Rose Alternatives: Fresh Twists on a Classic

Rose Alternatives: Fresh Twists on a Classic

Searching for alternatives to the classic girl name Rose? We've got a wealth of fresh options for you, ripe for the picking!

Timeless Classic Turned Middle Name of the Moment

Romantic Rose has proved one of the most enduringly popular flower names for girls, peaking at #14 at the beginning of the 20th century and remaining in widespread use until today. It currently ranks at #120, with over 2000 births last year.

Symbolizing love, romance and passion, Rose has really come into its own in recent decades as the middle name du jour for baby girls. Famous parents including Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have used Rose as a middle name for their daughters.

Rose is also the birth flower of June, making it a perfect choice for a baby girl born this month. But if you're finding that Rose is beginning to wilt from overexposure as a middle name, we've rounded up some related, but lesser-used, alternatives.

Top Rose Alternatives

If you're looking for a Rose alternative that occupies the "sweet spot" in terms of popularity – not too common, not too rare – these choices fit the bill.

All rank within the current Top 1000 girl names in the US, but are unusual enough that your little Rosemary or Rosalyn is highly unlikely to share a class, or even school, with another.

Here are the Top 5 Rose alternatives to consider, as well as some stylish variants.


The French form of the Latin Rosalia, which is also a fast-rising name thanks to Spanish singer Rosalía Vila Tobella. It currently ranks at #176 in the US, together with Rosalia at #595 and Rosalee at #958.

Rosalie appears in Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey and the Oscar Wilde play Lady Windermere’s Fan, as well as in the Twilight saga, which is largely to thank for its recent rise.


Introduced as a flower name in the 1890s, vintage Rosemary was at its height from the 1920s to the sixties, currently ranking at #367.

In the past, the rosemary plant was thought to refresh the memory, inspiring Shakespeare’s Ophelia to say, "There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance."

Romy, the distinctive German diminutive, has become quite trendy, chosen by Sofia Coppola and Matt Lauer for their daughters.


A classic cheery nickname name, very popular in the UK, where it currently ranks at #11. In the US, it sits in the sweet spot at #424.

The two most prominent Rosies – O’Donnell and Perez – were christened Roseann and Rosa Maria respectively, and Rosie the Riveter was a symbol of female strength in World War II.


The soft but sassy Rosa was a Top 60 name in the US at the turn of the last century, and remains popular in European nations including Spain, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands. 

Notable namesakes include French painter Rosa Bonheur and Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. It ranks at #605 in the US.


Pronounced ROSE-lin or ROSA-lin, this pretty name has several close relatives. Rosaline was a minor character in two Shakespeare plays: in Love's Labour Lost and mentioned in Romeo and Juliet as the girl Romeo loved before he met Juliet. 

Variant spellings are Rosalyn and Rosalynn, as in First Lady Carter. Roselyn currently ranks at #824 and Rosalyn at #938. Latinate Rosalina has also been rising in recent years, now at #925.

Unique Alternatives to Rose

If you'd prefer a Rose name that's truly unusual, consider one of these rare Rose alternatives – all outside the current US Top 1000.

Some, like Rosanna and Rosabel, have their roots in the name of the flower. Others, like Rosamund and Penrose, derive from other sources but still call the rose and its symbolism strongly to mind.

We've also included some modern word and combination names, like Briar Rose and Wildrose, to suit all styles.

Names of Rose Varieties

If you'd like a name with a more subtle Rose connection, you might find inspiration in the many varieties of rose – from Arthur and Albertine to Victoria and Valentine.

This could be a sweet option for those looking to honor an ancestral Rose, or as a nod to the birth flower of the month of June. Find a selection of beautifully named rose varieties below.

International Variations of Rose

There is also a wealth of international names meaning rose which could serve as a great source of inspiration for parents looking for multicultural Rose names.

From Welsh Briallen "primrose" to Chinese Meilin "beautiful rose" to Yiddish Raisa "rose", some of our favorite options are listed here.

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.