There are two etymologies for carnation, a term found in English in the early 1500s. According to one, carnation may be a corruption of coronation, perhaps because the flower’s toothed petals resembled crowns or because the flowers were worn, crown-like, as garlands. The second etymology comes from the flower’s original color, and roots carnation in the Middle French carnation, “pink complexion,” from the Latin root caro, “flesh,” source of less delicate words like carnal and carnage.



The word chrysanthemum, emerging in English in the late 1500s, comes from the Greek krysanthemon, meaning “gold flower.” The first component, krysos (“gold”), shows up in the biological term chrysalis. The second, anthos (“flower”), appears in anthology, literally “a collection of flowers,” first used for a compilation of small poems in the early 1600s.

Chrysanthemum在16世纪末期传入英语,这个单词源于希腊语krysanthemon(金色的花朵)。第一个组成部分krysos意为“金色的”,是形容蝶蛹的生物学术语。Anthos表示“花朵”,它也是anthology的词根。Anthology意为 “鲜花大全”,在17世纪初期时,这个单词用来表示短诗集。

3. DAISY雏菊

The word daisy has deep roots in the English language. As attested to in some of English’s earliest records, daisy comes from the Old English phrase d?gesege: the “day’s eye,” as the flower’s white petals close at dusk and open at dawn, like the eye of the day as it sleeps and wakes.



The anemone is also known as the windflower. Indeed, the word anemone, first attested in English in the mid-1500s, probably comes from a Greek word literally meaning “daughter of the wind.” It’s said that the brightly colored petals of this flower only opened when the wind blew. Sea anemones took their names in the late 1700s on their likeness to the flowers.

Anemone(银莲花)也被称为风之花。事实上,anemone是在16世纪中叶首次出现在英语中的,它可能起源于一个希腊单词,意思是“风的女儿”。据说,明媚鲜艳的银莲花只有在风吹过时才会绽放。因为银莲花和海葵有几分相似,到18世纪末期时,人们将海葵(一种长在水中的食肉动物)称为sea anemone。


The name forget-me-not was a direct translation from the Old French ne m’oubliez mye (“do not forget me”). Renaissance romantics believed that, if they wore these soft-colored flowers, they would never be forgotten by their lovers, making the flower a symbol of fidelity and everlasting love.

勿忘我的英语名字forget-me-not直接翻译自古法语“ne m’oubliez mye(勿忘我)”。文艺复兴时期的浪漫主义者认为,如果他们戴上这种色彩柔和的花朵,就永远不会被爱人遗忘。勿忘我因此成为忠诚永恒爱情的象征。


Orchids are a diverse family of extremely elegant flowers, but the literal meaning of their name, documented in English in the early 1840s, is a bit earthier, shall we say. Orchid comes from the Greek orkhis, meaning “testicle.” The flower’s bulbous roots, often paired, have long been thought to resemble those male organs.


7. PEONY牡丹

The peony, a word found in Old English, was believed to have healing properties in early medicine, which is why its name might honor Paion, the physician of the gods in Greek mythology.



Like many other flower names, rhododendron enters the English record in the mid-1500s. The name literally means “rose tree” in Greek. It’s an apt name, for this shrub or small tree blooms with brilliant, rose-colored flowers.


9. TULIP郁金香

Passing into English via Dutch or German in the late 1500s, tulip actually comes from the Turkishtülbent, based on the Persian dulband:“turban.” The flower, to its ancient namers, resembled the male headwear worn throughout the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa.


10. VIOLET紫罗兰

Before we had the color violet, recorded by the late 1300s, we had the flower violet, emerging some decades earlier in the same century. Violet grows out of the French violete or violette, a diminutive of viole, in turn the Latin viola, its name for this distinctively purple flower. This viola has no etymological relationship to the instrument. Some scholars suspect Latin got viola from the Greek name for the plant, ion.