December 22, 2017 · By Vocab Girl Leave Comment


: the proprietor of a hotel, nightclub or restaurant

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, which doesn’t even spell check out. The word boniface comes from the name of the jovial innkeeper in George Farquhar’s 1707 play The Beaux’ Strategem, 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 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’ Strategem on his deathbed, and died on the night of its third performance. Sad! We often don’t get to enjoy the fruits of our labors, or even know just how much we have affected someone else, unless they share with us about it. Share your positive reviews to their faces. You never know how much good it can do.

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