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Roʹsemary

is Ros-mariʹnus (seadew), and is said to be “useful in love-making.” The reason is this: Both Venus, the love-goddess, and Rosemary or sea-dew, were offspring of the sea; and as Love is Beauty’s son, Rosemary is his nearest relative.

“The sea his mother Venus came on;

And hence some reverend men approve

Of rosemary in making love.”


Butler: Hudibras, pt. ii. c. 1.

Rosemary, an emblem of remembrance. Thus Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” According to ancient tradition, this herb strengthens the memory. As Hungary water, it was once very extensively taken to quiet the nerves. It was much used in weddings, and to wear rosemary in ancient times was as significant of a wedding as to wear a white favour. When the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet asks, “Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a [i.e. one] letter?” she refers to these emblematical characteristics of the herb. In the language of flowers it means “Fidelity in love.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Roscius
Rose
Rose
Rose
Rose (in Christian art)
Rose for Rose-noble
Rose Sunday
Rose of Jericho
Rose of Raby (The)
Roses
Rosemary
Rosemary Lane (London)
Rosewood
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Rosetta (Africa)
Rosetta Stone (The)
Rosicrucians
Ross (Celtic)
Rosse
Rossel
Rossignol (French)