It was Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, Juliet, who first said, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. She was quite right too, though maybe for different reasons that she had thought! The name Rose has been used in America since at least the 19th century, though its popularity dropped dramatically from its heyday in the 1920s when it was regularly in the top 25. Recently, more and more prospective parents are coming back to the name, appreciating its simplicity, prettiness and old-world charm. But it is an iconic name across the world, with dozens (if not hundreds!) of variants to choose from. So whether you are looking for a more exotic breed of rose, or wanting a unique take on the classic name: we have just the Rose for you!
Rosa The simplest variant is also one of the prettiest too. Rosa is the Latin form of Rose, and has a huge cross-cultural appeal. For something more unusual and unique, try Rosalba, which is the Latin for ‘white rose’. It sounds very intellectual and international, but still sweet and approachable. And of course, no matter which Rose-name you choose, you have the option of the super sweet pet name, Rosie, which works as a given-name in itself to.
Rosalind Extremely lyrical and poetic, with a hint of aristocratic charm, Rosalind means ‘pretty rose’ in Latin. This is a good choice if you’re looking for a more substantive Rose, while still maintaining its classic Old World charm.
Rosanne Traditionally, Rose has been combined with a number of other girls’ names to create new compound names. Rosanne and Roselyn are probably two of the most commonly heard in the US, but both Roselinda and Rosellen have a certain charm. This could be a great option if you’re looking to remember a family member (or two!) in your baby’s name, but still want something new and original.
Rosemary This name could be used if you wanted to remember a Mary (or a Rose and a Mary), but as a name in itself, Rosemary is a fascinating option. The powerful herb it’s named for has had a huge place n folk traditions and medicine, and is associated with remembrance and faithfulness.
Raizel For something quite unique, we like this Yiddish variant of Rose. The z gives it an interesting focal point, and we prefer it slightly to the Russian version, Raisa. Another Yiddish option is Rada, also meaning ‘rose’, and is certainly one of the “rad-ist” on this list!
Rhoda Until recently, this might have been considered a little too old-fashioned for a 21st century little girl, but we are seeing a resurgence of interest for just these sorts of names at the moment. Its origins are Greek, and a Rhoda is mentioned in the New Testament.
Primrose Primrose is another name which was once a little too stuffy for American babies, but we quite like it! Primula is the quirkier Latin version, and both mean ‘first rose’. Maybe a good name for a little girl born at the start of the year? Or to remember a Brian in the family (or just for something original!) Briallen is the Welsh variant.
Mawar Pronounced ma-WAHR, this Indonesian and Urdu name means ‘rose’. It’s certainly exotic, but perhaps a little too much so for American parents! Still, it has an interesting tomboy-ish charm that could be pretty cool.
And there are some rose names for boys too!
Ambrose Not strictly speaking a ‘rose’-name, Ambrose means ‘immortal one’. It sounds extremely highbrow and intellectual, and is extremely soft and welcoming. Though, personally we prefer the Welsh variant, Emrys. Pronounced EM-riss, this is a really cool looking and sounding name. And it has an ancient, mythical charm!
Rhodes The masculine form of Rhoda, Rhodes means ‘where roses grow’. It might be slightly too erudite and stuffy for some, but it does combine the current trends of old-fashioned with approachable, common-word-sounding names.