Monday, June 26, 2006


What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.

It's always good to start with a bit of Shakespeare. I'm gradually getting away from the Orangery theme by talking about Rose - a plant but also a vastly popular name in its various forms. I recently did a like/dislike poll on a favourite forum of mine with 24 different names on a variety of different themes - traditional, trendy, popular, dated, old-lady, unisex, mythological, flowery, virtues, Hollywood...and Rose came out top with 86% of posters giving it a 'like'. Why?

From the categories I have already mentioned Rose seems to encompass many of them - traditional, popular (especially as a middle name), old-lady, flowery. The rose can be a symbol of love, it also one of the symbols of the Virgin Mary and also features in the legend of Madelon who gave a rose to the baby Jesus.

Where does Rose come from?

As with all great names (think Mary, Rhea, Maia) Rose has multiple meanings.
The obvious meaning is from the Latin Rosa meaning Rose. However, it may also have derived from the German Hros meaning Horse or Hrod meaning Fame.
It is one of the earliest flower names used.

Other forms of Rose:

Rosalind - meaning tender horse or lovely rose
Rosaline - think Shakespeare! Used in Love's Labours Lost and Romeo and Juliet
Rosamund - meaning horse protection or rose of the world
Rosemary - a herb, meaning sea dew
Rosetta - as in the Stone

In recent years Rose has become popular as a middle name (within my year there are at least 5 people with Rose as a mn). The long 'oh' sound makes it perfect but also makes it now a fairly standard choice. Alternatives to Rose include Ruth, Ruby, Rhea, Renee, Reine or Rachel.

Names to avoid using Rose with:
Mary - the name of Henry VIII of England's prize warship which sank in the harbour
Audrey - a horror film
Amy - one of Sonic's companions

There's probably more but good ol' Google hasn't come up with anything else.

I'll leave with some flowery alternatives to Rose
Bryony, Daisy, Fern, Flora, Hazel, Heather, Ivy, Jasmine, Lilac, Lily, Mimosa, Myrtle, Pansy, Peony, Petunia, Poppy, Posy, Primrose, Primula, Violet