Episode 137: A Rose By Any Other Name

The rose is one of the most beloved flowers in western Europe, and it has a long association with English royalty.  In this episode, we explore the history of English gardens and the use of the rose as a symbol of various branches of the royal family.  We also examine the oldest guide to gardening composed in the English language and the origins of the conflict that became known as the ‘Wars of the Roses.’


11 thoughts on “Episode 137: A Rose By Any Other Name

  1. Thanks for the great episode! As for the singular “pea” originally having the “s” at the end, there is the nursery rhyme “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold …”. And also, I think, the fairy Peaseblossom in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

    • Pease pudding (or porridge) was still in vogue when I was growing up in Britain in the 1950s. Personally I loathed it…

  2. Thanks for a fascinating episode and especially the recap of the history! It is hard to keep all the relationships straight especially when there are so many Johns, Edwards, Edmunds, Richards, etc. Learning about all the vegetables and fruits they grew was also super interesting. I had no idea they had such a varied diet (at least the rich people did).

  3. Hey Kevin, great episode as always! Posted the interesting information about the origin of “blackcole” vs. kale, coleslaw, cauliflower, collards and (I presume) kohlrabi on my Facebook page and started a very long discussion. Much longer than you’d think cabbages would generate.

    But, I can’t find a reference to “blackcole” “blackcaul” “blackcoal” etc. online anywhere. Can you clarify exactly how it’s spelled?


    • I am not familiar with “blackcole.” In the episode, I discussed the links between cole, cole slaw, colewort, collards, kale, cauliflower. Maybe you’re thinking of one of those terms?

  4. What a fantastic episode. The relationship between the various branches of Edward111 family tree is so complicated that it can make your head spin. However, you totally nailed it, although I would have liked to have learned a bit more about Anne Mortimer, who it seems to me, was pivotal to English history. I appreciate though that your podcast is more concerned with the history of the language, so I get it. Anyway, you have encouraged me to do more research.

  5. I think that the rose emblems of Yorkshire (white) and Lancashire (red) originated with the Wars of the Roses. Kevin (or anyone else) can you confirm or otherwise? If it is, being from Yorkshire, it’s good to know the origin. There’s still a friendly rivalry between the two countries.

    The English rose (white and red) comes from the end of the Wars of the Roses, but I can’t remember how they ended, or why / how the roses were combined. I assume Kevin gets to that at some point.

    • From a Welsh-English dictionary: ETYMOLOGY: Welsh pared < paraed, a variant of parwyd < British < Latin parêt-em < pariêt-em. The form with -wy- is used in the plural form: parwyd-gweithio i bared.
      A Wiktionary page about the Latin word “paries” (internal, separation wall) and its descendants (Welsh “pared” among them). “Parietem” is the singular accusative form of the word.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.