16 Jan 2022

A rose by any other (German) name would sell as cheap

November 12, 1938

November 12, 1938

A woman in London writes:

At a luncheon party of eight people, I was amused and somewhat amazed to find that all the ladies in the party except myself were named Pamela. They were all about the same age and, of course, happen to have been born at a time when Pamela was a fashionable name.

The circumstances that make a particular name popular vary. In times of war or of great political crisis parents often choose the name of their popular leaders to give their children. Peter was never a popular name for children until Barrie wrote ‘Peter Pan’. Nowadays, an immense number of Shirleys (after Shirley Temple) are being prepared for the coming-out balls of 1950.

By the way, in Germany so much confusion was caused by every male child being called Adolf that now the giving of the name is forbidden except by special permission!

Passing a florist’s shop, I saw a bowl of singularly graceful shape, labelled ‘Queen of Whites’. A gardener friend told me that before 1914, a rose-breeder succeeded in growing the most nearly perfect white rose and registered it under the name ‘Queen of the Whites’. It did not sell well, and was renamed ‘Frau Karl Druski’, under which name it met with great success. But during the Great War it ceased to sell, due to its German name.

Now re-registered, the ‘Queen of the Whites’ is the most popular of all white roses.

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