Rose and Anne are staples for girls’ middle names. Smoosh ’em together, and you arrive at a romantic, feminine and surprisingly uncommon appellation that sounds just right in the first spot.
Thanks to Charlotte for suggesting her darling daughter’s moniker as Name of the Day: Rosanna.
If you tuned into Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s – when everyone was watching – you would have spotted the legendary Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna during the Weekend Update sketches. Rose names were already out of fashion by then, and Radner’s abrasive, frizzy-haired character certainly didn’t boost their image. Just as the SNL character was fading from view, the career of caustic housewife-comedienne Roseanne Barr took off.
For many years, Roseanne, Rosanna and Roseanna were all colored by women and characters who were powerfully funny, but not quite role models for a daughter.
The one bright spot was actress Rosanna Arquette. She played Roberta, the bored housewife in 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan. Susan, of course, was played by Madonna. A few years earlier, the actress had inspired Toto’s #2 single “Rosanna.” (She was dating one of the band members while they were searching for a name to fit a song-in-progress.)
You’ll hear the name in English, as well as Italian and a smattering of other European languages. The Swedish all-girl pop group Play included a Rosanna; Google searches turn up Rosannas in Norway, Germany and Denmark. Canary Islands-born Rosana Arbelo is a Latin pop singer. Plenty of Rosa-variants are popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
A lengthy list of Rose names was covered here a few months back. It’s possible to choose a variant that is downright exotic – Rosario, Rosabel and Rosamund all made the original list. And, of course, Twilight is propelling Rosalie to greater notice. Rosanna begins to feel like a measured choice – not as streamlined as Rose, not as daring as some related names.
It is tempting to call her a classic, but that might be a bit of a stretch. Rosanna did rank in the US Top 1000 from 1880 through 1941 and again from 1947 through 1989; Roseanna appeared periodically, but last charted in 1983. And Roseanne actually had the shortest run of all, ranking only from 1937 through 1968. Still, add them all together and this starts to look like the kind of name that has always been with us – even if she never quite reached the heights of popularity.
Rose herself peaked in the 1910s, reaching as high as #14. If the century-rule holds, Rose and company are due for a resurgence.
Rosanna sounds just right with today’s chart-toppers Isabella and Olivia. And yet, she’s undeniably distinctive. Rosie is a spunky nickname option, conjuring up the capable World War II icon. You might even use Roxy, though it is a bit of a stretch. And, of course, Anna and Annie are also possibilities.
If you’re hoping to choose a feminine name that stands out and fits in, Rosanna is one to consider.
My mom’s name is Rose Anna, but her mom insists that it is Roseanna. On the birth certificate it is two words. I don’t know which is correct, but my mom just goes by Ann.
Charlotte Vera says
A couple of years have passed since Roseanna’s birth, and as is the case with many children, she has selected her own nickname. When asked by people what her name is she usually yells, “Zanna!” (at other times she says, “Baby”). Certain relatives also call her either Rosa or Rosebud.
The use of the nickname Zanna is rather fun as my sister’s daughter is Zippy. The matchy-ness of the cousins’ names is accentuated by their younger siblings’ names: Alaric and Allana respectively.
Yay! My name is Rosanna, I am in my late 20’s and I am happy to see this post! I never liked my name growing up- I thought it sounded “old”…. But as an adult I appreciate my name and I’m thankful not to be a brittany/jennifer/ashley/jessica (although they are pretty names= just Far too overused). I imagine Ava/Isabella/Sophia will have that same issue very soon. I have yet to meet another Rosanna but I’m glad to see you ladies are still using the name for younger generations.
Emmy Jo says
I like Rosanna! It was one of my grandmother’s favorite names, so it’s one I’ve considered using as an indirect way of honoring her. I recently read “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins. There’s a mysterious young servant girl named Rosanna — I think that helped the name move away from its Roseanne Barr associations in my mind.
To Charlotte — Roseanna Ruth Adelaide sounds beautiful. I love all three names. Congratulations, and best of luck!
I love Rose-names as well, and Rosanna is no exception. She sounds like a heroine from English poetry to me 🙂 . The nns (Annie/Anna and Rosie/Roxie) are just too cute.
I like Rose- names a lot; Rosalie and Rosemary being my favorites. Roseanna is one that I feel looks pretty on others, but i don’t think I’d choose it.
Roseanna Ruth Adeline is a lovely combination Charlotte Vera which flows very well, hope it all goes well for you.
I love Rosanna.
This is my Grandmother’s name, and my middle namesake. She had two cousins named Rosanna as well, one went by Rosie and the other by Anna. My Grandmother went by Rory, and I have a female cousin named Rory in honor of her. We never met our Grandma Rory, she died when my Dad was 14. But we knew Anna well, she passed just last year. All three Rosanna’s were born in Ireland, and only Rory made it to America.
I plan on using this name when the time comes, but I haven’t decided on the combination yet! I just love the name and the connection too much not to use it in some capacity.
Charlotte Vera says
Thanks for taking my suggestion! I personally still prefer Rosamund to Roseanna, but when my husband doesn’t like the former and the latter was the name of his mother, I don’t really have much of a choice! Thankfully I like Roseanna too and look forward to getting to know her once she’s born (somewhere around Easter). For those of you who might be interested, the middle names we’re going with are Ruth Adeline, which, in my humble opinion, flow with the “sing-songyness” mentioned by Kate without making the name too saccharine.
I love it when you make a name that I really like but haven’t thought of in ages name of the day! She’s very sing-songy pretty but manages it without sounding sickly or insubstantial. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Rosanna except that my middle name is another of the Rose- names that you mentioned above (after my mum) so I think we’ve already got Rose names covered in this family!
I love the Rose-names, all of them! Roseanna’s no exception. If I was so inclined, I’d use it to “honor” Gilda Radner, who was a most awesome lady, taken far too soon. She’s one of the few Rose names not in my family tree however, so I’m not likely to use Roseanna, myself but I’d love to run into a dozen of them! I damned myself though, No more -osie name, not with a Josie already. *sigh* I think I got the better of that deal, still though so no matter how I sigh & whine, I’m happier with a Josie than a Rosie. Rosie’s my cousin Rosemary, to me anyway. 🙂
Roseanna’s lovely, sweet, lush and gently feminine. I’m completely charmed by Roseanna. And I promise I won’t sing that lousy Toto song at her!