pro se

Pronounced: pro say

Notes: I don’t know this phrase, but if I were better at languages, I could probably work it out

Yesterday’s word

The word boniface is “an innkeeper or landlord, usually of a kind nature”

First usage

The word goes back to the mid-1700s

Background / Comments

Despite the actual year it came into our language, our word seems to me to have an old-world charm and seems to belong to the days of chivalry and knights. In reality, our word comes from a character in a 1707 play: The Beaux’ Strategem by George Farquhar. “Boniface” was the name of a jovial innkeeper in the play. It must have been popular and memorable, because it became a word not too many years later. Interestingly enough, that same play is also the origin of Lady Bountiful; I’ve run across the expression do the Lady Bountiful in my reading, which has the uncomplimentary meaning of “being generous in order to show off one’s wealth in a patronizing way”.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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