She’s a compound name with a français feel and German heritage. How would she wear on a little American girl in 2010?
Thanks to Nicole for suggesting the name of her daughter-on-the-way as our Baby Name of the Day: Rosemarie.
At first glance, Rosemarie is out of favor. While she ranked in the US Top 1000 for most of the twentieth century, she vanished after 1988. Rosemary remains in the US Top 1000, ranking #721 in 2009, but that’s a far cry from her earlier Top 100 status.
Or is she? Rose is quite popular in the middle spot. What’s more, compound names are notoriously difficult to capture. Rose Marie and Rose Anne are both counted as Rose, contributing to her long run in the US Top 100.
Rosemarie peaked in 1936 at #158, also the heyday for Rosemary. While many 1930s era names are unlikely to make a quick comeback, some are starting to rebound. Sure, there’s Shirley. But a few paces behind we find Joan, Evelyn and Frances – all plausible choices for the stylish parent circa 2010.
Rosemarie’s exact meaning is subject to some debate. Take your pick from:
- She’s a compound name comprised of the floral Rose and the saintly, enduring Marie;
- She’s a spin on the herbal Rosemary – in which case, she’s also coastal, since rosemary comes from the Latin ros – dew – and marinus – sea. There’s a mythological bonus, too: rosemary was draped about Aphrodite’s shoulders when she emerged from the ocean;
- Roses are often associated with the Virgin Mary. Rosemarie, then, could be seen as a doubly religious choice;
- And, of course, ros sometimes means horse, from the Old High German hros, as seen in names like Rosamund.
Regardless of her meanings, a handful of early 20th century uses encouraged parents to bestow the name on their daughters. In Germany, a popular song titled “Rose Marie” caught on, and plenty of baby girls wore the name, sometimes spelled Rosmarie. Or at least I think that’s the case, but I can’t track down the original lyrics, and a handful of songs with similar titles have me confused. (Anyone read German?) German new wave artist Hubert Kah scored a hit with “Rosemarie” in 1982, and again with a rebooted version in 1998.
In the US, child actress Rose Marie Mazetta was a star by the age of five. As “Baby Rose Marie” she sang, appeared on radio and made a handful of films. Unlike many a child star, she graduated from her early career to a long, successful run on television. She played Sally on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s. Three decades later, she appeared on Murphy Brown.
Then there’s the operetta Rose Marie. The tale of a French Canadian girl in love with a miner debuted on Broadway in 1924. The hit musical inspired a trio of film adaptations. Not only were the stage and screen adaptations wildly popular, the title song caught on, too. The most successful movie version of Rose Marie was released in February 1936. Little wonder that year marked the high point for Rosemarie the name, too.
Many a famous woman answered to the appellation, including two daughters of notable families, including the Kennedys (JFK’s little sister was baptized Rose Marie, usually called Rosemary, but known to her family as Rosie) and the von Trapps (Maria’s eldest daughter was called Rosemarie).
The decidedly retro choice is nickname rich. Besides Rosie and Rosa, Mary and Marie, there’s Romy and maybe even Rory.
As names from the 1930s make a comeback, chances are Rosemarie will be among them.
“She’s a compound name with a fran” = all I see of this entry. 🙁
Leah, the post is updated – you can read the whole thing now!
laura muraco says
We just names our baby girl RosemariA! It came to us after she was born and it suits her perfectly!
Lovely name. Congratulations on your darling daughter!
I like Rosemary but not Rosemarie. I think the Marie part feels more dated to me.
I LOVE Rosemary, but dislike Rosemarie. To me they have completely different vibes. I also dislike Marie, so that’s probably why I dislike Rosemarie.
Charlotte Vera says
I find Rosemarie delightfully beautiful. It’s funny, but I’d never really considered the name before. When Mark began pushing for our daughter to be named Roseanna after his deceased mother, I suggested Rosemary and Rosamund as alternatives (he wasn’t impressed). Rosamund is still on my list of top ten most loved girls’ names, even though I could never use it. I wonder now whether Mark would have liked Rosemarie more since one of his mother’s middle names was Marie.
Nicole, I like Clementine too, but I hope your daughter ends up being Rosemarie, particularly as the name pairs so fabulously with Josephine and Genevieve!
British American says
I considered some sort of Rose Mary / Rosemary / Rosemarie combination for our Rose – because my husband’s Mom is named Mary. But it never came together. I thought it would end up looking / sounding weird to have the first name Rose and then the middle name Mary and the full first name of Rosemary or Rosemarie wasn’t quite the style I was going for. Plain “Rose” was more classic, old fashioned, beautiful for us.
Josie and Rosie would be a bit too matchy for sisters. Though our Rose has never gone by Rosie, so you could try to avoid the nickname if you wanted.
One of my closest friends is named Rosemary, we’re both still young (teens) so it doesn’t have that old lady vibe it seems to have for some people. Very nice name. I don’t care much for Rosemarie, it looks to me like it is spelled wrong although I know it is a completely valid spelling.
Still, it isn’t terrible.
And Nicole, even though I don’t much care for ‘Rosemarie’ paired with Josephine and Genevieve it’s lovely.
My father-in-law’s name is Rory, and I’ve been secretly scouting pretty girl’s names that lend themselves well to Rory as a nickname. So far I have only Aurelia as a viable option that my husband just MIGHT let me get away with, but I think that Rosemary/Rosemarie might be a new contender! His grandmother’s name was Rose, and we have quite a few Marie’s in our family as well.
I just love Rory for a little girl… I rather like Romy as well, but we have a dog named Remy… too close? I know the dog won’t be around forever, and there isn’t even a child in the picture yet, but I don’t want my poor kid to have that Indiana Jones complex (ie, “You named me after the dog?!”).
Love this NotD! 🙂
Lady Gwyn says
I quite like both Rosemary and Rosemarie,with the nickname Romy. I am quite attached to those old, traditional names like that. Rosemary is quite high on my list, actually. I would totally use either of these, although my parents would probably think I was crazy.
As a big fan of the Dick Van Dyke Show, I love actress Rose Marie. Rosemarie probably isn’t a name I’d chose, but I’d love to hear or see this sweet name on a child OR a resume. I do like the nicknames Rosie and Romy too.
Thanks for covering this for me. Rosemarie evolved for us. She was initially going to be Rose (after my great-grandmother) but our oldest is Josephine nn Josie. The “Rosie” /”Josie” nns were going to be problematic. I really wanted her nn to be Romy but don’t love Rosemary. So my darling husband pointed out that we could combine Rose with my middle name Marie and keep with our tradition of nine-letter French inspired names (our other daughter is Genevieve). So Rosemarie it is…at least for now. She could always end up a Clementine (my initial first choice) if she is born and looks nothing like a Rosemarie.
Oooh … Josephine, Genevieve and Rosemarie? That’s an AMAZING trio.
Rosemarie is very sweet and I love the evolution of the name. Good luck and I love your sib-set.
That’s a sweet story . How are you saying Clementine? Is it teen/tine or kla-mawn-teen? Romy is adorable 🙂
Since we are in the States we would go with Kleh-men-tine as in “Oh My Darling…”
I love the French pronunciation but it would be confusing where we live. Thanks for the kind words. I would love to take credit for their names but my older girls have family names. My great-great grandmother and great-grandmother had great taste. 🙂
Your daugthers have such lovely names! Josephine, Genevieve, and Rosemarie (or Clementine) are perfect together! 🙂
I vote for Genevieve, Josephine and Rosemarie.
Clementine I absolutely adore but I feel that Rosemarie fits here better. I see the same ending in JosephINE and ClementINE, even if they aren’t said the same.
Rosemarie & Rosemary are slightly different for me. The one is rose-MUH-ree & the other is rose-MARE-ee. A few years ago, I liked Rosemary, but then it was ruined for me — though what the person said was true. Both are pretty enough names, though they aren’t really my style. Rose is nice, but it’s not fitting in my style & Marie is WAY too popular as a first where I live & I’m always told it’s a ‘filler’ middle name. So, while it’s pretty in it’s own way, it’s a consideration for someone else & not me
I do LOVE Rory (prefer it on a boy ) & Romey is really sweet
That’s a nice point, UrbanAngel. They’re definitely two distinct names. Rosemary remains my absolute favorite pick for a girl, with the nn Romy, but then, my grandmother was Maria Rosa, called Rose Marie.
Your story might just have made me like Rosemarie more 🙂
It’s not a favorite of mine. Rose is nice. Marie is fine. Rosemarie, I agree with Sebastiane, meh. I know a 60-something Rosemary with a gravelly voice from a hefty nicotine habit, so it doesn’t quite flash “old nun” for me, but it’s not exactly the image I would want flashing in my mind for my own infant child… that said, I think it’s a perfectly alright name, just not special enough in my headspace to use it personally.
Meh, there is something very dowdy about Rosemarie. I like both names seperately, but together they just scream mean old nun, or something.
That’s interesting – I find Rose and Marie less appealing separately.