Pansies in my mum's garden

Heartsease, or heart’s-ease, is one of the names for the pansy (see photo), both garden and wild varieties. This name apparently comes from St. Euphrasia, whose name means ‘cheerfulness of mind’ in Greek.

Other names for the garden pansy, or Viola tricolor hortensis / Viola x wittrockiana, include: viola, violet, love in idleness, or kiss-me-quick.

The name pansy comes from the French word pensée (thought). It came into English in the mid-15th century as the name for the viola.

The name love in idleness was meant to imply the idea of a lover who does nothing but think of his or her beloved.

The wild pansy, or Viola tricolor, is variously known as: Johnny Jump up, heartsease, heart’s ease, heart’s delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, and three faces in a hood.

In Russian the pansy is known as Анютины глазки (Anyutiny glazki – Litte Annie’s Eyes).

In German the pansy is known as Stiefmütterchen (Little Stepmother), Muttergottesschuh (Mother God Shoe), Mädchenaugen (Girl’s Eyes), Schöngesicht (Beautiful Face) or Liebesgesichtli (Love Poems).

Does the pansy have interesting names in other languages?

Sources: Wikipedia, Google Translate

This entry was posted in English, Language, Latin, Russian, Words and phrases.

One Response to Heartsease

  1. Charlie says:

    Other German words for pansy I’ve heard are Samtblume “Velvet Flower” and Dreifaltigkeitsblümchen “Little Trinity Flower.”

    I have never heard Liebesgesichtli but it’s easy to guess that this is a Swiss word (-li is the Swiss German diminutive ending) meaning “Little Love Face.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: