Word of the Day : May 21, 2012

boniface

play
noun BAH-nuh-fuss

Definition

: the proprietor of a hotel, nightclub, or restaurant

Did You Know?

"Boniface" has been the name of eight popes, one antipope, and one saint, but none of those had anything (directly) to do with the English word "boniface." The word "boniface" comes from the name of the jovial innkeeper in George Farquhar's 1707 play "The Beaux' Stratagem," the story of two penniless rakes who determine that one of them must find and marry a wealthy lady. Farquhar's play made more than one contribution to the English language. The name of the character of Lady Bountiful is a byword for a generous (and often conspicuously so) philanthropist. Farquhar, incidentally, never got to see the influence his play had on the lexicon. He finished "The Beaux' Stratagem" on his deathbed, and died on the night of its third performance.


Examples

Jones' retirement will be celebrated, but it also means that for the first time in 45 years, the city's oldest hotel is in need of a new boniface.

"Vince Bommarito, boniface of Tony's restaurant at 410 Market Street, said last week was one of his busiest in years and that this week is shaping up to look the same." - From "Deb Peterson's Breaking Schmooze" blog at stltoday.com (Web site of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), October 18, 2011



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