Rose is a Marian name — it can refer to Our Lady of the Rosary for one, or Our Lady of Guadalupe with the roses that fell from St. Juan Diego’s tilma; she also often appeared with roses on her feet, as at Lourdes and Knock (there’s a beautiful song about Our Lady of Knock that calls her the “Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland”). It’s also saintly — there’s also St. Rose of Lima, and the roses associated with the intercession of St. Therese.
When parents seek to honor someone — a relative or saint or other respected person — in the naming of their child, it’s not unusual to look for different variations of the name. Aunt Marguerite might have a little namesake named Margaret, or Uncle John who always went by Jack might have a little namesake bestowed with just Jack or maybe Jackson. “Catherine Marie” might have a nicer flow to it in the opinions of the parents than “Catherine Mary,” and so Grandmother Mary is honored with “Marie.” Grandpa Stephen might have a little Stephanie named after him. Flow, the preferences of the modern-day ear, and gender differences are some of the reasons parents may veer away from the actual name they’re inspired by and replace it with a variant.
I was thinking of Rose yesterday because my boys were playing the Wii game Super Mario Galaxy and they said the Star Mother (I think?) was named Rosalina. I’d never heard that variation before, and I admit — I liked it. Some of my other favorites are Rosa, Rosalie (despite the Twilight connotation), and Roisin (with an accent over the ‘o’ and the second ‘i’ — I don’t know how to do that here — can anyone tell me?), which is my very favorite — it’s the diminutive of the Irish for Rose, Rois (accent over ‘o’). I also love Rosey/Rosie — one of the sweetest nicknames in my opinion.
What are your favorite Rose names? Do you have examples in your own life and family when a child was given a name in honor of someone but with a change like those mentioned above?