According to traditional lore, rosemary is a versatile little plant, and in general its uses are positive. Lines in A Nosegaie Alwaies Sweet, for Lovers to Send for Tokens of Love ... (c.1582), provide the famous definition of rosemary for remembrance, as quoted by Ophelia in Hamlet, iv. v: 'Rosemarie is for remembrance, betweene us daie and night'. Rosemary was essential at both *weddings and * funerals, and its use at the latter is partly explained by its reputation for practical rather than symbolic protection. A writer in The Monthly Packet (23, (1862), 88) describes meeting a funeral party in a West Sussex village and asking about the nosegays many of them carried, and being told that the rosemary and rue in them were 'fine things against infection'.
   Rosemary was also popular as a *Christmas decoration, an all-purpose disinfectant, and even as a hair rinse. As late as the 1990s people were still calling it the 'friendship bush': 'You always had to plant rosemary in your garden so that you wouldn't be short of friends' (Vick-ery, 1995: 318). Nevertheless, a parallel belief states that rosemary only thrives where the woman of the house is dominant. A much older tradition, reported by Nuttall, holds that rosemary plants never grow taller than the height of Christ when he was on earth, and that when they are 33 years old their upward growth stops.
   ■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 332-3; Vickery, 1995: 318-19; Hazlitt, 1905: 524-6; Hone, 1832: 19-21; G. Clarke Nut-tall, 'Rosemary at Christmas', The 19th Century 98 (1925), 797-804.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Rosemary — Rose ma*ry, n. [OE. rosmarine, L. rosmarinus; ros dew (cf. Russ. rosa, Lith. rasa, Skr. rasa juice) + marinus marine: cf. F. romarin. In English the word has been changed as if it meant the rose of Mary. See {Marine}.] A labiate shrub… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rosemary — Personnage de fiction Genre Féminin Activité(s) Conseill. psychologique Ex analyste à la NSA …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rosemary — [rōz΄mə rē′rōz′mer΄ē, rōz′mə rē] n. [see ROSEMARY] a feminine name: var. Rosemarie [rōz΄mə rē′] …   English World dictionary

  • Rosemary — f English: a 19th century coinage, from the name of the herb (which is from Latin ros marīnus sea dew). It is often also assumed to be a combination of the names ROSE (SEE Rose) and MARY (SEE Mary). Cognate: German, Scandinavian: Rosemarie. Pet… …   First names dictionary

  • rosemary — (n.) mid 15c., earlier rosmarine (c.1300), from L. rosmarinus, lit. dew of the sea (Cf. Fr. romarin), from ros dew + marinus (see MARINE (Cf. marine)). Perhaps so called because it grew near coasts. Form altered in English by influence of rose… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rosemary — ► NOUN ▪ an evergreen aromatic shrub of southern Europe, the leaves of which are used as a herb in cooking. ORIGIN from Latin ros marinus, from ros dew + marinus of the sea …   English terms dictionary

  • rosemary — [rōz′mer΄ē] n. [altered (after ROSE1 & MARY1) < earlier rosmarine < L ros marinus (also ros maris), lit., dew of the sea < ros, dew (< IE * rosā < * eres, to flow: see RACE1) + marinus,MARINE] an evergreen herb (Rosmarinus… …   English World dictionary

  • Rosemary — For other uses, see Rosemary (disambiguation). Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary Rosemary in flower Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Rosemary — Rosemarie ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Namenstag 3 Bekannte Namensträgerinnen 4 Varianten // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rosemary — /rohz mair ee, meuh ree/, n., pl. rosemaries. an evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, of the mint family, native to the Mediterranean region, having leathery, narrow leaves and pale blue, bell shaped flowers, used as a seasoning and in… …   Universalium

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