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bonifacio

Last name origin & meaning:

Italian, Portuguese (Bonifácio): from the personal name Bonifacio (Latin Bonifatius, from bonum ‘good’ + fatum ‘fate’, ‘destiny’). In Late Latin -ti- and -ci- came to be pronounced identically; the name was thus often respelled Bonifacius and assigned the meaning ‘doer of good deeds’, derived by folk etymology from Latin facere ‘to do’. Bonifatius was the name of the Roman military governor of North Africa in 422–32, who was a friend of St. Augustine. It was also borne by various early Christian saints and was adopted by nine popes. The personal name was always more popular in Italy (in its various cognate forms) than elsewhere; the original sense ‘well fated’ remained transparent in Italian, so the name was often bestowed there for the sake of the good omen.

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