baby name RosalieThe baby name Rosalie combines sparky vintage charm with the strength of classic Rose.

Thanks to Melissa for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


Take the romance language Rosa and add -lia.

That gives us the name Rosalia.

Back in twelfth century Sicily, the well-born Rosalia withdrew to live and pray alone in a cave. She eventually died there, too.

When a plague struck Palermo in 1624, a local hunter claimed that he’d had a vision of the forgotten Rosalia.

Following her directions, he found her cave, rescued her relics and brought them back for a procession through the town.

Legend tells that it worked, and Rosalia became a saint.

The festival is still celebrated annually in Palermo, as well as other communities – including in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood.

The name Rosalia was pretty rare in the US, though not unknown.


The baby name Rosalie is simply the French form of Rosalia. It’s heard elsewhere in Europe, too.

In France, the name peaked early in the 1900s. It’s enjoying a modest comeback in recent years.

But let’s go back to the early twentieth century for now.


Around the year 1900, the baby name Rosalie ranked #300. Rose was a Top 20 choice, and Rosa not far behind, also in the Top 100.

Over the next few decades, Rosalie gained in use, entering the Top 200. It was the age of Dorothy and Marjorie, Jacqueline and Josephine. Rosalie mixed French influence, with that enduring three-syllables, ending-in-ie/y pattern.

It might have continued to be heard in steady numbers, but then came Rosalie on Broadway in 1928.

The musical turned into a big screen extravaganza, released in December 1937.

It’s about a princess from afar – Rosalie Romanikov of Romanza – who comes to the US. She falls hard for a soldier, a football player at West Point. Heartache and hilarity follow, but everyone lives happily ever after. Nelson Eddy played the boyfriend; Eleanor Powell, the princess.

MGM’s film jettisoned the original Gershwin score for songs by Cole Porter, but the title track – also called “Rosalie” – was unchanged, and also popular in the era.

Not only did Hollywood brush up the score, they also added dancing – lots of it, to cater to leading lady Eleanor Powell’s status as one of the era’s most famous dancers. An elaborate scene features Rosalie tapping atop a giant drum – if you’ve ever seen the 1974 MGM retrospective That’s Entertainment, it’s included.

While Rosalie isn’t a familiar movie today, it was a hit then – and propelled the baby name Rosalie to #66 in 1938.

1940s ONWARD

By the 1940s, the baby name Rosalie was falling. After 1988, the name left the rankings entirely.

And yet, it’s heard steadily across the ages. A nineteenth century Swedish feminist, a 1960s American folk singer, a British character actress, and Dutch model also answered to Rosalie.

The name might also bring to mind:

  • Fats Domino’s “I Can’t Go On (Rosalie)” from 1955
  • 1970s television staple Welcome Back, Kotter included Rosalie “Hotsie” Totsy
  • Ryan Adams recorded “Rosalie Come and Go” as one of the bonus tracks included in his Grammy-nominated 2001 album Gold

It would be a few years post-Gold before Rosalie enjoyed a revival, though.

And for that, it would take Hollywood once more.


Stephenie Meyer created an early twenty-first century pop culture sensation with Twilight, the story of a family of vegetarian vampires. It’s a love story, featuring Bella and Edward – as well as Edward’s rival, the werewolf Jacob.

Much was made of Isabella and Jacob as popularity baby names, influenced by the series. Except that the first Twilight novel in the trilogy debuted in 2005. Isabella already ranked in the US Top Ten, and Jacob stood at #1.

But the series proved influential for naming nonetheless. Other vampires in the Cullen family included Esme, Jasper, Alice, Emmett, and yes, Rosalie.

Each of those names increased in use, often sharply, particularly after the first movie adaptation came in 2008.

In the books and movies, Rosalie Hale is beautiful and suspicious of human Bella – at least at first. She grows to become one of Bella’s fiercest protectors.


The baby name Rosalie returned to the US Top 1000 at #832 in 2009, the year after the movie was released.

While many have credited Meyer for starting the trend, it’s a little more complicated. Meyer had a knack for choosing vintage names – after all, her vampires were supposed to be antiques. The story told us that Rosalie Hale was born in 1915. Meyer zeroed in on under-used names that felt period-appropriate for her characters, and promising for the twenty-first century, too.

There’s no question that Twilight turbo-charged the names, including Rosalie.

By 2012, the year the final installment in the Twilight series debuted on the big screen, the baby name Rosalie ranked #404.

It hasn’t slowed down, either. As of 2020, the baby name Rosalie stood at #198. That’s the name’s highest ranking since the early 1940s.


The baby name Rosalie last peaked in the 1930s. If the one hundred year rule applies, this name’s revival is right on time.

And why not? It combines several trends and patterns.

It shares the rhythm of classics like Emily, as well as more recent favorites like Avery.

We love a floral name, and Rosalie is both clearly tied to Rose and a little distinct, too.

Plus, it’s gently French and quietly vintage.

For parents after a name mixing strength and femininity, vintage status and current sound, the baby name Rosalie is an obvious choice.

What do you think of the baby name Rosalie?

First published on June 16, 2010, this post was revised significantly and re-published on April 13, 2022

baby name Rosalie

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. We named our baby girl Rosalie Maia in February 2012. Her nickname is usually Rosie, though I often call her Posie instead thanks to my two year old’s lisp turning Rosie Posie into Posie Posie.

    1. Congratulations! What a great name for a daughter … and Posie is really too darling.

  2. It would be fabulous if Rosalie could get fixed soon! I know that I’ve read it before, but can’t remember the details now. It’s a strong contender should we ever have another girl. Thanks so much!

  3. Thanks for highlighting this name. I absolutely LOVE Rosalie. I first fell in love with Rosalia from the Better Than Ezra song “Rosealia”. I admit to being a Twihard so I will also admit that those books really got me hooked on Rosalie 🙂 I generally eschew names that end in “ee” because I don’t think they age well, but Rosalie has the perfectly proper “Rose” possibility when she’s climbing the career ladder. Rosalie is definitely on my fantasy wish list along with Georgina and Meredith if I didn’t have ethnic considerations and an opinionated hubby!

  4. Rosalie has been a name crush of mine recently but I think I would hesitate before using it because of the Twilight link. That said, I didn’t realise the name had such a history in her own right and that makes me like her even more. As a couple of people have said, I think Rosalie would make a lovely and unexpected middle name choice, she would be a breath of fresh air in my neck of the woods because it seems that every baby girl I know has either Rose, Grace or May/Mae as her middle name…

  5. One of my closest friends growing up was blessed with Rosalie as a middle name… and she hated it. I always thought it was beautiful and feminine and rounded out her more common first name–Lisa–very well, but then again, maybe I was jealous because my middle name is one of the most common “filler” middle’s out there: Lyn (although it’s also my mom’s first name, so at least for me it has meaning). 😛

    My name-crushes for girls right now are Aurelia Noelle, Amelie Corinne, and Rosalie Claire. Obviously, I lovelovelove the feminine, French-sounding names that are becoming more popular right now, but that’s my greatest fear too. I have nothing but positive associations with Rosalie, even having read Twilight and not enjoying it very much, but I’m with Ellie in hoping that it doesn’t skyrocket because of the books!

  6. It’s interesting that so many of you feel that Rosalie reads French or Italian, because when I lived in Texas it seemed like everyone had a T

  7. I must admit that I have read Twilight, mainly so I could converse intelligently about it. But Rosalie is more connected to Win a Date With Tad Hamilton for me, although I think she spells it differently.

    1. I forgot about Win a Date with … loved that movie! And you’re right, Kate Bosworth played Rosalee.