- rose (n.)
- Old English rose, from Latin rosa (source of Italian and Spanish rosa, French rose; also source of Dutch roos, German Rose, Swedish ros, etc.), probably via Italian and Greek dialects from Greek rhodon "rose" (Aeolic wrodon), ultimately from Persian *vrda-.
But cf. Tucker: "The rose was a special growth of Macedonia & the Thracian region as well as of Persia, & the Lat. & Gk. names prob. came from a Thraco-Phrygian source." Aramaic warda is from Old Persian; the modern Persian cognate, via the usual sound changes, is gul, source of Turkish gül "rose." The ultimate source of all this may be PIE *wrdho- "thorn, bramble."
Used of a color since 1530. In English civil wars of 15c., the white rose was the badge of the House of York, the red of its rival Lancaster. Rose-water is attested from late 14c. Rose-colored "optimistic" is first recorded 1854. In the figurative sense, bed of roses is from 1590s. Rose of Sharon (Song of Sol. ii:1) is attested from 1610s and named for the fertile strip of coastal Palestine. The flower has not been identified; used in U.S. since 1847 of the Syrian hibiscus.