large island lying to the east of and near Africa, from Mogadishu, the name of the city in Somalia, due to an error by Marco Polo in reading Arabic, whereby he thought the name was that of the island. There is no indigenous name for the whole island. Related: Madagascan; Madagascarian; Madagascarene.
masc. proper name, from Old Irish Patraicc (Irish Padraig), from Latin Patricius, literally "a patrician" (see patrician). As a given name, chiefly in northern England and Scotland, in Ireland a popular name only after 1600, due probably to the Scots settlers in Ulster. [Reaney]
1705, in reference to various popes who took the name Clement (see clement (adj.)). Saint Clement was a 1c. bishop of Rome. Clement VII was the first of the antipopes of Avignon. Especially in reference to the edition of the Vulgate issued due to Pope Clement VIII in 1592, which was the official Latin Bible text of the Catholic Church until late 20c.
masc. proper name. Saint Boniface (c. 675-754) was an Anglo-Saxon missionary to the continental Germanic peoples.
Contrary to the common opinion, this name derives not from Latin bonifacius 'well-doer,' but from bonifatius, from bonum 'good' and fatum 'fate.' The change to Bonifacius was due to pronunciation and from this was deduced a false etymology. Bonifatius is frequent on Latin inscriptions. Bonifacius is found only twice and these late (Thesaurus) ["Dictionary of English Surnames"]
Meaning "innkeeper" (by 1803) is from Will Boniface, character in George Farquhar's comedy "The Beaux' Stratagem" (1707).
1769, short for stella polaris, Modern Latin, literally "the pole star" (see polar). The ancient Greeks called it Phoenice, "the Phoenician (star)," because the Phoenicians used it for navigation. Due to precession of the equinoxes the pole was a few degrees off (closer to Beta Ursae Minoris), but evidently Polaris was close enough. Also see pole (n.2). The Old English word for it was Scip-steorra "ship-star," also reflecting its importance in navigation. As the name of a U.S. Navy long-range submarine-launched guided nuclear missile, it dates from 1957.
Originally in English in reference to the sects that practiced adult baptism and arose in Germany from 1521. Probably so called because, as a new faith, they baptized converts who already had been baptized (as infants) in the older Catholic or older Protestant churches. Modern branches (notably Mennonites and Amish) baptize only once (adults) and do not actively seek converts. The name also was applied, usually opprobriously, to Baptists, perhaps due to the multiple immersions of their baptisms.