Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are pansies really pansies?

As I was walking into work yesterday from the parking lot to the office building, I noticed that all the flower beds on the church grounds had been prepped for the winter months. The spring bulbs have been planted and all colors of pansies have been planted. Smiley from Now, I am thinking to myself, those are pretty sturdy little flowers to last through our cold harsh winters. Then I thought - "I wonder why are they called pansies?" The word pansy definitely has some interesting connotations, so I took it upon myself to do some research. 

Long story short. The pansy was named initially because the flower resembled the human face. In August the flower drops as if in deep thought - French word - Poncee. English - Pansy. Several organizations use the flower to represent "Free Thought"
 Smiley from

Since Elizabethan times the word pansy has been used to describe an "effeminate" male.  As you can imagine the usage of the word just goes downhill from Pimp to names of gay rock bands. If you want to read about it check out Wikipedia. (of course you know they are the experts)

So...As hardy as this beautiful flower is, should it really be named "Pansy"?  What would you rename the flower?

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