Mainly North American: transferred use of the surname, in origin a local name from any of various places in England named with the Middle English phrase atten whiten ey ‘by the white island’. In the 1980s its popularity as a girl's name was enhanced by the fame of the American singer Whitney Houston (b. 1963).
Italian: from a personal name composed of the elements bona (buona) ‘good’ + parte ‘solution’, ‘match’, a name bestowed as an expression of satisfaction at the child's arrival. The name has also been adopted as a Jewish surname and by admirers of the Emperor Napoleon in North America and the Caribbean.