Middle English, borrowed from Medieval Latin, probably by false etymological parsing (as Late Latin vēra īconica
"true image") from the given name Veronica
, borrowed from Late Greek Berníkē, Beroníkē
, name given in the Gospel of Nicodemus (ca. 4th century) to a woman subject to bleeding who is cured by Jesus (Matthew 9:20-22), in later tradition applied to a woman possessing an image of Jesus's face on a cloth
The names Berníkē, Beroníkē are apparently variants of classical Berenī́kē, borne by various Macedonian queens and princesses of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. The expected Latin adaptation would be Veronīca, but this appears to be contradicted by modern Romance pronunciations of the name, with stress on the antepenult. Presumably stress has been adapted to names such as Dominica formed with the unaccented suffix -icus.