Coined in the United States in the 1940s from the feminine form of Spanish bonito ‘pretty’. This is not used as a given name in Spanish-speaking countries. Bonita looks like the feminine form of a medieval Latin male name, Bonitus (from bonus ‘good’), which was borne by an Italian saint of the 6th century and a Provençal saint of the 7th. However, no medieval record of the feminine form in use as a given name is known.
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of various places bearing this name, for example in the former German territories of Prussia, Upper Silesia, and Bohemia. As a Jewish name, it is in many cases an ornamental name from the German elements Friede ‘peace’ and Land ‘land’.