boniface, bearing, as carefully as a mother does her first-born, three long bottles, cobwebbed and dirty.
-- John Reed Scott, The Colonel of the Red Huzzars, 1912
Origin:
Boniface literally translates to "doer of good" in Latin. The generalized meaning of innkeeper came from the 1707 play The Beaux' Stratagem by George Farquhar in which a jovial innkeeper is named Boniface.
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