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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
At one time any self-respecting Jane Austenite would be expected to know the language of flowers by heart.
Whole dictionaries were published about what flower symbolized what. They call it floriography: coded communication through the use of flowers. If you knew your floriography, you could probably skip over half of any Victorian romance novel.
In those days a “well-bred”* person was expected to know that a red rose meant love and a yellow rose friendship. A lily was a symbol of purity and innocence while mimosa, aka touch-me-not,** was of chastity. Well, F all that prudish obsession with chastity!
To me, each flower comes with the message that there’s hope for humanity. This week we’ll see five flower-related terms that are used figuratively.
Do you feel partial to some particular flower? Have a story related to flowers? Share below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Not sure what today’s well-bred person is supposed to know. The language of emojis?
**Mimosa pudica, to be more precise
1. Like a rose, especially in color: pink, red, etc.
2. Bright; favorable; promising.
3. Unreasonably optimistic.
From Latin roseus (rosy), from rosa (rose), from Greek rhodon (rose). Earliest documented use: 1449. Also see rose-colored.
“This roseate future isn’t pending, which causes one to despair.”
Randy Boyagoda, Magic and Greed: Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s New Novel; Harper’s Magazine (New York); Sep 2006.
See more usage examples of roseate in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward. -Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist (5 Sep 1905-1983)