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).

updated on September 25, 2018

Definitions of Boniface from WordNet
boniface (n.)
the owner or manager of an inn;
Synonyms: host / innkeeper
Boniface (n.)
(Roman Catholic Church) Anglo-Saxon missionary who was sent to Frisia and Germany to spread the Christian faith; was martyred in Frisia (680-754);
Synonyms: Saint Boniface / St. Boniface / Winfred / Wynfrith / Apostle of Germany
From, not affiliated with etymonline.