Recorded in various spelling forms include Placid, Placide, Placidi and Placido, this is a surname of Roman (Latin) origins. It is today both a surname and a first name, but originally was a first name only. It derives from the ancient word 'placidus' meaning gentle and calm, and as such was an endearment name, which would usually have been given at baptism, but also later in life to a member of the clergy. Its popularity was considerably boosted by its association with St Placid, a sixth century monk and holy man who was and remains, much revered in Sicily. However it has to be said that even amongst the most devout members of the Roman Catholic church, there are doubts as to what St Placid is supposd to have achieved. He was apparently martyrd, although there seems to be doubt about that as well, and there have been several threats to remove him from the 'official' list of saints. The surname, whilst far from common, is by Southern European standards, quite well recorded. Examples taken from early surviving Italian church registers include: Michele Placidi, at Forti del Sannis, Compobasso, on December 22nd1588, Angelica Placid, at the same place, on December 20th 1617, and Agnese Placido at San Valentin del Abruzzo, Pescara, on August 30th 1627.
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